A concerned wife is horrified after watching her husband embrace a dirty homeless man who had just been eating food out of a dumpster. What she learns about the man would surprise her more.
Anna and Roger had been married for 25 years. Anna worked as a school administrator, while Roger was the top builder in town.
On their 25th anniversary, the couple decided to celebrate it with Roger’s parents in their new home. Roger had finished work late that day and was very hungry. While driving, he already imagined his food, particularly his father’s famous smoked barbecue.
A couple of miles from his parents’ house, Roger noticed a homeless man scavenging for food in the trash. “How can someone eat food from a dumpster?” he said, grimacing. He watched the man closely until he realized he recognized the man’s jacket.
Roger stopped the car immediately, surprising his wife. “Where are you going?” she called out as he got out of the vehicle.
Roger approached the homeless man. “Uncle Bruce?” he said. The homeless man turned around, and Roger’s eyes filled with tears. He pulled the homeless man towards him and hugged him.
Anna watched from the car and was shocked. She had just washed her husband’s white shirt, and now he was hugging a dirty homeless man. “What is he thinking?! His parents will think I let him out of the house looking and smelling like a dumpster!” she watched in horror.
What was she supposed to tell his parents? She searched the car for perfume and was relieved when she found one in her purse.
“Uncle Bruce!” Roger told the man. “I thought you were dead,” he screamed, crying. The homeless man looked at him, confused and Roger realized the man did not recognize him.
“It’s me, Roger ‘the nail!’ Do you remember me?” he asked.
Then, as if he had just seen a ghost, the homeless man sobbed and embraced Roger. “Roger,” he cried out. “I’m so happy to see you.”
Roger brought the homeless man towards the car to introduce Anna to him. He revealed that his Uncle Bruce once found him on the street when he was a child. “He was the man who saved my life, Anna. He fed me and kept me warm until I was comfortable enough to go to the orphanage.”
“It was Uncle Bruce who taught me how to build. He would visit the orphanage where I lived, and he taught me how to work with simple building tools. He even gave me the nickname ‘the nail’ because I loved building things so much,” Roger told his wife excitedly.
Anna felt terrible for judging the homeless man. She smiled at him before thanking him for teaching her husband how to be an excellent builder.
“You were like a father to me, Uncle Bruce, but you just stopped coming one day. What happened?” Roger asked.
“I’m sorry, son. I didn’t want to say goodbye to you because I knew it would hurt too much. I left town to work and earn a decent amount of money. In the end, I worked too hard, and it affected my health,” Uncle Bruce revealed. “Soon, I was not strong enough to work anymore. My money slowly depleted as I had so many bills to pay. I couldn’t find a job after that, and I ended up on the street. I never thought I’d see you again.”
Roger felt terrible that his Uncle Bruce suffered such a fate. After he stopped visiting, Roger revealed that a good couple eventually adopted him.
“My adoptive parents are extremely kind, and I’m grateful I met them, but there was always something missing, Uncle Bruce, because I saw you as a dad, too,” Roger admitted. Uncle Bruce teared up, almost guilty that he had abandoned Roger when he needed him most.
That night, Roger decided to take Uncle Bruce to dinner at his parents’ house. They had a good meal together, and before going home, Roger revealed that he and Anna were happy to have him stay with them.
“We can build you a small cottage in our yard, where you can have a comfortable place to stay,” Roger told him. Anna was happy to agree, proud that her husband was doing something so generous for another person.
Once Uncle Bruce settled down in Roger’s home, Roger took him to the best doctors, where he was checked and treated after not receiving medical care for years.
Since then, Uncle Bruce has become a part of Roger and Anna’s family. They introduced their children to him, and they started treating him as one of their grandfathers.
What can we learn from this story?
Never forget those who helped you. Roger never forgot Uncle Bruce’s kindness, so when he saw him again in such a poor state, Roger made sure to help him get back up on his feet and live a comfortable life.
What goes around comes around. While Uncle Bruce suffered many hardships throughout his life, the kindness and love he showed Roger eventually came back to him later on when they found each other again, and it was Roger’s turn to take care of him.
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This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only.