A Mother’s Day story about two sons



Woman reading card and smiling

Anytime is a good time to reestablish connections with a loved one. ©Adobe Stock

Mother’s Day was only a few days away, but Michael neither knew it nor cared. He was a correctional officer who worked on the evening shift, and who thought only of himself.

However, on this particular night his thoughts were on Fly, a dingy-looking inmate, a thief who was in confinement for stealing food out of the kitchen. He had several paying customers who bought everything he stole. It’s how he supported his habit. The nicotine stains on his fingertips exposed his addiction. His toothless smile scintillated through the window of his cell door as the officer passed him a card sent from the commissary.

Michael wondered who Fly would be sending a card to. Surely he had no friends. Who would want to write to this obnoxious reject? He was probably trading it for tobacco. I’m going to bust him, Michael thought to himself as he watched Fly’s cell.

Fly sat on his bunk, looking at the card he’d received from the commissary. It’s pretty; she’ll like it, he thought. His mother had sent him a book of stamps earlier in the week. An inmate upstairs sold pin-sized cigarettes rolled in Bible paper for stamps. Fly traded all of the stamps for tobacco except for the one he was using on this card. The temptation to sell the extra stamp with the card for tobacco was strong, but his love for his mother was stronger. She did send him a book of stamps, so the least he could do was use one to send her a Mother’s Day card. After all, Mother’s Day comes around only once a year.

Michael diligently watched Fly’s cell from the officer’s station. He just knew Fly would be sending a line down to another cell to trade the card for tobacco. He was determined to bust him.

But Fly didn’t make a move, and Michael was puzzled. It didn’t make sense. What was Fly going to do with the card?

Michael couldn’t let the thought go; his curiosity was piqued. He strolled down to Fly’s floor and gathered up all the mail. As he sorted it out, he kept an eye out for Fly’s name … and the card.

When he found it, he saw the envelope was addressed to a Mrs. Kelly Roberts, on a certain street in a Florida town. Michael, the diligent correctional officer, couldn’t resist the temptation to inspect the inside of the unsealed card. Inside, the card read:

Dear Mom,
You are my inspiration, the only one who has faith in me and has always stood by me in the bad days and the dark hours.
To my only sweetheart—my mother!
Your loving son,

Michael stared at the card as he read it over and over. His eyes clouded with astonishment, as the words touched a place deep down inside he forgot existed. Michael learned a valuable lesson that night from Fly, a failure in the eyes of most people. It reminded him not even failures could take away a mother’s love, or a son’s love for his mother.

On the way home that night, Michael stopped at Wal-Mart and bought a Mother’s Day card. He addressed the envelope, also to Mrs. Kelly Roberts, at the same address in the same Florida town.

And he wrote:

Dear Mom,
Lots of love to the best mom in the world on Mother’s Day. I saw Fly today, and he is doing fine.
Your loving son,

ROY A. BORGES is a freelance writer from Florida. His mother, still living, helps Roy with his freelance writing connections to publications such as Valley Living.


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