Retired social worker Cindy suffered the most brutal loss of her life when she lost her husband, Adam, at age 35. Over the next few decades, her life would turn into a dark, haunted nightmare of grief, loneliness, and pain.
She retired at 69 and had no children or anyone she could call “family”. Poor Cindy has only memories of her late husband, their unfulfilled dreams of having children, and the dark phase of her childhood she spent on the streets with her homeless parents.
Although they were only temporarily homeless after a hurricane, it left an indelible scar on Cindy’s soul, something she could never forget.
To anyone who knew of Cindy’s retirement, it seemed like she had happily settled down to enjoy her pension. It was not free money. She deserved every penny for her years of dedication and hard work.
She was unprepared for what she would see that night. She heard a violent knocking on her door and turned off the sound of the television before getting up to answer.
While Cindy could have easily spent her old age peacefully on her allowance, she didn’t want to do that. Something else haunted her mind something about the homeless people in the subway station she encountered on her way to work every day. They reminded her of her childhood and her parents’ struggles to afford at least one good meal a day.
Cindy was grateful to have escaped the streets and the misery of homelessness, but it hurt her that few were so blessed. So she spent her entire pension buying groceries and cooking dinner for 25 homeless people she knew.
Every day, Cindy got up early and started working in the kitchen. First, she cooked huge pots of porridge and packed them in several disposable containers. Then she would start making sandwiches, then tortillas and vegetables. Steak rolls and burgers were included on his weekend menu.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Cindy ate whatever she cooked for the homeless. She never did anything special or separate for herself. And cooking dinner for so many people a day, including herself, was no easy task.
But there she was, doing all she could to feed the hungry people she knew. The homeless at the subway station never thanked Cindy for her kindness. They even asked her where she lived, but she refused to divulge her address.
“I’m just an old lady who doesn’t want you to go to sleep hungry!” she often joked. But who knew that one day one of the guys would quietly slip up behind Cindy with her friends and gather all her homeless buddies outside her house the next night?
” Hurry up! We have to get there on time. We have to surprise her!” said the man named Jonathan. Her buddies from the homeless troop agreed and walked to Cindy’s address. She had no idea they were coming to her with something she could never imagine.
That day, Cindy had taken a break from the kitchen. Not that she’s exhausted or that she’s given up. She had given the homeless snacks that would not spoil over the weekend.
Even though Cindy took the break, she made sure the people who were relying on her had something to eat. What a good heart Cindy had! But she was unprepared for what she would see that night. She heard a violent knocking on her door and turned off the sound of the television before getting up to answer.
“Who came to see me at this hour? she wondered. “I’m coming, one second…”
On her terrace stood the 25 homeless people she had fed. ” Oh my God! What brought you here, and how did you find my address? she cried as Jonathan walked towards her with a box. Cindy was surprised.
” Happy birthday! they yelled, startling Cindy. “Happy birthday, happy birthday sweetie” they sang as a stunned Cindy burst into tears.
It turned out that Jonathan and some homeless people had followed Cindy home the night before without her knowledge. They overheard her talking to someone on the phone and telling them she wasn’t going anywhere the next day because it was her 70th birthday.
“We didn’t want to impose ourselves or anything. We just wanted to know