A teenage boy by the name of Alex became very close with the old lady living next to him. After a pipe broke and the flooding water damaged her house, Alex devised a plan to help her pay for the expensive repairs. His effort resulted in a pleasant surprise.
In a sunny little town was a house with a teenage boy and his parents. The mother and father worked hard to provide for their son, but it meant they had to leave him alone quite often. Luckily, their neighbor was a friendly elderly lady who was more than happy to look after Alex.
As he grew up, Alex grew fond of his neighbor, and they remained friends even into his teenage years. They had an excellent relationship, and Alex stopped by her house often, since she didn’t have any children of her own and her friends didn’t visit her.
By the time he was a teenager, she had become like an extra grandmother to him. He loved spending time at her place, just talking about his day and enjoying her delicious cooking. Sometimes he’d even eat dinner at her house instead of his own, and she would always give him something to take back for his busy parents.
One day, after coming home from school, Alex decided to relax before starting his homework. He sat down in front of the television with some leftovers his kind neighbor had given him the night before and flicked through the options. He settled in as his dad worked in the other room.
“I’d do anything if it meant looking after you for once, Gran.”
Hearing a frantic knock at the door, Alex paused the show, stood up, and went to see what was happening. When Alex opened the front door, he saw his favorite neighbor standing on their porch, her clothes drenched and a look of panic on her face.
“Gran,” Alex called her by his nickname for her, “What’s wrong? Why are you soaked?”
“It’s a mess!” she exclaimed in panic. “There’s water everywhere, and I have no idea what to do!”
“Don’t worry. Dad is finishing some paperwork in his study. I’m sure he’ll be able to help.”
Alex fetched his father in a hurry, and the three headed to her house as quickly as their legs could carry them. As they approached the property, they saw a steady trickle of water running down the front steps, and the father blurted out a worried, “Oh my.”
“I was washing dishes after I baked a pie, and I realized there was water spilling out from under the sink,” the lady explained. “When I opened the cupboard, I heard a groan coming from the pipes, and there was a small leak. I tried to close the valve, but it wouldn’t budge, and suddenly the pipe just gave in!”
Seeing the state his Gran was in, Alex turned to his father and begged, “Dad, please take a look. We need to help her.”
“I’ll try my best, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do anything about the water damage,” he replied.
The two sent the elderly neighbor to dry up and wait in their house while they waded through the flood of water rushing through her house. They got to the broken pipe and got to work. With a limited toolkit and even less experience, the two struggled to turn off the water supply and set about patching the pipe.
After an hour’s effort, the dad and his son finally managed to repair everything well enough to hold until a professional could take a look. The next day, the lady called someone to come out and conduct a damage assessment, but the news wasn’t great. When Alex visited her again, she shared the bad news.
“I’m so thankful for your help. You and your dad saved so many of my things. Unfortunately, the repair man said it would cost almost $95,000 to fix the ruined house.”
“Gran, I’m so sorry. That’s an awful lot of money. How are you going to pay for it?”
“I have no idea, my boy. I’ll have to think of something. But don’t you worry about it. I’m just sorry I couldn’t have something for you to eat today.”
“Gran, I’m just happy to see you.”
As Alex walked over to his house that evening, he started to think. He knew the elderly lady didn’t want to spend the time she had left in a retirement home, so he devised a plan. For a few years now, he has been teaching himself magic tricks, and he could use this to help his Gran.
For the next while, Alex spent almost every free second practicing, booking shows, and performing. He studied the work of famous magicians and replicated their tricks. This meant he didn’t see his neighbor often, but he knew it would all be worth it when he revealed his surprise.
Whenever he performed at birthday parties or local events, he placed a tin at the edge of the stage, and after his shows, he always asked for donations. He explained he was trying to help his elderly friend, and people took pity after hearing her story.
After devoting himself to his cause for a long time, he went to the neighboring house. The downstairs carpets were in a state, much of the furniture was useless, and the walls were sagging in places. It broke Alex’s heart to see someone he loved so much going through a rough time.
“How are things coming along with the repairs, Gran?” he asked the lady.
“Oh, I should be able to think of something. I plan on fixing things bit by bit, but that would take ages.”
“I don’t think that will be necessary. I know I’ve been busy the last while, but it was for a great cause. You remember the magic tricks I loved so much? Well, I decided to put my skills to use, and after months of performing every chance I had, I collected enough to help out.”
The two got all the containers with money together and started counting. With every penny and every banknote, a gleam grew in the woman’s eye. When they finished, the amount came up exactly one dollar short of the 95,000 she needed to fix her house.
“Oh, you lovely boy!” She exclaimed. “You must have put in so much effort to collect all this money. I can’t believe you did this for me!”
“Over the years, you’ve always listened to me, and you looked after me when my parents were busy. I’d do anything if it meant looking after you for once, Gran.”
The next day, a contractor came, and they worked tirelessly. Soon, everything looked brand-new. The carpets were pulled, and fresh ones were installed. They fixed the walls, and even the furniture could be replaced. When the work was done, Alex and his Gran admired the house.
“This was the nicest surprise I’ve had in my entire life.”
“I’m happy I could pull it off. I was afraid I wouldn’t make enough money.”
“You must have a lot of talent. Not many people would go to such lengths for someone else. Thank you.”
The woman smiled at Alex and continued, “I have a surprise for you as well. You’re the closest thing I have to living family. I never had kids, you know, and my husband passed away years ago. So, I’ve decided I want you to have my house when it’s my time to depart.”
Stunned by this, Alex could only gape at her.
“Yes, don’t be so surprised. Without you, I wouldn’t have known what to do. I won’t always be around, but at least I can ensure you’ll have a place to live when I’m gone.”
Alex thanked her profusely and held her in a tight hug.
“Now, how about we have a nice meal to celebrate the new house?” the kindly old Gran asked with an enormous smile.
What can we learn from this story?
Family is not always related by blood. When Alex needed someone, his Gran was always there for him. They had a bond that saw them through the most challenging situations, although they weren’t related by blood.
Take time to help those you love. Although it seemed like a tremendous task, Alex spent all his free time ensuring his Gran could fix her home. Ultimately, his effort paid off, and he made a loved one very happy.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.