It is not uncommon for a person to go through tough times once in a while. For most people, it is just one difficult situation that they try to get through. For people like Amanda Cantin, falling on tough times doesn’t mean just one specific issue. For Amanda, life was pouring on more than the young woman could handle.
Amanda lived in Tonawanda in Erie County with her son. She was having a run of bad luck in 2015 when her father died unexpectedly. Not only was she grieving, but she also had to find a way to plan and pay for the funeral. She was already struggling to get by as a single mother, so the expense of the funeral was a lot for her. After the funeral, Amanda walked to her car only to find that there was a parking ticket on the windshield. She knew that she couldn’t afford to pay for the ticket, but she wanted to take care of it right away. She didn’t want any more debt hanging over her head, so she went to the courthouse to pay it. After making the payment, she headed out to the car and found a second parking ticket on her windshield. She was exhausted and upset. She couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
Amanda thought that things couldn’t get any worse, but she was wrong. When she got home, she found an eviction notice on her door from her landlord. She couldn’t believe that life was dumping on her like this, but she had to go to court to straighten things out with her landlord. During the hearing, it was determined that she would need to find a new place to live. The courthouse is located in a very congested area, and there is no parking anywhere. Amanda had no choice but to park in an area where there were “no parking” signs posted. She hoped that her car would be alright while she attended her hearing, but it wasn’t. When she came out of the courthouse, the same police officer that gave her the second ticket gave her a third. Amanda couldn’t believe her bad luck. She was struggling to pay off her father’s funeral, all of her parking tickets, and she had to find the money to rent a new apartment. Amanda was panicking, but she had to put on a brave face for her son, Noah. She had no idea that things were going to get worse.
A Call From the School
Everything in Amanda’s life seemed chaotic. She tried to keep going for Noah, but it wasn’t easy. He was her number one priority, and when she got a call from the school saying that her son was sick, Amanda panicked. They told her that he needed to go to the hospital as soon as possible. Amanda rushed to the school and picked up Noah. She brought him to the hospital, where he got in to see a doctor right away. All she wanted was for her son to be alright. She felt great when the doctors told her that Noah was going to be okay, but she wasn’t’ fine when she got the hospital bill.
Nobody To Turn To
Life kept hitting Amanda, and it was becoming more and more difficult or her to keep getting back up. Her bills were piling up, and her son’s hospital bill only added to her debt. Unfortunately, she didn’t have anyone to turn to. She didn’t have anyone to go to for help, or just to hear that it was going to be alright. Being a single mother was weighing significantly on Amanda, and she wasn’t making enough money at her job. All of these problems made her miss her father even more because he was no longer there to help. Before he died, she always knew how to ease her pain, and now, he was gone. Amanda felt completely alone.
When Amanda saw the bill for the doctor, Amanda became very angry. She was upset about the cost, but with everything else going on in her life, the stress and anger had been building up, and she took it all out on the doctor. She and Noah’s doctor were yelling at once another. After hearing the argument, everyone in the office knew about Amanda’s financial hardship. They were yelling so loudly that everyone heard it, even if they weren’t trying. Amanda didn’t realize it, but Noah was listening too. He knew that his mother was in a bad way, and he thought that it was up to him to do something about it.
Making Things Better
Amanda felt like she had finally hit rock bottom. She had to overdraw her account just to pay the copay at the hospital. She had $15 in cash in her pocket, and she decided to spend it on her son. She was going to take him to the arcade and then to Denny’s to get some breakfast. She was worried that he was starting to feel her stress, so she decided to take him out to make him feel better. When the two left the arcade, they went over to Denny’s. When they got to the door, Amanda stopped in her tracks. Noah noticed immediately that his mother’s posture had changed. He asked her what was wrong, and she told him that the police officer who gave her all of those tickets was sitting in the restaurant.
Amanda was furious when she saw the officer, and her whole body tensed up. Although he didn’t know it, the officer had put extra strain on Amanda’s life. He made it impossible to cover the bills that she had to pay. She was feeling overwhelmed, and her first instinct was to go over to the officer and yell at him. She wanted him to put himself in her shoes for just one second. Just as she was about to lose it on the officer, something stopped her. Noah.
