A poor mother struggling to feed her ailing young son sings a song at a subway station to receive alms. One day a rich man recognizes the text and kneels down in front of her and weeps.
Rachel sat on the platform and watched the people walking past her, minding their own business. The next train would be here in a few minutes, she knew as she watched the passengers preparing to board. But that wasn’t why Rachel had come.
“Mom, I’m hungry and my leg hurts,” said Dave, her ailing six-year-old son, who was lying on her lap, in a despairing voice.
Rachel knew she had run out of money after spending it all on lunch. She placed an empty cup in front of her and began to sing a song that was close to her heart…
People, distracted by her sweet voice, didn’t seem to notice her pain. Most were busy on their cell phones, some were looking for a coin to toss in their mugs, and others weren’t even looking.
Rachel didn’t care about her ignorance. She wanted alms for a song she had been humming all her life. She stared at the dirty floor with her desperate eyes, made a long face and sang the tune she used to sing to her little boy.
“That song? I’ve heard it before. But who sings it? And how does she know the lyrics?”
“God, please help me get over my worries. Even if all these people would ever put in a coin, I’d have enough to buy my son dinner and some ointment,” she thought as she sang.
A few minutes later, Rachel heard some coins being thrown into her mug. She didn’t smile and looked up with an effort to thank the person through her tears. It was understandable that she was just another desolate homeless woman with a child using her talent to earn a living. Several minutes passed while Rachel sang the song over and over again. At first nothing seemed unusual. The train arrived and people got on while some others got off and streamed towards the main exit.
Rachel paused a little to see if her son was okay. “Dave, honey, just a few more minutes. And then we’ll go, okay?”
Dave was panting heavily. He was hungry and in pain because of his injured leg. Two days ago Dave had a bad fall while playing. It happened in the same parking lot where the mother and her son usually slept on a pile of old cardboard from the dumpster.
The train sped past the platform, bringing Rachel back to the present. She coughed, adjusted her voice, and began singing the tune again. But this time, a wealthy man who had just stepped off the train was eerily drawn to her voice and lyrics. It was 27-year-old Jeffrey who for some reason realized he’d heard this song before.
“This song? I’ve heard it before. But who sings it? And how does she know the lyrics that only my grandma, my sister and I knew?” he asked himself and walked towards where Rachel was standing .
As Jeffrey approached the spot, tears slowly welled up in his eyes. Rachel was just engrossed in her sweet tune when a long shadow of a man fell on her, distracting her.
“Oh my god! RACHEL, is it you? Jesus, I’m so sorry,” Jeffrey sobbed, falling to his knees. “Please forgive me for doing this to you, sister.”
Rachel’s heart started beating faster. It felt like it was about to burst from her chest because in that moment all her past pain came back.
“Brother? Oh my god Jeffrey, is that you?” she yelled.
The siblings stared at each other in tears, remembering the one mistake Jeffrey made 18 years ago that cost Rachel more than her happiness.
When Jeffrey and Rachel were young, they lost their parents in a car accident. They moved in with their grandmother, Alice, who took care of them in place of their parents. She was all they had.
Whenever the siblings were depressed because of thinking about their parents, she would sing them a beautiful tune to comfort them. “Sing this song whenever your heart feels heavy. And you’ll feel a lot better,” she often said, cradling Jeffrey and Rachel in her arms.
The family was happy with what little they had. There were no problems in their paradise until one day Alice died of a heart attack. Her loss was unbearable and the children were sent to a home before they could even get over it or grieve properly. Here Jeffrey got a fresh start to improve his life.
A wealthy couple adopted him while Rachel stayed behind. Nobody wanted her because she was limping. They only saw her disability but not her heart that longed for love and care. Rachel was devastated, but she was comforted when Jeffrey promised to come back to her. But who could have guessed that with this promise he would also break her heart?
“I promise I’ll come back to you sister. Stay strong and wait for me. I’ll come and take you with me,” promised nine-year-old Jeffrey before saying a painful goodbye to his sister. On that fateful day, Rachel saw Jeffrey for the last time. He never came back to her.
Seduced by his new wealthy life, Jeffrey slowly forgot about his little sister and his promise to her. He assumed someone would adopt her, but fate had something else in store for poor Rachel.
Rachel left the home of her own accord after turning 18. She fell in love with a man and dreamed of starting a family together. Rachel was young, beautiful and madly in love. She trusted him and thought he would be everything to her, but she was wrong.
Rachel’s dreams ended the day her boyfriend broke up with her when she revealed her pregnancy. After losing all hope in life, she pulled herself together to live for her baby and soak up the pain.
Poor Rachel couldn’t find a job as no one was willing to hire her with no prior experience. They saw her disability as a nasty excuse not to hire her.
Rachel’s life was filled with worries, but the only reason she smiled was when she held little Dave in her hands for the first time. She was homeless, but she was determined not to let her son starve. With all the courage she could muster, Rachel went to different subway and bus stations every day and sang the song her grandmother taught her to receive alms.
“…And I did that to raise my son,” she said. Jeffrey’s guilty conscience was beginning to weigh on him, and he had no answer. The young man, now a wealthy businessman who had taken over his adoptive father’s business, did the unthinkable in front of viewers.
“Sis, I’m sorry. I know that’s a small word compared to what you’ve been through. But I promise your days will get better from now on,” he said, taking in the ailing Dave his arms. Rachel was shocked and stood up, using a cane to support herself because of her limp.
Jeffrey put his arm around Rachel’s shoulder and said, “Let’s go home, sis!”
Warm teardrops rolled down Rachel’s cheeks. For the first time in years, she shed tears of joy and felt her heart lighten as she felt her brother’s warmth around her.
On that day, Jeffrey and Rachel got back together after 18 horrible years apart. Jeffrey not only offered them shelter in his luxurious home, but also paid for his little nephew’s treatment. He hired a therapist who nursed his sister and gave her a makeover that no longer reminded her of the ugly emotional scars she had to bear her entire life.
Today’s world is so competitive and most are chasing after the money. But does that mean you can just forget your loved ones? Do you think siblings like Jeffrey should respect relationships and not trade that love for money?
What can we learn from this story?
Money is just a material possession compared to real relationships. When a wealthy couple adopted Jeffrey, he promised his sister Rachel that he would come get her. But he was absorbed in his newfound rich life and forgot his promise. He abandoned Rachel and forgot her existence until he met her in the subway station 18 years later.
Every struggle will end one day if you believe in God. Despite her difficult times, Rachel kept asking God for a good change in her life. Her prayer was answered when her estranged brother reunited with her later that day.