Ruth was a kind and gentle woman. At only 16 years old, she got married and soon after got pregnant. At 30, she already had three children: Luna, the eldest aged 14; Philip aged 12; and Matthew aged 10. Her husband, Simon, was an alcoholic and spent all of their money on drinks. When the children were still very young to remember, Simon abandoned Ruth with the children and never came back. He left the young woman, who was around 25 at the time, alone, afraid, and with no money.
The woman raised her children alone; she didn’t have any support from her relatives as they weren’t very close. She went through several hardships – they didn’t have enough to eat, and every night she had to see her children cry from hunger. They were also kicked out of their house due to the rents being overdue for months. She had no choice but to leave her children with strangers while she worked, but she immediately regretted it after catching the little ones being mistreated.
Ruth went through hell to take care of her children, but even though she didn’t have much, she was hardworking and did everything she could to raise her children well. She sold candies and sweets by the traffic lights, did embroidery, picked up cans on the street, and even worked at a landfill picking up plastic bottles to sell. After so much struggle, Ruth got a job as a cleaner at a rich lady’s house; however, the rich woman soon regretted hiring her when she found out that Ruth was bringing her children to work since she had no one to look after them.
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So when Matthew, Ruth’s youngest son, picked up some fruit in the kitchen, the mistress made a scene and took the opportunity to fire her. Unemployed and without two nickels to rub together, Ruth never lost hope and never stopped running after any job that could bring food to the table. And so, with great difficulty, she managed to raise her children.
The young mother highly valued studies since she didn’t have the opportunity to finish high school after she got married. Her dream was to see her children graduate from college. She knew that was the only way they would get good jobs and have a different, more prosperous future than hers. As the years went by, Ruth always encouraged her children to focus on their studies. She helped them with their homework and even took the textbooks she found in the trash for her children to read and learn new things. And most importantly, she would never let them work.
When Luna was 16 years old, Ruth let her take care of the younger brothers while she was away at work. With Luna’s help, Ruth could be more at ease. So Ruth decided to take it easy and just keep the job of selling chocolate truffles at the traffic lights. With the little money she made, Ruth was able to buy some food to eat that day and the ingredients to sell the next day. That’s how they lived day after day.
The children were kind and very close to their mother. They saw the huge effort she made to support them and kept asking to help her with the sales. But even though Ruth didn’t want to let them work, she had no other choice. Things were getting more and more expensive at the market, and only her sales were no longer enough to pay the bills. So Philip and Matthew, now 15 and 13 years old, started helping their mom with the sales at the traffic lights to make extra money.
They would also sell embroidery dishcloths and beads that Luna made. Luna, at her mother’s request, after school would stay at home and study for the SATs since she was already 17 years old and soon would be graduating. When she wasn’t studying, the young girl would prepare the materials for her brothers to sell the next day.
Ruth was very proud of all her children and was absolutely certain that Luna would succeed in her exams and secure a spot at a great University. Luna was a very smart and hard-working young girl and wanted to get accepted at a med school. The girl studied all day long, and that made her mother very proud. Ruth would happily tell everyone that someday her daughter would be a great doctor.
The days went by, and the Truffle sales decided to improve a little. One day, George, a very wealthy man who also came from a humble family, stopped at the traffic light and saw the young mother and her two children working. He remembered the time when his parents had to work like that to support them and was very moved by Ruth’s family. George called for Ruth and said, “Good afternoon, ma’am. What are they selling over there?”
Ruth showed the rich man her truffles, and the two boys showed handmade bracelets and beads with a kind heart. The rich man decided to buy everything the family was selling. Ruth, Philip, and Matthew couldn’t believe it; they were bursting with happiness. The youngest son jumping off joy and looking at his mother, said, “We can go home early today, mommy.” Moving the rich man even more, George paid for the goods and even gave them an extra hundred dollars. Then he left.
