Sam learned from a young age to keep his head down and be humble. He never let the mean kids at school bring him down. But if things got better for him, would he be able to keep his heart clean?
Sam used lemons to make lemonade when he was young. His father died when he was a young child. Since then, when he wasn’t in school, he helped his mom, Susan, make extra money. Sam and Susan had no money for an apartment or a house, so they lived in a trailer park.
Susan was autistic and had trouble finding a steady job, so she barely made enough money to keep the lights on and pay for Sam’s school fees. Susan would tell her son, “We may not have much, but we should always be thankful for what we do have.”
Sam was always made fun of in class. He got called names like “bum” and “broke boy” by bullies at school. Jared, one of the bullies, told him once, “People like you will always have to live in trailers.”
Sam’s mother taught him that he had to have thick skin to survive, so he never let the insults get to him. He still wanted to buy a mansion for him and his mother one day.
Tobey, their landlord, came to get the rent one day. Tobey also worked as a real estate agent in the area, and his posters were all over town. During Tobey’s visit, the town was hit by a huge storm. He tried to get home quickly, but his car wouldn’t start.
“My stepdad taught me that if I have anger in my heart, I’ll never be happy.”
“Have no fear, sir. Sam said, “I’ll look under the hood to see what’s wrong.” Sam was very skilled and could fix anything with a motor. One of the things he did on the weekends was help a mechanic in town. Sam fixed Tobey’s car in less than an hour.
“Thanks, kid. Tobey said, “I’ve never seen anyone fix an engine in the rain before.” “No problem, sir. Still, you might want to get it serviced,” Sam said. Tobey was impressed by Sam’s smarts, so he hired him to wash his car every two weeks as a side job.
Sam liked Tobey, who he saw as a father figure, and they became good friends over time. When Tobey took his car to be washed, he hung out with Susan while Sam worked. He soon found out that she had drawn some amazing pictures of the town and people he knew.
Tobey asked her what she did for a living. “No, I just remember what I want to draw,” Susan said. Susan found out that Tobey had also lost his wife a few years before, and the two of them started to like each other. Susan started selling her art after Tobey helped her open a small art studio.
Jared noticed that Sam wasn’t at school one day. He told his friends that they should stop by and see Sam.
Jared made a joke, “Let’s go see what the poor boy is doing in his broken-down shack.”
When they got close to Sam’s trailer, they saw him and his mother loading boxes into a nice SUV. When they heard that he was leaving, they were interested.
When Sam, Susan, and Tobey got in their car and drove away, Jared and his friends tried to catch up to them. They couldn’t keep up with the SUV on their bikes, so they soon lost track of it.
The next day, after school, Jared and his friends followed Sam to see where he had moved. Sam had moved into a fancy apartment complex, as it turned out. In the late afternoon of that day, Jared saw Sam’s mom holding hands with Tobey. Jared saw posters of Tobey all over town and knew who he was.
“Holy cow, Sam’s mom is dating that real estate guy!” Jared told the people he knew. They couldn’t believe that the same poor kid they had teased for years had moved into a fancy penthouse. Even stranger was the fact that Sam didn’t talk about it at all. Nothing seemed to have changed.
“Back then, I was a real piece of work, but life has done a good job of making me humble since then.”
After that, Jared never made fun of Sam again.
After 10 years, Jared got a letter in the mail with an invitation. The invitation said, “You are cordially invited to a very special 10th anniversary party…” Jared could see that the party was being held in a penthouse apartment, and the name on the invitation looked familiar.
He was surprised to find that Sam had planned the whole thing when he got there. All of Sam and Jared’s classmates were there, and everything was taken care of, from drinks to food. Everyone wanted to know how Sam could afford such a nice place to live and what he did for a living.
Jared wanted to talk to him to say he was sorry for how he treated him in high school.
“Listen, man. I really feel bad about how I used to treat people in school. I didn’t like it. “I was a real jerk back then, but life has done a good job of bringing me down to earth since then,” Jared told Sam.
Jared told Sam that he thought karma had caught up with him because he ended up living in the same trailer park where Sam used to live. Sam was nice to Jared and let him off the hook for how he was treated at school.
“I know that things are hard for you right now, but my mother told me something that might help. Sam told him, “You may not have much, but always be thankful for what you do have.” Sam’s old friends asked him how he could afford to live in such a nice place.
Sam told everyone that Tobey had taught him how to sell high-end real estate and that he had taken over his stepfather’s business. “Many years ago, my stepfather taught me something important. He told me that I would never be happy as long as I was angry,” Sam said.
He then said that he and his mother had missed rent payments more than once before Tobey met Susan. Tobey gave them more than one chance to pay rent before he kicked them out.
Because he was kind, Sam and Susan were never really without a home. Soon, Tobey and Susan got married, and they became a family that could not be split up.
Sam’s classmates all told him how proud the whole school was of him and how happy they were for him.