Raymond was a single father who was hard on his son due to the hardships he endured while growing up. After receiving a wake-up call from his mother-in-law, he miraculously changes his life around for the better of his son.
Raymond knocked at his mother-in-law, Stacey’s, house. He was there to pick up his 6-year-old son, Chris. Raymond and Stacey had a longstanding agreement. Stacey would watch over Chris while Raymond was at work. He would pick up Chris in the evenings if he didn’t get off work late.
Raymond was a single father. He and his son’s life had changed drastically after Chris’s mother left Raymond several years ago in favor of a wealthy man.
Surprisingly, Raymond’s mother-in-law chose his side and stopped communicating with her own daughter. She did her best to try to support Chris and Raymond. Chris loved his son very much and worked hard to raise the boy.
Raymond knocked on the door of Stacey’s humble suburban home. Stacey came to the door to see Raymond yawning with heavy bags in his eyes.
“Someone looks tired. Long day?” Stacey asked.
“What do you mean I’m fired?”
“Yeah, didn’t get much sleep last night, and today was a pretty long day,” Raymond said.
“Yeah, and I’m pretty sure staying out late with your good-for-nothing friends didn’t help,” Stacey said with a scoff. She always had a little attitude, but it always came from the right place.
“We had one beer after work,” Raymond explained.
“It’s never just one… Anyways, you look like a wreck. I think you should take the day off tomorrow and get some rest. I’ll come to your house in the morning and help you cook and clean,” said Stacey.
“Oh, Stacey! What would I be without you!” Raymond said, hugging her.
“It’s not for you. It’s for that little boy in there,” Stacey said, gesturing inside the house to Chris, who sat on the floor playing with his toys.
“Let me come in and greet the little fella quickly,” Raymond said, entering the house.
Later, Raymond called his boss to try and get the day off. Unfortunately, he was confounded with the most shocking news before he could even present his request.
“What do you mean I’m fired?” a confused Raymond asked over the phone.
“I’m sorry, Raymond. There have been various complaints about you. You’re too slow and inattentive. I would have told you earlier, but I hoped you would find your feet. I’m sorry, Raymond. Wish you all the best,” the boss concluded, cutting the call and leaving Raymond dumbfounded.
“I can’t believe it. My boss just fired me,” Raymond told Stacey.
“I’m so sorry to hear that, Raymond. I tell you what, go to the bar and hang out with one of your friends. Chris can stay with me tonight,” Stacey said. While Raymond sat at her dinner table, Stacey cooked in the kitchen, with Chris still cheerfully playing with his toys on the floor.
“The same good-for-nothing friends you were just complaining about?” Raymond scoffed.
“I guess they’re good for something after all,” Stacey said, bursting into laughter. “Don’t worry. You’ll be alright, Raymond.”
Raymond left Chris and Stacey preparing for dinner. Stacey had made her famous pasta with sausages. The aroma of the sweet Italian sausages filled the home, caressing Chris’ nostrils as he sat at the dinner table eagerly awaiting his meal.
Stacey dished out a large portion of food for the boy, who looked on with shock. “I can’t eat that much! It’s wrong! We need to save food so we have enough money,” Chris said alarmingly.
Stacey found the boy’s words rather odd. Even more so, she was troubled by the discomfort and fear on his face. “Don’t worry, Chris. There is still more than enough food. You can eat as much as you want,” she assured him.
The next morning, Stacey walked into the room where Chris was sleeping and was utterly flabbergasted by the sight before her. She entered the room to find little Chris curled in a ball on the floor without a blanket.
“Chris!” said Stacey in awe, nudging the boy awake. “Why are you sleeping on the floor?”
“Uhm… Dad makes me do it!” said Chris.
“he makes you sleep on the floor?” Stacey asked.
“Yes… He says it builds character,” Chris explained.
Stacey could not believe what she was hearing. Furious, Stacey called Raymond and told him to come to her house immediately. Raymond arrived shortly after to a vexed Stacey waiting for him on the porch.
“Raymond?! What’s this whole economy of food craziness you have Chris on? And even worse, why do you have the poor child sleeping on the floor?! Talking about building character!? He’s six, Ramond!” Stacey snapped.
“It’s not what it looks like. And it’s definitely not as bad as you think,” Raymond said in defense.
“Making your six-year-old sleep on the floor is pretty bad, Raymond!” Stacey added.
“I know it looks bad… But… But that’s just how I was raised, Stacey. We were pretty poor growing up, and my father always tried to ensure we were prepared for the harsh realities of the outside world. I just wanted the same for Chris,” Raymond explained.
“You want poverty for your child, Raymond?” a shocked Stacey asked, not following Raymond’s reasoning.
“That’s not what I’m saying. The real world is hard. I just want my son to be ready. It’s all to make his life better and prepare him,” Raymond said.
