Alexa and her husband Steph lived a happy married life. They enjoyed the honeymoon phase of their early married life and raised twin boys together. Upon learning that his wife was sick with a life-long disease, Steph walked out on her and his children when they were only a year old. Alexa was only a housewife and was forced to work to make ends meet. Unfortunately, it took a toll on her health.
Her twin boys, Alonso and Alfredo, learned of their mother’s deteriorating health and decided to help her pay the bills by selling lemonade and some of their old toys and clothes. Suddenly, a luxurious car pulled up next to their stand and a man wearing a suit decided to help their mother.
Their happy marriage changed when Alexa was suddenly diagnosed with lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease. Additionally, maintenance medicines were costly, and it took its toll on Steph and Alexa’s monthly budget. It came to a point where Steph suddenly snapped when the family needed more money. “I can’t do this anymore!” he yelled, complaining to Alexa. “I feel like an ATM in this family. All I do is give when I receive nothing in return from any of you!”
Feeling sorry for Steph, Alexa offered to do her part. “I’m sorry, honey. I’ll find a job so I can help pay the bills. I can leave the kids with my mom. I’m sure she’d be happy to take care of them.”
Hearing this infuriated Steph even more. He yelled, “No! And then what will our friends say? They’ll say I’m an irresponsible husband who forced his sick wife to work. They’ll think I’m not capable of raising a family!”
Confused, Alexa tried to figure out what Steph was trying to imply. Initially, she thought he was subtly asking her to find a job to help with the family budget, but he refused when she offered to work. She asked, “Then what do you want us to do?”
“I want to have a normal family,” Steph yelled. “How am I supposed to have a normal family with a wife who has a life-long incurable disease?” Hearing this from her husband, Alexa’s feelings were hurt. She did not choose to have the sickness, and she never wanted to be a burden to anyone.
Sadly, Alexa said, “I’m sorry you feel that way, Steph. I never wanted to have lupus. The diagnosis pains me just as much as it frustrates you.”
“Well, I’m sorry, Alexa. I think we should end things now than in the future. I don’t want to take out my frustrations on the kids, and I don’t think I can spend the rest of my life living this way. We should get a divorce,” Steph blurted out before walking out the door.
Feeling devastated, Alexa fell to the floor and cried, heartbroken. Composing herself, she did the first thing that came to her mind. “He just left me, Mom. I don’t know what to do. I feel so lost,” Alexa said to her mom in between sobs. Her mother arrived at Alexa’s house in 30 minutes. Not wasting another minute, she hugged her daughter and tried to console her while looking out for the twins. “Mommy’s here. Cry it out, sweetheart,” Alexa’s mom, Stephanie, said while trying to calm her down.
It took quite some time to calm Alexa, and Stephanie allowed her to grieve. After some time, Stephanie encouraged her daughter to be strong for the children and start looking for a good job in a comfortable environment.
Fortunately, Alexa immediately got a job as a designer at a local flower shop. Soon, she had the budget to pay the bills and saved some extra money for future use. For some time, the family’s situation at home improved. Stephanie decided to sell her apartment and moved into Alexa’s home to tend to the kids. She enjoyed being a full-time grandmother to the twins.
One night, Alexa saw her mother doing the laundry at 9:00 in the evening. “I’m sorry for burdening you with childcare, Mom. You should be enjoying your retirement,” she told her mother. Stephanie replied, “Don’t be silly, Alexa. I LOVE being a grandmother. I enjoy being home all day with Alonso and Alfredo. Don’t sweat it. Just promise not to work so hard. Spend some time with us. You can’t stress yourself out because you might relapse.”
Years passed, and life went on perfectly for Alexa’s family. Alexa was promoted to senior partner at the flower shop, which required working longer hours with the flower shop owners. Unfortunately, working overtime and earning more took its toll on Alexa’s health. Her disease progressed into a more aggressive state, hindering her ability to work. She started experiencing muscle, joint, and chest pains.
Alexa spent more time at home recuperating. However, her maintenance medicines started to pile up and became more costly. After some time, the family budget ran out, including her savings from the past couple of years.
Feeling helpless, Alexa cried weakly to her mom one night and said, “Mom, I don’t know what to do! I don’t want the kids to grow up with nothing, but my medicines are just so expensive! It’s like I have to choose between my kids’ future and my ability to stay alive to see that future.”
Stephanie lent a helping hand by paying the bills for some time. However, even her savings eventually got drained since she was already retired. Alexa and Stephanie were unaware that the twins heard their conversation. “Something’s not right,” Alonso whispered to his brother. “Mom needs our help.”
At a tender age, the 6-year-old twins understood the situation at home. Not wasting any time, they made plans that night to help their sick mom.
