People can be cruel. Some even to their own parents. Just like the man in our story today which was inspired by the readers of AmoDays. John and Molly Carol just had their first baby. They were elated, over the moon, ecstatic, and exhausted. If they were 100% honest, they were functioning on autopilot. Parenthood was long since advertised to tire them out, yet no one can expect the level of sleep deprivation you go through until you have your child.
They received endless calls from their friends and family. John had a brilliant idea to have a quiet tea party, and they invited some of their closest friends to join. That way, they could get the meet and greets done for most of the people. When he sent out the invitations, his fingers lingered over his mother’s name. He wondered to himself whether or not to invite her. John scrolled past in the end, deciding against it. He told himself that she would just become a nuisance because she is so old now.
Almost as if she knew he was thinking about her, Lucy, John’s mother, called. He stared at her number and considered ignoring the call, but he answered in the end. Lucy spoke on the other side saying that she was ready when he was. John suddenly remembered that he had made a plan with her two days ago. Now he had double-booked the afternoon for his friends to come to meet their son.
John told his mother that he was not going to be able to fetch him that day. She paused before responding with clear disappointment in her voice. She told him that her house is not very far, and she had been so excited to meet her grandson. He told her again that he could not do the meeting today, and admitted that he had other people coming over. Lucy protested, stating that she would stay out of the way. Irritated, John snapped at his mother. He told her off for being too eager, and she must be patient like everyone else has been.
Lucy was truly sad. She had been boasting about her new grandson for days now to her bridge team, and she wanted to get some photos of him to show off. After John hung up the phone, Lucy pondered to herself for a moment. The bus route did not go past her son’s house as they lived in a wealthy area, the taxis were far too expensive, and she did not want to bother her son again. Then, it dawned on her. She could always walk to his house!
Lucy was not as young as she used to be, but she was determined to try. She had been so excited about her grandson’s arrival that she just couldn’t wait any longer.
A Long Walk
She got some necessary things to carry with her and made sure she had the gift for her grandson in her bag, and she set off. It was a rather warm day, so Lucy got hot very quickly. She had to take many breaks because her hips were not as they used to be. Lucy walked for an hour and she was not even halfway. She stopped in the park for a rest and her stomach grumbled. Thinking to herself that she should have brought a snack, Lucy got up and continued her walk.
Lucy finally arrived at her son’s house, and sure enough, there were many cars parked outside. They had a few friends over. She mustered up the last of her strength to climb up the steps and ring the bell. The sound of chatter was creeping through the door. John answered, still laughing from a joke told by one of his guests. As soon as he realized who was at the door, his expression changed instantly to shock and then anger. He quickly stepped out and closed the door behind him.
John turned to his mother, who automatically took a few steps backward. He demanded to know why she was thereafter he explicitly told her they would make a plan for another day. Lucy stammered, trying to explain that she was just too excited to meet her grandson. She showed him the wrapped gift box, but John did not even seem to notice. He told her to leave, and Lucy was in shock. He knew that her legs were not as youthful as they once were and that she had mobility issues.
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The Inevitable Guilt
After scolding his mother for rocking up unexpectedly, he turned on his heel and slammed the door behind him. Lucy stood fr a moment, just staring at the closed door. She sighed, and turned around herself, thinking how on earth she was going to walk herself all the way home again. Luckily, one of her neighbors also had family in the neighborhood, and along with her drive home, she spotted Lucy hobbling along. She offered her a lift home, and Lucy accepted gladly.
John was wracked with guilt later that evening. As he was letting the last guest out that evening, he noticed a gift box in the pathway. As he picked it up, he suddenly remembered his mother trying to give it to him, but he just turned away from her. His heart sank, and he thought to himself how mean he had been to her. When he opened the box, he could not fight back the tears. It was the most thoughtful gift.
Having his child now had brought many memories of his childhood into the forefront of John’s mind. He remembered his old bedroom, and the few toys he had to play with. His family was not exactly the wealthiest, and his parents had to make do with what they had. John’s father passed away when he was in high school, and this meant that his mother was left to fend for herself, after being a stay-at-home mom for so long. As a young boy, John stopped expecting anything on his birthdays, because they often didn’t have enough money. He had a few toys that he loved dearly, even to this day. His mother had kept each one of the safe, and put them in this gift box for his son to have.
John quickly excused himself to his wife, who was putting their little one to bed. She saw the tears in his eyes and knew he had some apologizing to do. She had been trying to get him to make more time for her mother-in-law, but John always became distant when the topic came up.
Admitting the truth
John arrived at his mother’s house, and he found her lying on the sofa with her legs all red and swollen. Cursing himself for letting her walk all that way by herself, he picked her up and carried her to her bed. She woke up in his arms and said that she knew he would come back to make things right. He told her that he was sorry for being so cruel, and even more sorry for being so distant. For some reason, that he did not understand, he had been avoiding her. He thinks it’s because they were not a wealthy family, but all of his new friends are rich people.
Lucy put her hand on his shoulder and told her she didn’t care about that. She was just happy that she had raised such a great young man, who knew how to apologize when necessary. John stayed for the rest of the evening. They ordered takeout and watched her favorite show. When he left, they had set a date for Lucy to meet her grandson, and John promised to keep to the arrangement.