“Oh… And what about your gambling? Is that for Chris too?” Stacey asked.
“Gambling?” Raymond said, pretending to have no clue what Stacey was on about.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. The bags under your eyes and the late nights. You’ve been spending nights at the casino with your pals,” said Stacey.
“How did you know that?” asked Raymond.
“My friend Judy from down the road works the late shift at the casino and tells me you’ve become somewhat of a regular,” Stacey yelled.
“So, I have something I’d like to ask from you. It’s a pretty big ask, too,” Raymond said nervously.
“Yeah, well… Since the cat is out of the bag, I might as well spill the beans. I’m in debt, Stacey. Very deep debt,” he said.
“What do you mean?” Stacey asked, concerned.
“I mean exactly that! I’m in debt, and I barely have enough to get by. Especially now that I’ve lost my job,” Raymond confessed, nearly in tears.
“Listen, Raymond… I’m sorry to hear that. But I still don’t think you should put it on Chris. In fact, you need to do everything you can to ensure your son never experiences the poverty you did,” Stacey explained, hugging Raymond.
Then, in the blink of an eye, Stacey changed from compassionate and sympathetic to determined and stern. “So this is how things will go from now on. My grandchild will be staying with me until you’re able to pay off your debts and get back on your feet. Otherwise, I go to the police and have your parental rights revoked. Those are your options,” Stacey said.
Stacey knew that Raymond was a good man. While she resented how he treated his grandchild, she still believed Raymond could redeem himself. And Raymond was determined to get his life back in order as well.
From that day on, Raymond changed his life around. He stopped seeing his friends as often and started working multiple jobs day and night. Every night, he came to Stacey’s house and brought Chris toys and sweets. After a few months of tireless work, he finally managed to pay off all his debts. One day, Raymond came over to Stacey’s house with a profound request in mind. “Raymond, good to see you. Looking sharp,” Stacey said, welcoming Raymond into the house. He was dressed in a new, classy suit.
“Daddy!” Chris cried, leaping into his father’s arms.
“Hey, little man! You just getting bigger and bigger!” Raymond chirped.
“Are you here to take me back home?” Chris asked.
“Not exactly, my boy. Actually, that’s what I came to talk to your grandmother about,” Raymond said, sitting with Chris on the couch. “How’s about you go play with your new toys and give grandma Stacey and me a chance to chat? I’ll join you in a bit,” he concluded.
“Alright, daddy,” Chris said, rushing to play in his room.
“He has really missed you, you know!?” Stacey said, taking a seat on the couch.
“Yeah, I’ve missed him too,” Raymond said, joining Stacey. “So, I have something I’d like to ask from you. It’s a pretty big ask, too,” Raymond said nervously.
“Alright. Out with it! You know I don’t do too well with suspense,” Stacey insisted.
“This is 40 thousand dollars. I wanted to leave it with my daughter, but she doesn’t deserve it.”
“Alright. I’ve finally paid off all my debts,” Raymond announced.
“Oh, wonderful!! Chris can come home now!” Stacey exclaimed.
“Well… Not exactly. I was hoping he could stay with you just a little longer. I thought a lot about what you said, and I want to make a better life for my son. So, I’m trying to raise money for my own business. I just need a little longer,” Raymond said.
“Business? Now that’s the kind of talk I want to hear about. Don’t worry. Chris and I will be just fine. You just keep fighting to be the father and man I know you can be,” Stacey said, hugging Raymond.
“I believe in you,” Stacey concluded with a kind smile. She got up and went to her room, returning with a bag in her hands and handing it to Raymond.
“What’s this?” Raymond asked, reluctantly taking the bag.
“This is 40 thousand dollars. I wanted to leave it with my daughter, but she doesn’t deserve it,” she said. In complete disbelief, Raymond was lost for words as he opened the bag and saw the cash inside.
“I can’t accept this,” Raymond said.
“Nonsense! It’s an investment for my grandchild. Look, we all make mistakes in life, but only those who understand their mistakes and correct them can find happiness in their lives. You’ve come an awfully long way trying to correct yours. So please, accept the money,” Stacey said.
“Thank you, Stacey,” Raymond said in tears. Hugging his mother-in-law dearly.
Raymond used the money to open his own trucking business and bought himself his first truck. He initially worked on it as the sole driver, hiring only two truck loaders.
During one of his first couple of orders, he met a young lady, Angela. The two instantly hit things off and
were soon dating. Over the next couple of months, Raymond’s business grew gradually. Eventually, he was able to buy more trucks, open a company office, and move Chris back in with him.
After two years, he had 30 employees working for him and was engaged to Angela. Raymond was not only able to make sure that his son never lived in the poverty he was accustomed to as a child, but he also taught him how to appreciate the value of working hard. Raymond eventually even bought Stacey a small house by the ocean as a token of appreciation for all her help.