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This 96-year-old woman had no choice but to leave her Alaskan cottage, where she had been living for nearly 60 years. Nobody expected that she would give her beloved cabin to a homeless man for free, not even the man himself. He only discovered the truth until he found what was inside.
Steven, the lucky man, unlocked the door with glee and rushed in to take a look at his first house. He had been here so many times but never expected that he would own it one day. Looking around excitedly, Steven noticed something he had never seen in this place before.
Steven saw a giant classic suitcase lying on the desk. He came over and surprisingly saw his name on it. Feeling a surge of uneasiness, he tried to keep composed and slowly opened the suitcase. His mouth fell open after seeing what was inside, "I can't believe she has done this…" What did he see?
Everything had started when an accident came as a shattering blow to Elly Barnes, the female donor. She had enjoyed her peaceful rural life in the small but cosy cottage with her husband Peter. She thought she'd live here until her last day, but her plan failed after an unexpected incident.
On a gloomy winter day, a sudden heart attack took Peter's life. It was a cold hard truth that Elly found difficult to swallow. How come? She had never thought about the possibility that such a hale and hearty man would pass away so soon. How would she make it through the rest of her life without him?
Elly and Peter's daughters helped their mom in a way that she could never accept. Their children had moved to Dallas to start new lives and to try to recover from their grief. Both of them offered to accommodate Elly in their new homes, but she refused to go with either of them.
No one could understand Elly's stubborn refusal except herself. She had roots in the small town, and the bereaved couldn't bear to abandon her cabin, which was built by her late husband and was full of their sweet memories. But living there by herself became more and more challenging.
The freezing Alaskan winter had come, which left the aging hut in an even worse condition. Elly worried about whether the old house could survive another year if it wasn't adequately reinforced. Without her family to help her, how would the 96-year-old woman cope?
Fortunately, Elly got help from her neighbor, a strong young man who managed to patch the leaking roof and replace the damaged windows for her. He always seemed available to help Elly out. Though Elly tried to pay Steven, he refused and insisted that he was just repaying a kindness that she couldn't remember.
Their story dated back a couple of years to when Steven had just moved back to the town. Having been homeless for years, Steven had decided to go back home to seek his parents' financial support. Most of his neighbors thought little of him, but Elly and Peter were the exception.
The couple didn't judge Steven as others had done and often invited him to dinner. Their kind deeds had helped him out of his slump, so he volunteered to do some tiring physical tasks for them. After Peter's death, he worried about Elly and helped her even more often, but some people weren't all that happy.
Steven spent a lot of time helping Elly for free and not enough in hunting for a job, which his parents couldn't put up with anymore. Steven's unemployment had stretched their already tight budget even thinner. In the end, they urged their son to make a tough decision.
Steven's parents asked him to choose between helping Elly and living at home. He wasn't willing to leave Elly helpless. However, he realized that he must become financially independent in order to make his own decisions, so he was determined to find a job in the big city to support himself and maybe his little charity one day.
Elly was upset to learn of the news from Steven, but she supported his brave decision. Without the help of her longtime friend, she insisted on living in the cottage and doing all the cleaning and repairing work by herself. However, just three weeks after Steven left, an accident interrupted her peaceful life once again.
One day, Elly accidentally tripped over a lifted wooden floorboard and she fell down in her bedroom. After being sent to the hospital, Elly was informed that the bad fall had fractured her hip. Her daughters flew home soon after learning of the accident and were determined to take their mother to a retirement home near them.
Though she had been firmly against her family's decision, she knew from the depths of her heart that she had to move out of the old house this time. Otherwise, her daughters wouldn't stop worrying about her all the time. Her decision to leave required her to decide what to do with the hut.
After struggling for days, Elly finally thought of someone who was trustworthy enough to have the property. But there was more to her generous deed. It was something inside the cabin that Elly really wanted to give the person. To make sure everything went smoothly, she contacted a lawyer to help with her plan.
Steven couldn't believe his ears when he received the call from Elly's lawyer. The cottage was a big surprise for him, as he'd had difficulty finding a job and had been living on the street since leaving his hometown. He intended to accept the offer with gratitude, yet he hesitated after learning of a weird condition of the transfer.
Just as Steven was still in shock, the lawyer further informed him that he was required to visit the house at least once to own it. Though he tried, he couldn't get more information from Elly and her lawyer. Therefore, he decided to set off the very next day to figure out the truth for himself.
After arriving in the town, Steven went straight to Elly's cabin. He thought someone would be waiting at the door to elaborate on the whole thing, but he was wrong. The confused man entered the door with the keys sent from the lawyer and saw something oddly sitting in front of him.
Once Steven stepped inside the cottage, his attention was attracted by a large vintage suitcase lying on a desk. He approached and surprisingly found his name written right on it. One mystery after another, the young man couldn't be any more confused, so he decided to open the suitcase, hoping to find anything that would explain what was happening.
The suitcase turned out to be filled with countless envelopes, and they all contained different thank-you notes for Steven, which read "For getting groceries," "For fixing the gutter," "For cleaning the kitchen," "For taking her for a walk," and so on. Besides those, Elly prepared more surprises that would change her friend's life for the better.
Apart from the notes, all envelopes included a bit of money, ranging from 50 cents to even 50 dollars! After Steven had read all the letters, he counted the money and was taken aback by the total amount of 15,000 dollars. Though moved by his friend's generous offer, he was curious as to why she would express her thanks in such an unusual way?
Still in shock, Steven called Elly immediately, and this time, Elly poured out all about her thoughts and plan. Over the past two years, Elly had been trying to pay for his kindness, yet he had never accepted her money. So Elly saved all the cash and the letters, waiting for a proper time to hand them over.
The heartwarming letters reminded Steven of the unforgettable winter they'd spent together. He had never thought of any reward when he assisted Elly to go through the toughest period in her lifetime. But his kindness was reciprocated somehow in the end. The homeless man could finally afford to rent a condo in Anchorage and take time to undergo some serious career planning, which brought a gleam of hope into the young man's life.
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