Mrs. Lehmann was a talented 53-year-old physics teacher who lived alone. She and her husband never had children, which eventually affected their relationship, and they filed for divorce.
Although she never had children of her own, Ms. Lehmann loved children. She treated her students as her own and devoted her life to teaching.
Of all her students, Ms. Lehmann was particularly fond of a boy named Brandon. He was her star student, always passing her exams with flying colors and impressing the crowds with his physics exhibitions.
“You’re going to be a great physicist, Brandon. Keep at it and you’ll do great! This could be your future profession,” she motivated him.
Brandon nodded and told his favorite teacher that he would like to be a physicist someday.
Unfortunately, when Brandon reached his senior year in high school, his grades began to drop.
“What happened to Brandon? Are his grades getting worse in your subjects, too?” asked Mrs. Lehmann of other teachers.
Ms. Kahn, the history teacher, revealed that Brandon had recently lost his mother.
“He’s going through a hard time. He lost his mother and he doesn’t want to talk to anyone about what happened,” she explained.
Ms. Lehmann wanted to try to talk to Brandon to reassure him that he was not alone. But no matter how hard she tried to talk to him, he remained reticent and had difficulty saying openly what he was feeling.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Lehmann, I can’t right now,” he reasoned, “there are some things I’d like to keep to myself right now, if that’s okay.”
“Of course, honey. I just wanted to remind you that you are not alone, and any time you need anything, your other teachers and I are ready to listen,” she told him.
One weekend, Mrs. Lehmann went on her monthly trip to the supermarket. She parked the car in the large parking lot in front of the store, and that’s when she noticed Brandon sleeping on the ground, next to where all the shopping carts were parked.
She saw that the area was full of homeless people waiting at the store to be handed donations. There was a fire hydrant where they could wash up and a small campfire on the ground to keep them warm.
“Brandon?” said Mrs. Lehmann as soon as she exited her car. “What are you doing out here!”
At first Brandon’s first instinct was to get up and run, but it was too late.
“Come with me to the store. Put your stuff in my car.”
Brandon hesitated, but he decided to obey his teacher out of respect. They went to the store where Mrs. Lehmann bought him a hot meal and some drinks.
“What happened to you, honey?” she asked him.
“When my mother died, my father suddenly showed up at home with another woman. I didn’t like that he immediately replaced the mother, so I ran away from home. I’ve been sleeping in the parking lot for a few days now, but my father never bothered to look for me,” Brandon revealed.
“Sometimes I sleep on the ground, but sometimes a homeless man named Hunter allows me to sleep in his car when it gets too cold. Thank God for Hunter, because it’s been freezing lately and I always feel like I might get the flu,” he added.
Mrs. Lehmann had a terrible feeling about her brilliant student. Without hesitation, she told the boy that she would try to adopt him if social services agreed to terminate his father’s parental rights.
The process was long and arduous, but Ms. Lehmann never gave up. She took Brandon under his wing and he slowly got his life back on track.
Mrs. Lehmann tutored Brandon every day after school, becoming a true mother-son duo. They took trips, enjoyed preparing meals together, and offered to tutor young children on weekends.
Eventually, Brandon got a full scholarship to one of the best science universities in the country. He excelled at what he did and became a famous physicist.
One day, Brandon received an award that only top physicists in the world could receive. During the presentation of the award , he said:
“When I was in high school, there was one person who inspired me to become the physicist I am today. I was already lucky enough to be her student, but by a twist of fate, I was even luckier to have become her son.”
Mrs. Lehman was in the audience and her eyes filled with tears when she heard Brandon talking about her. She was so proud of him and wanted nothing more than to see him succeed.
“Without Mrs. Lehmann, without my mother, I would not be standing here before you today. This award is for her – for all the sacrifices she made for me, all the lessons she taught me, and all the love she gave me. Thank you Mother.”
Brandon had barely finished speaking when Ms. Lehmann received a standing ovation from the audience. They applauded her for her big heart and Brandon led her to the stage to be recognized.