A heartless father leaves his crying son behind to begin a new life with his new love. Little does he know karma will bring him back to his son years later in dire straits.
Ron Henson had the sweetest home, or so the little boy believed. His mommy and daddy never fought, they celebrated little moments and achievements together, and his elder brother adored him.
So it was natural for Ron’s heart to wonder why one day, his mommy started sleeping in the guest bedroom. His daddy had also started returning late from work, and they no longer watched movies together on Friday nights.
Worried, he woke up his elder brother Peter one night to discuss it.
“Are mommy and daddy ok, Peter?” he asked. “I heard Daddy say he is meeting a lawyer…and, and…mommy wants custody! What does that mean?”
“Dude!” Peter grumbled, not wanting to wake up. “Can we discuss this tomorrow? It’s normal for so many families! They’re getting a divorce!”
“A what?” asked Ron, worried. “Are they going to live in different homes? Can we no longer eat pizza together?”
“Hey, hey, Ron, calm down, ok? Mom’s gonna get our custody coz dad doesn’t want it anyway! They were waiting to tell you once things were finalized…Dad cheated on mom, Ron! He was having an affair! He hurt mom!”
“But Daddy loves mommy, and he loves us!” said the little boy in tears.
“Hey, it’s alright, ok. Mom and I are here for you.”
Peter hugged Ron and consoled him. He did what any older, loving brother would. But Ron’s heart was not at peace. He couldn’t believe his superhero, his daddy, had done such a thing.
Ron decided to save his family. He knew his daddy would never leave his mommy if he cried and begged him not to. Whenever his father saw him sad, he would get him what he wanted. Ron knew that would work this time too. His little heart was confident about it.
So one morning, when his mother, Sharon, called him and told him the truth, Ron was calm, a plan ready at the back of his mind.
“He’s leaving tonight, honey,” Sharon said, her voice breaking. “But I’m here, Ron, and I’ll always be here for you and Peter, ok?”
Revisiting the painful past only adds to the agony and grief.
Ron nodded and didn’t say anything, though he suddenly wanted to cry. He swallowed his tears and pretended to be strong.
But when he saw his daddy walking out the front door with his bags, he ran to him, hugged his feet, and began to cry.
“Daddy! Please, don’t leave! Look, I’m sad! I’m just so sad! You’re not leaving, right?” he sobbed.
“Ron, dear,” his father, Darren, said quietly. “My taxi’s waiting. I need to go.”
“But why, Daddy? This is your house, too!” screamed the boy in tears. “You love me, and I love you. Please don’t go, daddy! Please!”
Ron’s tears didn’t move Darren. The older man waited until Peter pulled Ron out of the way, then turned around and walked out. No sorry. No goodbye. No “I love you.” Nothing.
After Darren left, the family struggled a lot. Sharon didn’t have a job then, and the divorce had already drained her savings. She began washing dishes at a diner to raise her boys and vowed to give so much love to them that they’d never miss their father.
But one day years later, while cleaning Ron’s room, Sharon peered into his computer, which had been left on, and froze. She found out Ron was looking for Darren. Why? Why did he do that? That night, she sat him down and confronted him.
“He never contacted us even once all these years, hun. Why would you do that?”
“Mom,” said Ron. “He is my father. He is family, and you don’t give up on family.”
“Then why did he give up on us, Ron? Why didn’t he consider that when he abandoned us and left you wailing in the doorway? Please, stop looking for him! He was an awful husband and an even awful father! If you still want to go against your mother, go ahead, Ron, but that man is dead to me! He means nothing to me!” she said, bursting into tears.
Ron couldn’t see Sharon in pain, and he realized he had hurt her. He promised her he would never do it again and decided to stop looking for Darren.
“I swear I’m not going to look for dad, mom,” he said, hugging her. “I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to hurt you.”
But neither Ron nor Sharon knew fate had other plans. The tables would soon be turned, and Ron would meet Darren…
13 years later…
Ron, 28, walked out of his office and called Peter, who worked for the company just a few buildings away. The brothers often had lunch at a small bistro across the street from Ron’s office.
After ordering their food, Ron and Peter exited the cafe when they saw a beggar on the street, his back facing them, begging the passers-by for food.
The brothers felt bad and bought a donut and a cup of coffee for the poor guy, but as they saw his face, they were shocked. Fate brought them face to face with the man who had walked out on them. Would the sons forgive him?
“Dad?” cried Ron. “What—what happened to you?”
Peter smirked. “Jesus! I just wasted a few dollars and bought that food for nothing! But that’s ok; he can still eat it. Let’s go, Ron!”
“Hey, Peter, wait! We can’t leave him like this! He’s Dad!”
“So? That changes nothing, Ron! He’s a nobody! I’m off, bye!”
Peter walked away, without turning back to look at their father, but Ron couldn’t do that. He brought Darren to the cafe, got him food, and patiently listened to his story.
It turned out Darren was deceived by his new wife, who kicked him out of the house after transferring the house and his assets to her name. Darren couldn’t handle it, so he turned to drinking to help him cope, which destroyed his life and brought him to the streets.
“You’re coming home with me, dad!” Ron said, feeling terrible after hearing his father’s story. “You can live with me, alright? I’ll help you.”
“I can’t, son,” the older man said in tears. “As Peter said, I deserve this life. What I did came back to bite me. Leave me alone, son. Go away, just go away.”
“I won’t, dad. I can’t give up on my family! I know what you did was terrible, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re still related. You’re still my father, and a family never gives up on their loved ones…”
After a lot of convincing, Ron brought Darren home. He told Peter and Sharon that he would forgive Darren because he wanted to be free of the pain he’d suffered years ago. Also because the younger Ron was happy, even if he despised his father for years, wanting to know why he had abandoned him.
It was enough for him to know Darren had admitted his mistake. That healed the younger and grown-up Ron’s broken heart.
What can we learn from this story?
Forgiving is not easy, but a strong heart can and should. Ron knew that for little Ron’s heart to heal, he would have to forgive Darren and move on, and so he did, even though it wasn’t easy.
Revisiting the painful past only adds to the agony and grief. After getting over the past and moving on, Ron’s mind was relieved, and so was his heart.
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