The mother and the boys were overjoyed. They went straight to the market to buy food for the day and the ingredients for the truffles. The boys ran through the market and grabbed whatever they saw. Ruth, very happy, let them take the things that weren’t so expensive. She asked each of them to choose something they really wanted. Philip chose a pack of cookies, and Matthew chose a pack of potato chips. Then the two boys chose a small pot of chocolate powder for their sister. They made a grocery purchase like never before. The three of them went home very happy and satisfied.
Halfway through on their way home, the family was robbed by two thieves on a motorcycle. The thieves took their money and even took all the groceries they had bought, then quickly fled. The mother and children were left with nothing, absolutely nothing, not even with the ingredients to make the next day’s truffles. The boys were heartbroken, and Ruth’s heart ached to see her children crying. But trying to stay strong, she hugged them and said, “It’s okay, my darlings. Don’t worry. Tomorrow Mom will find a way. We’ll be okay. We always work it out.”
When they finally arrived home, Ruth sent the boys straight to bed and took it to Luna. “Honey, I need you to take care of your brothers tonight. I need to go out, but I’ll be back in the morning, okay?” The daughter, a little worried, agreed, and Ruth got her things and left.
Ruth spent the whole night picking up cans and bottles from the trash of restaurants and nightclubs. By dawn, she had sold the cans and bottles, and with the little money she got, she went straight to the market and bought the ingredients to make the truffles and some bread for breakfast. Ruth went back home with Luna’s help, who was already awake. The truffles were ready in time when the boys woke up. Everyone had breakfast together, and the children went to school.
Ruth started embroidering the dishcloths after lunch. Luna and the boys came back from school. The young mother and her two boys went out again to sell the truffles at the traffic lights while Luna studied for her exams. The boys were very happy; their mother was a hero; she found a way, as promised. But they quickly got sad, seeing how tired their mom was since she didn’t get any sleep. So they returned to their busy lives. The three children went to school in the mornings, and in the afternoon, the boys went to work with their mother, while Luna stayed at home and studied all day for the exams.
On the week of the exams, Luna, at the behest of her mother, only studied and didn’t work. Though things got a little more difficult for Ruth, she was confident that her daughter would do great on the exams and told everyone about it. Some mean relatives, who could only see people’s flaws, always made fun of the poor mother there and discouraged her, saying that her children were destined to failure.
However, when the exam results came out, everyone was shocked when the girl actually got a spot in medical school at one of the best universities in the country. The family saw the admission letter on their old cell phone—the phone had a cracked screen, and the family used the neighbor’s internet since the old phone was very fond of them. It was the only phone they had, and it was through that old cell phone that Luna was able to study all year.
Ruth jumped up and down, celebrating her daughter’s college admission. Luna, although happy for her admission, wasn’t so excited to study away from home since she would no longer be there to take care of her siblings. She was worried that her mother would be even more overwhelmed. “Don’t worry, Lulu. I will take care of Matthew now,” said Philip, reassuring his sister. “That’s right, honey. We’re going to be fine. We always find a way, remember?” said the mother, very proud of her daughter.
The moving day came, and Luna got ready to finally go to college. Ruth saved some money she had and gave it to her daughter, who had just turned 18. The mother said it was her birthday gift, and that she was supposed to spend it on something she really wanted. The girl cried and, as much as she tried to refuse, her mother insisted that Luna accepted the gift. Luna hugged her family, said her goodbyes, and then left, promising that soon enough, she would be able to help her family.
In the first months of college, Luna managed to get a scholarship that supported her stay in the new city. With the little money her mother had given her, the young girl bought a new cell phone so that she could always call her family. Even with her full schedule, Luna worked as a waitress on weekends and sent all the money she earned to her mother. Ruth, in turn, would send all the money her daughter sent for her second son, Philip, who had already finished high school and soon would also be taking the SATs. The young man followed his sister’s example and studied throughout the year.
Now only the mother and the youngest son would work, selling the truffles. Sometimes, Ruth would sell some dishcloths that she embroidered, but she didn’t have much time to embroider anymore since she was busy all day. A few months passed, and Philip also got accepted at a great university. The boy was going to study Computer Engineering; it had always been his dream. But just like Luna, the boy was worried for his mother, since he would also have to move away from home.
