Mercedes raised her son, Bennett, as best she could alone, but he was spoiled. However, he came to her one day and said she had to move to a nursing home for her health. That’s when Mercedes realized her son was more troubled than she thought.
“Bennett, aren’t you embarrassed to still live with your mother? It’s not right,” Mercedes told her son, Bennett, who was playing on his PS5 and barely listening.
“Are you kicking me out, Mom? In this economy?” he asked absentmindedly.
“You know I won’t kick you out, but you need to start getting your life together. You don’t have a job or a girlfriend and have never lived alone. It’s time for you to be an adult!” she continued, desperate for her son to understand how worried she was for his future.
That was his plan. She knew it immediately in her gut.
Honestly, she was worried for herself too. Would she have to work until her dying day because her son was… useless?
“I don’t need to live alone. I’m fine here. Helping you out,” Bennett added, quickly clicking the controller’s buttons.
Mercedes rolled her eyes, although he didn’t see her. “You don’t help me at all. I do everything for you. When are you going to move out? I need to know!” she asked more forcefully.
Finally, he placed the game on pause and looked at his mother. “When pigs fly, Mom,” Bennett replied and laughed, then he went back to his game.
Mercedes threw her arms out and left his room, frustrated.
A few weeks later, Bennett came to Mercedes and said he needed to talk to her seriously. “I don’t want to move out yet because I think you need me here. You’ve been forgetting stuff lately, and you’re getting older,” he began, making her frown.
“Forgetting stuff? Maybe, a few things here and there, but that’s not odd. I might be older, but I’m still doing well. I mean, I work and support you, don’t I?” Mercedes countered, confused.
“Yes, Mom. You forget things more often. I think it’s time we consider sending you to a nursing home,” Bennett suggested gently.
“What?! Are you insane? I’m still too young for that, and I still work. This place is close to my job, Walmart, and everything else we need,” she shook her head and stood up, tired of this conversation.
“Mom, I’ll get my life together if you consider doing this,” Bennett offered, looking up at her from his long lashes.
“Really?” she asked, sitting back down. “What about this house? You’ll live here and maintain it?”
“I don’t think so. I think for me to get serious, I need to move to the city. I’ve heard that this neighborhood is in high demand, and this house will go for a ton of money quickly. The Jamesons just sold their home and are moving away,” Bennett explained, getting increasingly enthusiastic.
Mercedes was aware of the sale. The Jamesons had only just placed their house on the market a few weeks ago and had already closed a deal. This neighborhood was in high demand for a reason. It was near a good school, safe, beautifully maintained, etc. It was the All-American suburban dream.
However, she frowned. This change in Bennett was odd. Despite how much she wished her son was telling the truth about getting his life together, she knew not to trust him.
“So, you want us to sell the house, and then, I’ll move to the nursing home. What will you do? How would you get money for a new place? Do you have a job lined up?”
“Well, I don’t know yet. But we should start looking at nursing homes first. I’ll deal with the house sale because I don’t want anyone to stiff you. I can also keep the money, and I’ll send you monthly expenses and such,” Bennett continued talking, but Mercedes had already checked out of the conversation as soon as she realized the truth.
A week later, Mr. Henderson called. “He came,” the farmer reported.
Her son wanted to kick her out of her house and keep the money from the sale for himself. That was his plan. She knew it immediately in her gut. Bennett was still talking while she nodded, pretending to agree and watching his smile grow.
That once-innocent and beautiful grin she had adored for many years now seemed almost sinister. She couldn’t believe what her son was planning. It was so cruel. So cunning. So…awful. But Mercedes couldn’t rest on her laurels and let him trick her out of her life’s work. She had to do something.
It was time for Bennett to learn that while mothers have unconditional and limitless love to give their children, they are not stupid. She didn’t deserve this.
“OK, Bennett. Let’s do what you’re saying. You can find me a nursing home. I’ll move there soon, as long as you plan to get a job. I’m trusting you with this,” Mercedes said when they finished the conversation.
“Thank you, Mom!” he said and stood enthusiastically. They hugged. “It’s for the best!”
“See? This is a great place, isn’t it?” Bennett asked. He had helped her move all her things to the new nursing home, which was totally unlike him. He had never even helped with grocery bags, so Mercedes knew she had done the right thing.
“Yes, it’s nice, darling,” Mercedes nodded. It was a beautiful place, and it wasn’t as expensive as other nursing homes in the area. She would miss her house and neighbors, but she wouldn’t miss being Bennett’s carer, especially after all this.
The only thing she wanted to see but would have to miss was his reaction when he discovered the truth. Bennett had a doting mother all his life, one who looked away when he decided not to go to college and acted like a bum for too long. But she wasn’t an idiot, as he thought.
“I’ll see you in a few days after I meet with the realtor. I’ll tell you all about it!” he added when he was about to leave. She smiled and said goodbye, knowing he would be slightly surprised when he returned to their house.
“HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?” Bennett yelled through the phone later that night. He had apparently not returned home after dropping her off, so he only received the news way too late when he was finally at the house.
Mercedes’ real estate agent, a lovely woman named Cindy, had arranged everything and placed a For Sale sign along with a SOLD message on her lawn. She had been kind enough not to advertise much about the sale, so Bennett would only discover the truth once it was too late.
“Do what? Sale my own house?” she asked gently.
“I can’t believe this! Where’s the money?”
“My money is safe and sound somewhere you won’t find it,” Mercedes continued, losing her cool as her words erupted out of her throat. “After all these years, Bennett. I never thought you would do something like this to me. You wanted to kick me out of my own house and take my money for yourself? You would’ve spent it in a month!”
“Mom! NO! I was going to… ugh… do something…,” he stuttered.
