Folks, this is a really, really sweet story. A 78-year-old widow was visiting her husband's grave when she was mugged. Okay, it doesn't start out sweet. Bear with me. Anyway, the mugger relieved Tona Herndon of her purse, which contained $700. Poor Tona was so blinded by grief that she didn't even realize she'd been robbed until she got back to her car. But then she realized it and called police. Cops caught the guy and put his mugshot on TV. Cutaway to a 15-year-old teen watching TV. He sees the mugshot and thinks, "How terrible to mug an old lady visiting her husband's grave like that." And then he thinks, "Dad!!!"
Yes, teenager Christian Lunsford immediately recognized the mugshot on TV as that of his father.
Christian hadn't seen much of his father growing up. His parents were divorced. And his father wasn't much of one -- he says his dad spent most of his time in and out of jail. Poor Christian says he often thinks:
There's times that you just feel really low, like, "Is that going to be me? Am I going to end up like that?"
This is one thing Christian doesn't have to worry about. The teen was so wracked with shame for his father's actions that he tracked down Tona Herndon and met her in a church parking lot.
Why? Because he wanted to apologize. For his father. Says Christian:
It needed to be done. She needed an apology from somebody. If I didn't apologize, who would?
Not his father, I'm sure.
Tona says she thought the gesture was "so, so precious," and adds:
Any 15-year-old boy who has that much conscience is extraordinary.
But that's not all. While Christian and his father didn't have much contact, his father had recently given his son $250 for his school band trip. But now Christian felt like he couldn't take the money because he wasn't sure where it came from. In fact, he thought maybe it could even be Tona's. So he gave her the money.
Even though he was NOT the one to steal it, Christian wanted nothing to do with money that may have been gotten in such a way.
Tona says she accepted the money and it was "mine to do with what I wanted."
BUT WAIT. I said this story was sweet, didn't I? Tona turned right around and handed the money back to Christian.
Because she wanted such a wonderful boy to be able to go on his band trip. Tona says it isn't about the money. That letting Christian keep it made her feel like her "life had purpose."
As for Christian, he says, "You're not who your parents are. Even if they do raise you, you can become whatever you want to be." What a true sentiment. I just hope Christian doesn't feel like he has to spend the rest of his life making up for his father's actions.
At any rate, Christian is sure to become a fabulous human being. Wait. He already is!
What do you think of this?
Image via CBS