While Amanda and Noah sat at the table, she watched him eat and started feeling terrible. She never wanted him to know that she was struggling so badly, and now, he knew. She thought that she failed as a mother. As if her financial situation weren’t bad enough, now she felt like she let her son down. She sat thinking about how she was going to get out of her current situation, and her mind kept returning to the police officer who just added to her load. She tried to calm down, but she couldn’t relax. She was beyond angry at the police officer for his part in her financial hardship.
Wanting To Be a Police Officer
Noah had always told his mother that he wanted to be a police officer when he grew up. When he saw a police officer, he would stare in awe. He always wanted to talk to the police officers and find out how he could be one too when he grew up. Now, seeing how upset his mother was, Noah became conflicted. He wanted to be a police officer, but after hearing how angry his mother was and how badly the police officer was hurting her, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be one after all. The officer’s name was Ryan Benitez, and he was eating alone. Noah wanted to do something to help his mother. He had an idea, but it made him nervous. If his plan didn’t work, he might end up regretting it. Also, he didn’t want to cause his mother any more stress.
Amanda had always raised Noah to have manners and to respect his elders. She was a firm believer in treating people the way that you wanted to be treated, and she instilled this in Noah his whole life. She tried to lead by example, which meant that she would keep her feelings about the officer to herself. She didn’t want to ruin her son’s view of the police. He always looked up to them, and she didn’t want to ruin this for her son. Even though her life was spiraling out of control, she didn’t want to blame it on the officer. She didn’t want her son to see that she was barely holding it together. She thought about her father, about the tickets, and the fact that the money she was using to pay for her son’s breakfast was all she had, but she didn’t let her son see her desperation. She tried not to let her son see, but he knew his mother. He knew she was upset, and it was up to him to help.
Confronting the Officer
Noah wanted to confront the police officer about the parking tickets. He knew that she had to protect his mother, but he was so intimated by the officer that he didn’t think that he could confront him. He felt that he built up the courage to walk over to the officer, but he suddenly became to shy to go over there. He wanted to speak to the officer, but since his shyness wouldn’t let him, he had to come up with another plan. Finally, he had an idea.
Paper and a Pen
Noah had a great idea, but he would need a pen and paper. He went up to the counter and spoke to the waitress. She leaned down to listen to him and smiled, and handed his paper and a pen. A few seconds later, he joined his mother. He sat down, and he was working hard writing. Amanda wanted to know what he was writing, but she couldn’t see from across the table. She assumed that he was just doodling.
Delivering the Note
When Noah finished writing his note, he brought it over to officer Benitez. He was very nervous, but he managed to muster the courage to bring it to his table. At first, the officer was confused. He wasn’t sure what the young boy wanted to tell him. When he looked at the note, his face turned red. Noah watched the officer waiting for a reaction.
Officer Benitez was shocked when Noah handed him the receipt for his breakfast. Noah’s 9th birthday was a few weeks earlier, and he was given money as a gift. Rather than buying a toy, he chose to hold onto the money. He wanted to save it until he found something that he really wanted. Noah wanted to pay for the officer’s breakfast, and he also wrote a note for the officer that contained heartfelt words.
The note that Noah wrote read, “I want to be you when I grow up. Thank you for your service. Noah Cummings.” Officer Benitez couldn’t believe the kindness of this young boy. He had had children want to shake his hand before, but he never had a 9-year-old boy buy him breakfast. He wanted to show his appreciation, but when he realized who Noah’s mother was, he was a bit nervous.
Officer Benitez got up from his chair and asked Noah to take a picture with him. Noah was so happy to be taking a photo with his hero, that his annoyed other felt joy as well. She was thrilled by the way the officer responded to her son. Also, Noah made her proud. His selfless gesture was terrific. The officer wanted to repay Noah for his generosity, and he wanted to do something for his family.
A Facebook Post
Amanda was so proud of her son that she posted the picture of Noah and the officer as well as a photo of the receipt. A few of his fellow officers contacted Amanda, and they asked if they could share the story on their Facebook page. She agreed, and they wrote, “Well, Noah, you touched all our hearts today. Your support means so much to all of the men and women who put the uniform on every day. We wish you the happiest of birthdays.”
It wasn’t long before the post went viral. When the officers heard Amanda’s sad story, they had her tickets taken care of right away. It wasn’t long before people all over the world heard her story, and commented on the post telling her what a great mother she is, and how incredible Noah was. This is an exceptional story about a boy that writes a note to police officer and shakes his mom’s life. Her son’s one good deed helped turn her negative, angry feelings into pride and happiness.