Twin brothers decided to sell lemonade and their toys outside their home to help their single mom pay the bills after realizing her health was deteriorating. One day, a luxurious car pulled up next to their stand.
Alexa raised her twin sons Alonso and Alfredo alone after her husband left them when the kids were only a year old. Although she was a housewife at the time, she was forced to work two jobs, which eventually took a toll on her health.
Before their separation, Alexa and her ex-husband Steph were in a happy relationship. They enjoyed raising their children together as well as the honeymoon phase of their early married life.
That all changed when Alexa was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease with no cure. It is a costly disease, needing maintenance medicine that took a toll on Steph and Alexa’s monthly budgeting.
At one point, the family needed so much money that something in Steph finally snapped. “I can’t do this anymore!” he yelled. “I feel like an ATM in this family. All I do is give when I receive nothing in return from any of you!” he complained to Alexa.
“I’m sorry, honey. I’ll find a job so I can help pay the bills. I can leave the kids with my mom. I’m sure she’d be happy to take care of them,” she offered.
“No! And then what will our friends say? They’ll say I’m an irresponsible husband who forced his sick wife to work. They’ll think I’m not capable of raising a family!” Steph argued.
Alexa was confused with what Steph was trying to imply. She thought he was subtly asking her to work, but when she offered, he refused. “Then what do you want us to do?” she asked him.
“I want to have a normal family,” Steph suddenly blurted out. “How am I supposed to have a normal family with a wife who has a life-long incurable disease?”
Alexa’s heart sank as soon as she heard this. She never wanted to get sick, and she never wanted to be a burden to anyone. “I’m sorry you feel that way, Steph,” she said sadly. “I never wanted to have lupus. The diagnosis pains me just as much as it frustrates you.”
“Well, I’m sorry, Alexa. I think we should end things now than in the future. I don’t want to take out my frustrations on the kids, and I don’t think I can spend the rest of my life living this way. We should get a divorce,” Steph told her before walking out the door.
Alexa was devastated. She sank to the floor and sobbed, not knowing what to do. She loved Steph dearly, and she thought they made a promise in front of God to be together “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.”
After Steph moved out, Alexa called her mom crying. “He just left me, mom. I don’t know what to do. I feel so lost.”
It took Stephanie less than thirty minutes to make it to her daughter’s house. She hugged her the entire evening, trying to console her while looking out for the twins. “Mommy’s here. Cry it out, sweetheart.”
Stephanie allowed her to grieve. After a while, she encouraged her to toughen up and start looking for jobs to raise her children in a comfortable environment.
Eventually, Alexa got an excellent job working as a designer at a local flower shop. It allowed her to pay the bills and have a little extra money to save for rainy days.
Life went on as usual for the family. Stephanie sold her apartment and started living with Alexa and the two kids. She was happy to be a full-time grandmother, as she had always dreamt about that point in her life.
“I’m sorry for burdening you with childcare, mom. You should be enjoying your retirement,” Alexa said one day after seeing her mom still doing the laundry at nine in the evening.
“Don’t be silly, Alexa. I LOVE being a grandmother. I enjoy being home all day with Alonso and Alfredo. Don’t sweat it; just promise not to work so hard. Spend some time with us. You can’t stress yourself out because you might relapse,” she warned.
A couple of years passed, and life went on as usual for the family. Alexa got promoted to senior partner at the flower shop she worked in and started working longer hours with the flower shop owners.
Unfortunately, thriving at work and earning more took a toll on her health, and the disease took a more aggressive form. Alexa started experiencing muscle, joint, and chest pains, which hindered her ability to work.
Alexa started spending more and more time at home, and her maintenance medicine started piling up and becoming more costly. Eventually, the money ran out, even with her savings from the past couple of years.
“Mom, I don’t know what to do,” Alexa weakly told her mom one night. “I don’t want the kids to grow up with nothing, but my medicines are just so expensive,” she cried. “It’s like I have to choose between my kids’ future and my ability to stay alive to see that future.”
Stephanie assured her daughter she’d help pay the bills for as long as she could, but even Stephanie’s savings would eventually deplete, given she was already retired.
Little did Stephanie and Alexa know that Alonso and Alfredo were listening in on their conversation. “Something’s not right,” Alonso told his brother. “Mom needs our help.”
Even at six years old, the twins understood what was happening at home. That night, they made plans to help their mom.
“Alonso, let’s put up a lemonade stand outside the house every afternoon. That way, we can earn some money for mom,” Alfredo suggested.
“That’s a great idea! Let’s draw some signage we can put up in the garage and around the neighborhood,” Alonso said, getting some paper and their box of coloring materials.