Ruth assured her son that everything would be just fine, and then Ruth and the boys called Luna, and the whole family celebrated the wonderful news. “How wonderful! Congratulations, Phil. You deserve it,” said Luna with joy.
During his vacation while waiting for the new semester to start, Philip helped his mother and younger brother sell truffles as much as he could. Ruth was more and more proud of her children. Close to the moving day, Philip worried for his mother and little brother. “I’m already 15, Phil. I can take care of myself, and I’ll take care of the man from now on. You can chill, big bro,” said Matthew.
With the money that her daughter sent, Ruth managed to save enough to buy a laptop for Philip. Just like with Luna on the moving day, the mother gave her son a present. “Here you go, my son. Now you can do your college assignments properly.” The boy cried and hugged his mother, then his little brother. Finally, he said his goodbyes and left, with a smile saying that he would be back as a rich man like his sister.
Philip managed to work part-time and also sent what he could to his mother and brother. Shortly after, the young man was approved for an internship grant that would pay for all of his expenses. Ruth went back to selling her truffles at the traffic lights, but this time she was all alone. Now it was Matthew’s turn to study for the SATs. He didn’t want his mom to work so hard to support both of them, so he decided to work at 30 for the exams in his first year of high school.
To everyone’s surprise, Matthew was a prodigy and managed to get into a law school at just 16 years old. Ruth couldn’t be happier; she called her two children, and they all rejoiced at the news. Even her relatives, who were always looking down on them and making fun of them, were now ashamed and apologized.
Although his college was in a nearby city, Matthew wouldn’t have to move away from home. And even though he didn’t want to leave his mother alone, the boy had to go. All Ruth wanted was for her children to follow their dreams. On the moving day, Matthew also received a sum of money as a gift from his mother. He cried and hugged her, then his little brother. Smiling, he left.
Ruth was all alone now. Sometimes she would walk around the house and see her children’s empty beds, and her heart would ache with longing. But she was happy, very happy, because she had raised her three children to have big opportunities in life. The three children always made the effort to come home for the holidays, and when all of them were together, it was Ruth’s greatest joy.
Luna, Philip, and Matthew were now able to support themselves, and Ruth would sell her truffles only a few days a week. The children would always send her money, and so Ruth no longer had to work every day on the streets. Life was getting better for Ruth and her children. Soon, Luna graduated and got an internship at a renowned hospital.
Everyone made it to the ceremony, and the young woman moved everyone with a great speech and heartfelt tribute to her mother. “You sacrificed and dedicated yourself to us. You did everything you could so that I had the opportunity to study and have a good education. I learned to be strong and brave with you. I owe everything I am to you, Mom. And if I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come, it’s because you came and held my hand.”
After a few years, the eldest daughter also took her master’s and doctorate degrees. The two youngest boys graduated from college. Now all of Ruth’s children were graduated and employed. The three moved to a big city and had great job opportunities.
Luna became a dermatologist, Philip became the chief programmer at a renowned technology company, and Matthew was the youngest and most respected lawyer at a famous law firm in the city. Now their lives were a dream come true, and Ruth couldn’t be happier.
However, her only sorrow was that she lived in the countryside far away from her children. But Ruth could hardly imagine the surprise that was waiting for her. The three siblings, now successful, decided to buy a huge house in a private condominium with everything Ruth could want – lots of rooms, an amazing kitchen, swimming pool, barbecue area, and a garage for at least four cars. The three siblings picked up their mother at her old house and took her to live with them.
Ruth arrived at their new home and saw their big surprise. She fell on her knees and cried with joy. She thanked the heavens that she was able to fulfill her purpose in life, which was to raise her children to be good people. And now, they were all together again, and so the family was united once more. Ruth was able to rest from her busy life. Her children gave her only the best, and she didn’t want for anything.
Now it was time for the children to take care of their good mother. The siblings always sacrificed and dedicated themselves to make sure their mother had everything she needed and more. Ruth lived the rest of her days surrounded by love and happiness. She was proud of her children, and her children were grateful and proud of their loving, strong, and brave mother.