Disabled Veteran Tends to Baby of Neighbor Who Just Got Fired and Is Looking for Job – Story of the Day
A retired veteran who lost an arm in combat assists his new neighbor looking for a job by caring for her baby. Little does he know what life has in store for them.
Edward had never thought anything would hurt him more than the war until he lost his beloved family—his beautiful wife and daughter. Losing his loved ones rendered his life bleak. He was disabled in one arm and unloved. He had nothing to cherish. No love. No family. Nothing.
Drowning in his loneliness, Edward sometimes spent the entire day in bed or looking out his bedroom window at his happy neighbors. Unlike him, they had families to spend time with. They had a reason to live. How cruel was life to him, taking away his wife and only child in an accident? Edward often pondered.
But one day, a woman moved into the empty house next to him, and his life changed. She was lovely, and her newborn boy was adorable, Edward thought.
The woman grinned when she noticed Edward looking at her, so he said a “hi,” waving his only arm. A smile danced on her lips, and he decided to greet her. He stepped out of his seclusion, which he hadn’t done in years…
“I’m Edward, miss,” he said, introducing himself. “Looks like you got a handsome man with you.”
She smiled, and the baby giggled. “Nice to meet you, Edward,” she said. “I’m Natalie, and this is Joe. He is not easy to deal with, by the way.”
Oh, that’s how kids are!” he said gently. “I know since I raised a daughter!”
“That’s wonderful!” she replied. “Is she married?”
“She left me a little too soon, darling. She’s now in God’s home with my wife. I live alone.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Natalie apologized. “Can I ask you what happened to your arm, if you don’t mind?”
“Oh, I used to be in the army and injured myself on the battlefield…” he said. “If you have time, dear, please join me for tea. After all, it’s not every day that a cute little man moves to the neighborhood.”
“That’d be my pleasure, Edward,” she said. “I’ll see you in the evening if that’s okay. I need to get some work done.”
“Of course, of course. I’ll see you around.”
That evening, Edward had company for the first time in several years. Natalie and Joe visited him, and he was delighted.
Natalie was a single mother who was raising Joe on her own after her husband’s death. She’d moved to a smaller house in Edward’s neighborhood after being fired. She said she was looking for remote work because Joe was small, and she couldn’t afford a nanny.
“But most of the openings only allow for a blended mode or working from the office, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to find one very soon. Joe is so small that I can’t leave him alone.”
“I can help you with your baby,” Edward offered. “Oh, I’ve had nothing to do all day, and I would love to help.”
“Will you?” she asked. “But Edward, it’ll be a problem for you. No, I don’t think I’d accept that.”
Kindness is like a boomerang; it always comes back to you.
“Do you think so because I only have one arm and am disabled?” questioned Edward. “Miss, I served in the army years ago! While I may not be very young, I still look after this house on my own.”
Natalie wasn’t sure about Edward’s help, but she needed help desperately, so she agreed.
“That’s very kind of you, Edward. I’m sorry for bothering you with this… We’ve met each other just now, and you’re doing this… Thank you very much.”
“Oh, don’t thank me!” he said politely. “I’d love to have some company. Besides, Joe reminds me of my daughter when she was little. It’s really not a problem.”
From that day on, Edward’s life took a turn. He’d been feeling lonely until Natalie and Joe entered his life. Joe’s beautiful giggles made him feel alive. And even though he struggled to change his diaper, rock him, or feed him with only one arm, he loved it. He loved it more than anything else.
Meanwhile, Natalie went for her job interviews, relaxed that her baby was in safe hands, and when she found a job, she could afford to return late from work because Edward was there for Joe.
One day, Joe dozed off on his chest while he was singing him a lullaby, and Edward couldn’t take his eyes off the baby. After many years, he remembered his late wife that day and said, “Maybe life isn’t all bad, honey. You won’t believe it, but I wish to live many more years. I think it’ll be a while before we see each other.”
Joe and Natalie had become Edward’s life—the company he’d not had in years. They had made him remember what being loved felt like.
One day, Natalie returned early from work and told Edward she wanted to have a serious talk with him. “You are no longer looking after Joe, Edward!” she said as she took Joe from him.
Edward was shocked. He loved the little boy so much. Had he done something wrong? Had he hurt them unintentionally?
“What happened, darling?” he asked, worried. “Did I do something wrong?”
“Yes, you did…Something very wrong!” she said stiffly, and Edward’s heart sank. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he was about to cry and apologize when his neighbors poured in through the front door with a cake and began singing happy birthday to him.
“Happy birthday, Edward!” Natalie exclaimed, smiling. “Sorry for scaring you like that… I was changing Joe’s diaper in your bedroom a few days ago when I noticed your table calendar on your side table. You didn’t even tell me that it was your birthday!”
“Oh, darling,” sobbed Edward. “I—I haven’t celebrated my birthday in years.”
“Well, you will now! Come on, let’s cut the cake…And I’ve got an offer for you!”
“Would you like to be Joe’s grandfather and become our family? I know the role is tough, but we are really hoping you wouldn’t say no…”
“Oh, dear!” Edward cried. “Angel…You are an angel, darling. Thank you. I’d love to, oh, I’d love that so much!”
“Well, you were an angel in our lives too, Edward. We are so glad we met you.”
That year, Edward had the best birthday, and he had many more birthdays like that in the company of Natalie and Joe.
Then years later, when Natalie found herself a man who loved her and Joe, she asked Edward to walk her down the aisle, which the older man appreciated and honored with all his heart.
You never walk alone. There are people who’ll help you out in trouble. When Natalie didn’t have anyone to help her with Joe, Edward came to her aid.
Kindness is like a boomerang; it always comes back to you. Edward helped Natalie and looked after Joe, even though they were mere strangers initially. That kindness came back to him in the form of a family’s love.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a veteran who fled from his fiancée to avoid being a burden on her, only to find her with a priest on his porch the next day.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to [email protected]