Before Thursday, the last time Julia Williams saw her son was when she viewed the clip of him panhandling for pocket change – and showing off his radio-ready voice – by the highway in Columbus, Ohio. The time before that was 10 years ago.
In an emotional reunion on Friday's Today show, Ted Williams, 53 – the homeless man with a golden voice – embraced his 90-year-old mother for the first time in a decade.
"Hi Mommy!" he said, running into her arms.
With voiceover gigs, job offers – and the chance to leave the streets for good – finally at his fingertips, nothing, he says, could compare to seeing his mother again.
"I was just gone," he said of the reunion. "We didn't even say anything. Man, it was like a dream finally came true."
'Brought So Much Disgrace'Ted Williams says the prolonged separation was out of shame and embarrassment – the product of all of the promises he made to turn around his life that, until three days ago, were empty.
"I felt like I brought so much disgrace to this world," he says. "There wasn't much I could say."
"It was like a broken record," his mother very realistically said of the times he told her he was going to make a career with his voice. "All I got was promises."
And now that those promises are holding true, Julia Williams had some advice for her son as she warned him, "Please don't disappoint me."
"Hold your life together," she says. "Just don't let things fall apartment when you fall in with the wrong people."