A lonely old man with no family prepared to celebrate his birthday alone yet again. He had everything planned out for the day until a stranger rang his doorbell and introduced himself as his son.

Patrick was a 79-year-old man who lived most of his life as a single man. He never married nor had children, and all of his close friends had died.

On the eve of his 80th birthday, Patrick already planned out how he’d spend the day. He’d wake up and have brunch at his favorite local diner, drop by the grocery store to buy ingredients for his birthday dinner, cook, then sit in the living room the whole evening to watch his favorite basketball team on TV.

The following day, however, he was awakened by the sound of the doorbell. He was not expecting anyone, especially since he was not close to his neighbors.

He made his way to the door and opened it. He saw a man in his late 40s standing in front of him. “Can I help you, young man?” Patrick asked him.

“I’m sorry for interrupting your day, sir. I’m Luke Evans, the son of Amelia Larson. Do you still remember her?” the man asked.

Patrick was surprised to hear that name, especially since he had not heard it in years. “Why, yes, of course. Amelia was my first and last girlfriend,” he revealed.

The young man excitedly nodded his head. “Yes, exactly, sir. I searched through my mom’s box of memorabilia and saw a letter from you pointing me to this address. I’m so glad I found you here,” he told Patrick.

Patrick smiled softly. The truth was, in his last message to Amelia, he promised he’d never move houses let alone move to another town in case she wanted to come back to him. Through the years, he realized that his one true love would never come back, but he decided to stay anyway.

“To what do I owe this pleasure?” Patrick asked.

Luke gulped as if he was about to say something important. “This may seem like such a shock to you, sir, but a couple of weeks ago, my mom passed away, and she revealed something to me that completely surprised me,” he said.

“What is it that you discovered? And please, come in. I’m sorry, my house hasn’t had a guest in a while now. Excuse the mess,” Patrick said as he opened the door wider for Luke to enter.

They settled in the dining area, where Patrick poured himself and Luke some coffee. “Thank you, sir,” Luke told him before taking a sip. “Well, this may seem like a shock, but… sir, my mom revealed that you are my father.”

Patrick fell silent upon hearing this, confused about whether he was dreaming or not. “How could that be?” he asked Luke.

“Well, sir, when my mom left you 47 years ago for another man, she didn’t know she was pregnant. She felt awful about hurting you, so when she found out, she didn’t want to tell you about me. All my life, I thought that my stepfather was my biological dad,” Luke revealed.

“Before my mom died, she told me the truth. She said she regretted what she had done, and wished she could apologize to you in person. She told me to find you, sir. Her last words were ‘Find your father, Luke.’ She said you dreamed about having a son to share your love for basketball with and she hoped it wouldn’t be too late.”

Patrick couldn’t help but cry. He had no doubt in his heart that what Luke was saying was true because they shared the same hazelnut brown hair and dimple on the right side of their cheeks when they smiled.

“I don’t know what to say…” Patrick cried. “To tell you the truth, your mother broke my heart and made me fearful of love. I hoped, wished, and prayed she’d come back, but she never did. I ended up a bachelor my entire life…” he said, taking a good look at Luke.

“And through the years, I’ve somehow accepted that no matter how much I wanted a son, it just wasn’t in my cards. But here you are… I can’t believe this is real!”

Luke sat a little bit closer to Patrick and reached out for his hand. “I hope it’s not too late, dad. I would really love to get to know you,” he said. “In fact, I found out it was your birthday from my simple search for you online. I really wanted to get you something,” Luke added and took a small envelope from his pocket.

“I got two tickets to tonight’s NBA games! Would you like to watch with me?” he asked Patrick.

The old man beamed. He couldn’t believe he’d finally get to watch an NBA game live. What made it all the more special was that he’d be watching with his son, something he’d always dreamt of doing.

“Oh, I would l love that,” Patrick said, wiping away his tears. “Thank you, son.”

That day ended up being the best birthday of Patrick’s life. He and Luke continued on with Patrick’s plans for the day. They had brunch at his favorite cafe, went to the grocery, and cooked themselves an early dinner.

Once they devoured their steak and mashed potatoes, they got into Luke’s car and drove to the nearby arena where they watched the basketball game together. Patrick couldn’t help but contain his excitement, whipping out his disposable camera any chance he could to document the special day.

After a couple of days, Luke introduced Patrick to his wife and young children. They promised to take care of Patrick, so they invited him to move out of his house and live with them. Since then, Patrick was never lonely and finally had the family he’d always longed for.