Old Lady Celebrates 80th Birthday Alone in Nursing Home, None of Her Children Comes to Visit Her — Story of the Day
An elderly woman whose husband passed away years ago is devastated when her favorite son places her in a nursing home and never visits after she signs over everything she has.
All parents tell themselves and their children that they have no favorites, but that's not exactly true. There is always one child that gets the bigger slice of the cake every time, the golden child, the favored one.
Jane Santon had always had a soft spot for her son Edward. It wasn't that she didn't love her daughter Amy, not at all. But Amy was serious while Edward was mischievous, and just about the prettiest little boy anyone had ever seen. Jane was sure Edward was equally devoted to her -- but she was wrong.
Jane never imagimed she'd spend the last days of her life alone. | Source: Shutterstock,com
While Jane's husband Travis had been alive, the family dynamics had been balanced. Yes, Jane was a little too indulgent to Edward, but Travis kept her in check. What he couldn't do was force Jane to be attentive to Amy, not the way she was to Edward.
Unfortunately, when Amy was seventeen and Edward was thirteen, Travis died in a car accident and Jane was devastated. She languished in a daze for weeks while her seventeen-year-old daughter took up the reins and made sure life remained on track.
It was Amy who arranged the funeral, contacted all their relatives, and even picked out her father's funeral clothes. Jane had wept and clung to Edward and moaned that he was all she had left in the world.
When Jane finally surfaced, the pattern of their days was set. Amy was quieter than ever, Jane doted on Edward even more and proclaimed to all and sundry that he was the living image of his father and would be a great man.
While Travis was alive, the Santons were a happy family. | Source. Unsplash
Amy went to college and became an accountant. She graduated magna cum laude from a top university, but all that Jane said was: "Well, that's my Amy! Steady and reliable, but not exactly EXCITING, or glamorous, you know. Now my Edward..."
Things came to a head when Edward turned 18 and Jane bought him a brand new car... After the party guests had gone home, Amy walked into Jane's room. "Mom, do you know what this is?"
Don't judge people for their looks or their charm.
She handed Jane an old gift box. Jane opened it and drew out a hand-knitted sweater in a particularly unfortunate shade of mustard yellow. "This?" asked Jane bewildered. "Honesty, honey, I don't!"
"This was my 18th birthday present," said Amy quietly. "You told me you picked it out because it suited my complexion. Now, do you remember?"
When Travis died, Amy shouldered the responsibility. | Source: Unsplash
Jane pushed the sweater away. "There you go again, Amy!" she cried. "With this insane jealousy of your brother! I can just see what's coming up next!"
"Mom," Amy said, "I heard you talking to Aunt Helga yesterday, telling her you'd put everything in Edward's name."
Jane was flustered. "Why Amy, I thought you'd understand! You have your degree and that kind of work is always profitable. But Edward is more sensitive, artistic, I don't want his spirit broken by the world."
Amy looked at her mother sadly. "Edward isn't who you think he is, mother. I'm afraid you're setting yourself up for a lot of heartbreak."
"Stop it!" screamed Jane. "I've had enough of you and your poison! Get out! You're old enough to make your own way, so go!"
Jane spoiled Edward more and more because he looked like his father. | Source: Pexels
Amy had tears in her eyes but she put her arms around her mother and kissed her tenderly. "I'll always love you mother, remember that."
It would be over thirty years before Jane saw her daughter again, and they weren't exactly easy years. Edward was quite a handful as a young man and seemed to get into trouble constantly (through no fault of his own, Jane always explained.)
The money Travis and Jane had saved up was siphoned off little by little until all that Jane had left was her pension and her house. The house was in Edwards's name and had been since his 18th birthday, but he could only sell it on Jane's death or with her consent.
Edward married, divorced, and remarried several times, and in between marriages he moved back in with his mother. Jane would never admit to anyone -- or even herself -- that Edward was a disappointment.