“Alonso, let’s put up a lemonade stand outside the house every afternoon. That way, we can earn some money for Mom,” Alfredo suggested. Alonso’s face lit up, and replied, “That’s a great idea! Let’s draw some signage we can put up in the garage and around the neighborhood.” The twins got to work and gathered some paper and their coloring pens.
After making the signage posters, Alonso wondered what they could sell to earn enough savings. “Do you think this is okay already? Maybe we can sell more things,” he told his brother.
Looking around their room, the twins searched for things they could sell. “I guess we could sell our toys?” Alfredo said. “Mom is more important than all of our toys.” Alonso nodded in agreement, and the twins started filling a big box with toys they hardly play with and some of their clothes that they outgrew. They planned to put it in front of their lemonade stand for people to buy.
The following day, Alonso and Alfredo immediately worked on setting up their lemonade stand. They told their grandmother that they were bored and wanted to try something different by selling lemonade to their neighbors. Stephanie did not hesitate to help the twins set up their lemonade stand.
While Stephanie was busy helping the twins set up their lemonade stand, Alonso and Alfredo snuck the huge box of toys and clothes and placed it in front of the lemonade stand where it would not be seen from inside the house. When everything was ready, the twins sat down and waited for customers to arrive.
Their small business started slow. They sold only 2 cups in 30 minutes. However, when one of the neighbors dropped by, she snapped a photo of the lemonade stand and shared it on social media. Within minutes, customers started flocking to the lemonade stand. The twins became busy serving dozens of lemonades, and some of their toys and clothes were sold in just a couple of hours.
When the twins were ready to close the stand and call it a day, a luxury car suddenly stopped in front of the stand. The neighbors who saw the car became curious about who it may be since they have never seen such an expensive car in the neighborhood before. Whispering to one another, the curious neighbors asked, “Who could that be?”
A man in a black suit came out and asked the twins for a cup of lemonade, which Alonso happily served. Curious, the man asked the twins, “What’s the reason for your lemonade stand, young boys? And why are you selling your toys? These still look nice.” He held up a shiny toy car that looked brand new.
“Well, umm, our mom is sick,” Alonso revealed, and Alfredo continued, “She has lupus, and because she’s been working so hard, it got bad, and now, she has to buy expensive medicine.” Hearing this, the man felt sorry for the twins and admired them for the love and care they felt for their mother.
“Is your mom inside the house?” the man asked. “Do you think I can talk to her?” Alonso nodded and informed his brother to look after the lemonade stand. He walked the man to their home and told his mom, “Mom! One of our lemonade stand customers wants to talk to you!”
Alexa was surprised to see the stranger but welcomed the visitor. She gestured for him to sit on the couch. “How can I help you, sir? Please excuse the mess in our house.”
“I was driving through the street when I saw your twins selling lemonade and their toys,” the man said. “I wondered why they were doing this, and they told me it was to help you with your medical bills.”
Surprised, Alexa was lost for words. With tears filling her eyes, she finally said, “I didn’t know it was for me.” Her boys told her earlier that they were selling lemonade since they were bored at home.
“I’m here because I was touched by their story, and I want to help. You see, my sister was also diagnosed with lupus, and I know how expensive it is to treat. I want to cover your medical expenses,” the wealthy man said.
Alexa was surprised at the stranger’s generosity but refused. Shaking her head, she said, “I can’t possibly accept that. This is your hard-earned money, and I won’t be able to offer you anything in return or pay you back!”
Taking out his checkbook, he wrote an undisclosed amount and sealed it in an envelope. Handing it to her, he said, “I’m not expecting anything in return.” He insisted that she accept the envelope and continued, “Please, take this. I hope it’s enough to cover your medicine and to pay off any debts you might have. When you’re able to do so, pass on the kindness to someone else in need of help.”
Alexa reluctantly accepted the envelope with tears in her eyes. “Thank you, sir. You have no idea how much this means to me. Just yesterday, I was telling my mom how scared I was not to be able to see my kids grow up.” She cried and admitted to the wealthy man.
“I’m glad I can help you and your family out. You have such wonderful boys. They need their mom to see them grow up and one day change the world with their generosity. The world needs more people like them,” the wealthy man said before he stood up to leave. Alexa invited the man for dinner, but he refused. He claimed that he had to get back to work and said goodbye. After a few minutes, he drove off. That was the first and last time Alexa and the twins saw the mysterious wealthy man.
Alexa almost fainted when she opened the envelope and saw how much money he wrote on the check. “There’s no way!” she exclaimed to herself. The amount she saw was enough to cover years of maintenance medicine to treat her lupus, pay off the mortgage of their house, and have enough savings for the future. Alexa focused on getting better so she could spend more quality time with her family for decades.
The moral lesson of the story?
Pay it forward. When someone offers you help and expects nothing in return, help someone else in need. Share this story on your social media. It may brighten someone’s day and inspire others to extend a helping hand.
Images credits: © PEXELS