An older woman who has to keep working as a cleaner long after she should have been able to retire is shocked when she finds a huge amount of money in her bank account.
What is scarier than getting old and having no money? Lucy Martin was 67 years old and had worked hard all her life as a mid-level administrative worker in a big Midwestern company.
But just before Lucy retired, she and her coworkers found out that the company’s retirement fund was empty. The idea of a miserable old age loomed, and the dream of a comfortable retirement faded.
Lucy had to retire early because her company went out of business a few days before she turned 65. She had to get a job, but the only one she could find at her age was cleaning at the local college.
Lucy wasn’t the kind of woman to cry over spilled milk or complain about how unfair life was, so she strapped herself in. She was very proud of her job and how well she did it.
Lucy had been a cleaner at the college dorms for almost three years. During that time, she had become a kind of unofficial campus grandma.
The students knew that Lucy would be there if they had a problem and needed someone to talk to. Lucy went out of her way to make a new student feel at home when she saw that they were having trouble getting used to the school.
During a particularly bad winter, a terrible flu was going around the dorm, and a few of the kids got sick and had to stay in bed for a few days.
After school, Lucy came over with a hot thermos of chicken soup and took care of everyone. She brought them hot tea and toast, and she also brought them orange juice.
Lucy was a godsend for many of the students, some of whom were away from home for the first time. Her ready smile and motherly teasing got the shy people out of their shells and made the anxious people feel better.
Don’t despair, because life might just surprise you.
“Hey, Grandma Lucy!” cried one student who was just getting better, Matthew Frost. “Your chicken soup works like magic! Your kids are very fortunate.”
Matthew was surprised to see that Lucy’s eyes were full of tears and that her bright smile had faded. “Oh, I only have one daughter, and she lives in Arizona, 3000 miles away.”
“Hey!” Matthew said, not sure what to do and worried. “Thanksgiving is coming up, so you should be with her soon, right?”
But Matthew’s words didn’t seem to make Lucy feel better. She covered her mouth with her hand and ran out of the room. After an hour, she came back with her eyes red and swollen. She had been crying, that was clear.
Matthew said, “I’m sorry, Lucy.” “Tell me what’s wrong, please. You’ve been there for me all the time. Remember how I didn’t want to tell my dad that I wanted to switch classes? “Let me be your friend like you were mine.”
Lucy sat down by Matthew’s bed and started to cry. Once she had calmed down a bit, she said, “I’m so sorry.” “You see, it’s been over three years since I’ve seen my daughter.”
“The trip is too expensive for me, and she can’t pay for me either. “She has two kids, and her husband doesn’t have a job,” Lucy said. “I can’t help her because she needs it.”
Matthew held Lucy’s hand as she told him how a scam had cost her all her savings and the pension fund, and why she had to work so hard at her age.
Matthew said, “Hey, do you remember what you said to me when I was sad? Life is full of surprises, and each one makes you stronger. I thought it, and now it’s your turn…”
Lucy left Matthew’s room feeling oddly comforted, but as she was leaving the dorm, she saw a second-year student sitting on the steps crying and holding a crumpled envelope.
“Liz!” Lucy said, and she forgot about her own troubles right away. “Honey, what’s wrong?”
Liz cried, “Oh, Grandma Lucy.” “I have to leave. Only three-quarters of my costs are covered by my scholarship, and the bank wouldn’t let me extend my student loan. My parents are having trouble, so they can’t help me either…”
“Oh, no!” said Lucy as she sat down next to Liz and put her arm around her shoulder. “You are also doing so well! When are you going to need that money?”
Liz said, “Not until September.” “But I don’t know how I’ll be able to get $15,000!”
“Well,” Lucy said firmly. “Lizzie, my girl, don’t cry any more! Wake up! There will be something. I always say that life is full of surprises.
At that very moment, Matthew Frost was working on his computer, so Lucy was right. He had a great idea, and he was sure that his classmates would be happy to help make a miracle happen…
Two months later, when Lucy went to the ATM to get her paycheck, she got the scare of her life. There was $364,563 left in her account.
Lucy squinted. That just can’t be true! She walked right into the bank and asked the teller for a statement. It was there: $364,563.
Lucy told the teller, “This is a mistake.” “You made a mistake. “That isn’t my cash!”
“Mrs. Martin, Mr. Matthew Frost put the money in your account three days ago,” the teller said. Lucy was upset, so she thanked the woman and ran away.
Matthew was in class, so she had to wait for him at the dorm. There he was, walking with a pretty girl on his arm. “Matthew!” Lucy screamed. “What’s happening?”
Matthew walked over to Lucy, grinning very widely. “I see that you went to the bank…”
“But…but…” Lucy stammered. “Where did all that money come from?”
Matthew gave a wink. He said, “It was magic!” “We made a GoFundMe page, and every college student and their parents wanted to help you out. Love worth $363,000. You can go see your daughter Lucy, you can help her, and you can move to Arizona to be with her.”
Lucy’s eyes were filled with tears. “You kids are crazy!” she screamed. “You’re crazy, crazy…” But Lucy’s mind was working hard even as she thanked Matthew.
This wonderful, magical windfall might be able to help someone else. The next day, Lucy knocked on Liz’s door with a check for $20,000 in her hand.
Lucy told her, “This is your part of my miracle.” “Because, you see, when life throws you a curveball, you have to give some of that love back…”
What does this story teach us?
Don’t despair, because life might just surprise you. Lucy was shocked when her students raised money to help her retire and live with her daughter.
People should talk about miracles. Like chocolate ice cream, miracles are always better when you share them, just like Lucy did with Liz.