Baubie’s Guest

by Nathan Stolov
Missouri, USA

Baubie's Guest

When my grandmother was in her late 60s, she was quite independent. She handled all her own cooking, cleaning, and shopping, and lived in a second-floor apartment. She drew a small Social Security pension — barely enough money to live on. She accepted little financial help from her grown children, most of whom had families of their own.

Baubie awoke early one morning, thinking she heard a noise on her balcony. From the balcony door, she saw nothing had been disturbed. The next morning, the same thing happened. Baubie wasn’t a person with an overly active imagination, so she set her alarm clock to wake up early the following day. Arising, she quietly went to the balcony door and discovered a poorly dressed man sleeping on her balcony. His alarm clock went off, he went over the balcony rail, and he disappeared down the street.

Baubie wasn’t a person to wish anyone harm. She knew the man must be in very bad financial trouble to secretly live on her poor balcony, and she was certain he wasn’t dangerous. After all, he hadn’t tried to break into her apartment!

That evening after dinner, she put out a package of leftovers for her “balcony guest.” The following morning she found the leftovers had been eaten, and her guest had left money for the food. She put his money safely under a spare pillow and blanket, along with a dinner that night and many other nights.

Because food was expensive, she finally allowed her children to help buy food, which she insisted she prepare. This went on several weeks, and Baubie’s guest finally gave up on leaving money for anything. But one day, without a word, her guest was gone. She worried that something had happened to him.

One evening a few days later, there was a knock at her front door. On answering, Baubie was greeted by her guest. He was wearing a clean used suit and carrying a bouquet of flowers for her. He was a businessman who had lost his business after an employee stole money from him. He had sent his family to live with his wife’s parents and worked to make good his losses. Having paid off his employee’s thievery, he was working for another business as a manager and was now able to look his ex-business associates in the eyes.

His first goal after paying off his business debts was to repay “his grandmotherly angel” for her generous kindness, but Baubie wouldn’t have it. His words and knowing he was well were enough. She invited him to dinner, insisting he repay his wife’s parents with the money he had saved, which he agreed to do.

Baubie said it wouldn’t be proper for her to take his money, because “parents are supposed to help their children.” In her mind, in the way she was brought up, this perfect stranger, this gentleman who was near her children’s ages, was a “temporary son” given her to watch over. And she did.

Originally published as HeroicStories #379 on January 30, 2003

12 thoughts on “Baubie’s Guest”

  1. Great reminder of this story and wonderful woman. I remember my Mother feeding homeless from her back kitchen door, simple and not very costly. All it takes is a little hand up.

  2. Brings back one’s faith in mankind, which is sorely needed right now, with all the current discord on our planet! Warm and fuzzy feeling… 🙂

  3. I remember this wonderful (feel good) story from years past, as to my having been a subscriber to Heroic Stories for many years now. In today’s era, it does one good to be a subscriber of sites such as this, where we may read positive stories similar to the above, in that it not only serves as a quick pick me up, but helps to reassure each and everyone of us, of the good side of human nature, less we forget ! Brad

  4. Very, very nice and compasionate woman. We were raised to help those that were down. There was a time when we were younger, we didnt have much. Mom and Dad and 4 of us kids. Sister with polio and the regular things that happen to families. My parents came from the country (farms) not having much and family and extended family had to share during the depresion.
    Dad worked 3 jobs at one time. He wanted us kids to have more than he did. So I grew up watching my parents sharing and helping, those outside of my family. Food, $$ or whatever and never asking for a return. We would have a small dinner. If people showed up at that time. Somehow or another my Mom made the food stretch.
    That Idea of helping has stuck with us till this day. There is a blessing in helping and not asking for a return.
    Nowdays it seems we dont see enough of what this woman did. Nieghbors dont even know each other. We live behind locked doors.
    Times sure have changed. Sorry, not wanting a pat on the back…… I just relate to Baubie, soo much. Hurraa for her! Love her story. It is soo much richer than any of mine…..She allowed God to use her to get this good man on his feet again. My thought is. His faith was restored, to the point he probably did the same for others.

  5. I remember this story too… I thought at the time, how compassionate & brave she was, & also, how wonderful of the fella to appear at the door to show his gratefullness….

  6. I was a bit depressed and angry this afternoon on my home from work, listening to talk radio and the stories of the day.
    Then I get on my computer and read this story.
    Truly uplifting. Someone asked if some of us would do the same thing.
    I like to think I would.

    God bless.

  7. Wonderful lady. it seems like many times, those with the least, share more easily than those with the most.
    My theory has always been “You can’t outgive God!.”
    Whenever we have “given”, somehow, lots of strange and wonderful surprises happen to us.
    It is a game I love to play, over and over.


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