Edward's 18th birthday present was a brand new car. | Source: Unsplash
He might have Travis' looks, but not his character or his loving, generous heart. Then when Jane turned 78 (she was still quite spy and attractive) Edward started pressuring her to move into a retirement home.
"No, Edward," Jane said. "This is my home. I want to die here!"
"Actually, it's MY home," snapped Edward nastily. "And it's about time I took possession."
"You can't, not without my approval!" Jane said.
Amy's present was an ugly sweater. | Source: Pexels
"Oh mom," Edward sighed. "Let's not argue... You know that Betta and I want to get married -- I didn't want to tell you, but she's pregnant. I want to raise my boy in the home I grew up in..."
Edward managed to talk Jane around, and although with serious misgivings, she signed the agreement and moved into the retirement home. "Mom, I'll be here next week to take you to lunch!" Edward said smiling.
But the next Sunday, Edward didn't show up. Or the next, or the next...He didn't answer Jane's calls either. Two years went by, and all around her Jane would see the other residents receiving friends and family, but she was on her own.
A week before her 80th birthday Jane decided to clear out every memento she had of her former, happier life. "I don't want those memories!" she cried to the orderly who was helping her. "Throw it all out!"
Jane signed the papers that allowed Edward to sell her house. | Source: Pexels
The young man was piling up boxes of albums and knick-knacks, to carry away when Jane saw something under the bed. It was an old box, and in that box was a particularly ugly mustard yellow sweater. "Amy!" Jane whispered and gathered the garment tenderly in her arms.
Jane remembered her last conversation with Amy and her warning about Edward. All through the most difficult days of her life, Amy had stood firm by her side, lending her her quiet strength.
"And what did I do for you?" cried Jane. "I was so wrong! My girl, I didn't love her as I should have! And she was RIGHT all along!" That night, Jane didn't sleep a wink. She kept going over the past, weeping as she perceived every mistake.
As her birthday approached, the staff at the retirement home were becoming worried. Jane wasn't her usual self and seemed to have sunk into depression. Maybe if her son came to visit she'd perk up.
Edward placed Jane in a home and never visited. | Source: Unsplash
But Edward didn't visit, or call, or send flowers. The staff and the other residents threw her a party, but nothing cheered Jane up. She sat in a corner of the social room and allowed herself a few secret tears.
"Mom?" a familiar beloved voice said. "Happy birthday!"
Jane looked up and into her daughter's loving eyes. "Amy?" she whispered. "Is that really you?" She started shaking and crying, and Amy drew her into a tender embrace.
"Please don't cry, mom," Amy whispered. "Forgive me for staying away so long..."
Amy was reconciled with her mother. | Source: Unsplash
"Forgive YOU?" sobbed Jane. "Oh, Amy! I was so wrong and you were so right. But I do love you, Amy, I do!"
"I know mom," Amy said. "But now there's someone I want you to meet..." Amy gestured a tall, slender girl forward. "Mom, this is Jane Jr. your granddaughter!"
Jane was crying so hard that Amy was worried, but these were healing tears, washing away the pain of decades. Later Amy explained that she had run into an old neighbor who told her what Edward had done.
He'd sold the house, run through the money -- and there had been no baby on the way. It had all been a con! "I couldn't leave you here alone, mom," Amy said. "I want you to come home with me. Let me care for you, the way you deserve."
Jane discovered she had a grown-up granddaughter. | Source: Unsplash
Jane was delighted and she grew to know and love Amy whom she now realized had her father's good character and loving heart.
What can we learn from this story?
- Don't judge people for their looks or their charm. Jane favored her younger son and didn't realize he was a ne'er-do-well and a con artist.
- A loving child will be there for their parents in their hour of need. Amy rushed to Jane's aid as soon as she learned she'd been abandoned in a home.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who deceives his grandmother and tricks her into an old age home so he can sell her house. But he is in for a surprise and a terrible disappointment.
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