They began to work on the signage, and Alonso suddenly wondered whether they’d be earning enough. “Do you think this is okay already? Maybe we can sell more things,” he suggested.
The twin brothers started looking around the room, searching for things they could sell. “I guess we could sell our toys?” Alfredo offered. “Mom is more important than all of our toys.”
Alonso nodded his head in agreement. They retrieved a box from their closet and filled it with toys and even clothes they could sell in front of their lemonade stand.
The following day, Alonso and Alfredo wasted no time putting up their lemonade stand. They told Stephanie they were bored and wanted to try selling lemonade to their neighbors, and she happily helped them set it up.
When Stephanie wasn’t looking, they snuck their toys out and placed them in front of the lemonade stand where it wouldn’t be visible from inside the house. They sat down and waited for customers to approach them.
It was a slow start, selling only two cups in thirty minutes. However, when a community leader dropped by, she snapped a picture of the lemonade stand and posted it on their group chat.
People came out of their houses within minutes to support Alonso and Alfredo’s stand. They served dozens of lemonade cups and sold most of their toys in just a couple of hours.
When they were ready to call it a day, an expensive car suddenly pulled up in front of the house. The neighbors were curious, as they had never seen that car in the neighborhood before. “Who could that be?” they asked as soon as the car stopped.
A man in a crisp, black suit got out and asked for a cup of lemonade. Alonso gladly poured him a cup and handed it to him. “What’s the reason for your lemonade stand, young boys?” the man asked. “And why are you selling your toys? These still look nice,” he said, holding up a toy car that looked brand new.
“Well, umm, our mom is sick,” Alonso revealed.
“She has lupus, and because she’s been working so hard, it got bad, and now, she has to buy expensive medicine,” Alfredo added.
The man felt sorry for the two boys and admired them for their innocent love for their mom. “Is your mom inside the house?” he asked. “Do you think I can talk to her?”
Alonso nodded and asked Alfredo to take care of the lemonade stand while he walked the man inside their home. “Mom!” he cried out. “One of our lemonade stand customers wants to talk to you!”
Alexa was surprised to hear this but nonetheless faced the wealthy man. “How can I help you, sir? Please excuse the mess in our house.” She gestured for him to sit on the couch.
“I was driving through the street when I saw your twins selling lemonade and their toys. I wondered why they were doing this, and they told me it was to help you with your medical bills,” he explained.
Alexa’s eyes widened. Her kids told her they were selling lemonade simply because they had nothing better to do. “I didn’t know it was for me,” she said, her eyes filling with tears.
“I’m here because I was touched by their story and I want to help. You see, my sister was also diagnosed with lupus, and I know how expensive it is to treat. I want to cover your medical expenses,” he declared.
Alexa was surprised at the man’s generosity but she quickly shook her head. “I can’t possibly accept that. This is your hard-earned money, and I won’t be able to offer you anything in return or pay you back,” she told him.
“I’m not expecting anything in return,” the man said, taking out his checkbook. He started to write an undisclosed amount in front of Alexa. He sealed the check in an envelope and handed it to her.
“Please, take this,” he insisted. “I hope it’s enough to cover your medicine and to pay off any debts you might have. When you’re able to do so, pass on the kindness to someone else in need of help,” the man told her.
Alexa took the envelope with tears in her eyes. “Thank you, sir,” she cried. “You have no idea how much this means to me. Just yesterday, I was telling my mom how scared I was not to be able to see my kids grow up,” she admitted.
“I’m glad I am able to help you and your family out. You have such wonderful boys. They need their mom to see them grow up and one day change the world with their generosity. The world needs more people like them,” the man said before getting up to leave.
Alexa invited the man for dinner that night, but he refused. He said he had to go back to work and said goodbye.
That was the first and last time Alexa and the twins saw the generous man. When he drove off, Alexa almost fell to the floor when she saw how much money he had given her. “There’s no way,” she said to herself.
The amount was enough to cover years of maintenance medicine to treat her autoimmune disease, pay off the mortgage on their home, and for rainy days. She focused on getting better so she could spend quality time with her mom and two kids for decades to come.
What can we learn from this story?
When you’re in the position to help someone else, do it. The wealthy man simply came across the twins’ lemonade stand and decided to find out why they were also selling their toys. When he discovered that the twins’ mother was sick, he didn’t hesitate to help them because he knew he could. All he asked in return was for Alexa to pass on the kindness to someone else in need in the future.
Sometimes, it’s good to be childlike – adults can learn from children too. Alonso and Alfredo were innocent young children who did everything possible to help their mother. They did this without knowing much, eventually changing their lives for good.
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