“Sure,” she scoffed sarcastically.
“Where am I going to live?” he asked, lowering his voice and sounding like a little boy.
“Luckily, I did plan something for you. This is the last time I’ll help you. On the fridge, you’ll find Mr. Henderson’s phone number. He owns a pig farm a few miles north. His wife and I went to college together, and he agreed to give you a room and a small salary in exchange for work,” she explained calmly.
“Pig farm?!” he asked, outraged.
“Yes. I mean, I don’t think those pigs fly, but you can still start working. I’ll talk to you later, Bennett. It’s time for bed. Bye!” Mercedes sing-sang and hung up.
She didn’t hear from her son for several days and had yet to learn what he would do. However, she hoped for his sake he wouldn’t try to do something stupid in her old house. Luckily, Cindy called her at some point and said everything was ready for the new owners to move in.
Tears ran fast down his face, but he couldn’t stop reading his writing.
Therefore, Bennett had, at least, left without a fuss. A week later, Mr. Henderson called. “He came,” the farmer reported.
“How is he doing?” she wondered.
“He’s angry about working and making more of a mess. But it’s fine. He’ll have to get used to it,” her friend replied, and she agreed. It was time for Bennett to become a real adult. She had let him be a kid for way too long.
Working on a farm was not a dream. Bennett had never considered how hard it was to breed and raise animals. It was also disgusting because Mr. Henderson had him picking up poop, feeding, and washing the pigs. Bennett hated every moment of it for a long time until he didn’t.
His mother wouldn’t answer his calls. At first, he waited for her to call him and apologize for doing this. However, he finally realized it was all his fault. He had heard the Jamesons had sold their house for a considerable amount of money and got greedy.
His mother was right. He had planned to take the money and use it for himself. Bennett also knew that he would’ve probably spent it without thinking twice. Reluctantly, he had to admit that she did the right thing. He just wished it wasn’t so drastic.
Bennett had to sell almost everything he owned, including his television and PS5. His room at the farm was too small for them, and he didn’t have time to play anyway. Mr. Henderson had him working from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. most days.
Eventually, Bennett got the routine down and relished the work after months at the farm. That’s when Mr. Henderson began to pay him a decent salary. “You’ve been working hard without complaining lately. It’s time for you to start earning money and save for your own place,” he said.
Bennett felt a sense of accomplishment he had never experienced before. He had never received such praise for anything he did, not even in school. His mother was the only one who ever gave him compliments, but this was different. It was better.
Soon, he started working harder and smarter and investigated more about raising pigs. He even suggested some new things to Mr. Henderson, who listened intently. Two years passed, but finally, he decided it was time to visit his mother and apologize for everything he had done.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Miller. Mercedes died in her sleep a few days ago,” a nurse told him. “We didn’t have an emergency number or any information about you on file, so we didn’t know who to call. Thank God you’re here now.”
Bennett’s world came plummeting down as the nurse continued talking. He wasn’t listening. His mother was gone, and he never had a chance to apologize and thank her for everything she did throughout his life.
Sweat beaded on his forehead, and the nurse called several colleagues to guide him towards a chair. Bennett didn’t even realize he was feeling faint, and it took him a long time to digest the news. It didn’t seem possible. His mother had always seemed almost immortal to him his entire life.
He sat on the living room couch at the nursing home for a long time, lamenting how long it took him to return and begged for her forgiveness. He finally snapped when another employee at the institution asked him what he wanted to do about funeral arrangements.
At the very least, Bennett could throw his mother an excellent memorial service, so he talked at length with the employee and planned a lovely affair with all the money he had saved.
His mother had many friends, so he invited them all. Mr. Henderson and his wife came out and were both heartbroken for him. They knew he was no longer the boy who showed up reluctantly at their farm two years earlier.
They knew he wanted to do better, and now, he didn’t have much chance. Except he did. His speech at the ceremony had everything he needed to say to Mercedes. Tears ran fast down his face, but he couldn’t stop reading his writing.
He heard the sobs of the invitees and felt better, knowing that other people had loved her, too. “And now that you’re in a better place, Mom, I promise I will be the son you should’ve had when you were alive. Forgive me. I love you. I’ll miss you every day.”
The attendees clapped, and some of her friends had a few words, too. They all offered Bennett their support and left. Only he remained for a long time, thinking about his future. His mother was gone, but he hoped she had heard his words wherever she was.
Mr. Henderson told him he had a job at the farm for as long as he wanted. But was that his future? Should he do something else?
Someone tapped his shoulder. It was a strange man in an expensive black suit. “Yes?” Bennett asked, getting up. The man introduced himself as Mercedes’ lawyer, Mr. Samberg. To his shock, Mercedes had left him all the money she had left, which was considerable because the sale of her house had been so profitable.
That gave Bennett something else to think about. What would he do with the money? Two years, he would’ve partied and blown it over. But he barely wanted it then. Still, the lawyer arranged for him to access the money.
In the meantime, he returned to work with Mr. Henderson, who supported him through his grief. “Life happens, son. Sometimes, we don’t get a chance to make things right. But we have to move on. She would want you to move on. She knows you’re a real man now,” the farmer encouraged him.
He knew those words were true, but he still felt a stab in his chest every time he thought of the person he had been to his mother. Therefore, he decided not to use the money and keep working on the farm. Years later, he was running it and expanding it.
Mr. Henderson made him a business partner some time afterward, and Bennett could only hope that his mother was finally proud of him.
What can we learn from this story?
You might not get a chance to make things right later. You never know what can happen, so apologize, forgive, and makeup with your loved ones because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Raise your children to be independent even if they live at home. Many kids don’t move out of their childhood home, but that doesn’t mean they can remain irresponsible and careless their entire life.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.