Mom Chooses Her Work over Her Daughter, Finds a Letter from Her after Girl Was Hospitalized — Story of the Day
A workaholic mom picks her work over her daughter every time but regrets her decision when karma reaches out to her, and her daughter is hospitalized, leaving behind a letter for her that makes her regret her workaholism.
Shirley Walton's husband divorced her and walked away from her life while she was pregnant with their daughter Zoe, claiming he didn't want to be a father so soon.
Shirley was heavily pregnant when it all happened, and she had no one to turn to for help. Her parents had died when she was 19, and she had no friends who were financially secure enough to support her.
Shirley pulled herself together and decided to stand on her own feet since she knew she didn't have time to cry. Her savings thankfully helped her with the delivery and rental of a house, following which she began working remotely to manage her expenses.
For almost three years, Shirley struggled to balance her profession and parenting, but she eventually got the hang of it. She was making decent money and had already started a business, so she hired a nanny to care for Zoe.
Years later, at the age of nine, Zoe was doing everything for herself, from managing her clothes to cleaning her room and even assisting Mrs. Clark, their cook, with cooking and cleaning the trash. Shirley had taught Zoe everything from a young age, and the youngster was extremely self-sufficient. But there was one snag.
She picked up the paper and saw that it was addressed to her, but her phone suddenly rang.
Zoe wished Shirley would spend time with her as her friends did with their parents, but Shirley never made time. She was always preoccupied with work, client calls, and business meetings, and Zoe had become a minor part of her life over the years.
Zoe did everything she could to gain Shirley's attention, including getting top grades in school so that Shirley would appreciate her. Some students in school mocked her and labeled her a bookworm because of it, but she didn't care. All she wanted was her mother's attention, which she never got.
One day, Zoe was chosen to lead her school choir for the upcoming Annual Day function. She was desperate to show her performance to Shirley, so when she invited her to the event, she made Shirley promise that she would be there.
"Could you kindly come, Mommy?" Zoe asked her with a lot of hope.
"I'll check my calendar, and I'll see, honey," Shirley replied, engrossed in her laptop. "What time is it?"
"Here's the invitation, mommy," Zoe said, moving her hand forward to hand it to Shirley. But Shirley wasn't even looking at her. She was too busy working, so she told Zoe to leave it on the table.
Zoe's face plummeted as she saw her mother focused on her work and not even looking at her, but she didn't say much. Before heading to her room, she turned and simply asked, "Will you be there, mommy? Promise?"
Shirley stopped typing for a moment and looked at her. "I'll be there, honey! I promise," she said, smiling. "Now go to bed or you'll be late for school tomorrow."
Zoe's excitement knew no bounds as she went to bed that day. She was hopeful Shirley would finally be there for her. However, when the important day arrived, Shirley didn't turn up on time.
It turned out she had to attend an urgent meeting, and by the time she arrived at Zoe's school, the performance was over. Because of the traffic and her business clients, she once again disappointed Zoe, who, according to her class teacher, had already left for home.
Shirley was disappointed that she missed Zoe's performance. She couldn't get Zoe's delighted expression out of her head after she gave her the invitation, so she rushed home with a cake to apologize. However, when she returned home, she couldn't find Zoe.
"Zoe, Zoe! Mommy's home. Are you in there, baby?" she asked, and there was no response.
Shirley went upstairs to check Zoe's room, but she wasn't there. She looked in the bathroom, closet, and even under the bed but couldn't find her.
"Why isn't she here?" Shirley wondered when she dialed Zoe's number, assuming something may have kept her from coming straight home. However, when her calls went unanswered, she started to panic. She was about to dial Zoe's friends when her attention was pulled to a piece of paper on the ground, fallen beside Zoe's study table.
She picked it up to see what it was and saw that it was addressed to her but her phone suddenly rang. Mrs. Dickens, Zoe's best friend's mother, called to inform her that Zoe had been in a tragic accident and was in the intensive care unit.
Imagine Shirley's shock when she learned that her daughter was fighting for her life! She crushed the paper and tucked it in the pockets of her jacket as she picked up the car keys and rushed to the hospital.
Once she got there, Mrs. Dickens revealed that she was at school with her husband picking up their daughter, Stacey, when it all happened. Zoe was crossing the street in tears when a car hit her. The car's driver tried to apply the brakes, but it was too late by then. He helped bring Zoe to the hospital in his car and even called the cops and reported the incident.
Tragically, Zoe was undergoing an emergency operation, and the doctors advised everyone to pray that everything would go well. Shirley couldn't believe what she was hearing. She collapsed on one of the seats outside the ICU, sobbing like a child and blaming herself for her daughter's situation.
"Everything will be okay, Shirley," Mrs. Dickens reassured her. "Believe in God. Zoe will be fine!"
Shirley's heart, however, would not rest until she saw her daughter again. Her heart was pounding as she sat outside the operating room.
Suddenly, she remembered the piece of paper she'd found in Shirley's room. She frantically searched her pockets for it then opened it to read it. What she saw didn't let her tears stop.
I'm writing this because I'm upset you never make time for me. My friend Stacey told me that she writes everything in her journal when she is upset, and she feels happy after that. So I wanted to try it too. I don't have a journal yet, but I figured writing this would make me happy.
I miss you a lot, mommy. I don't like it when you don't play with me and just keep working. I want you to spend time with me just like my friends spend time with their parents. We never go out for movies and picnics, and that makes me sad.
Can you please spend more time with me? This time you have promised me that you would come to my school to see my performance. Please don't forget about it because of your work. I want you to be there.
I love you."
As Shirley finished reading the letter, she realized she had been utterly wrong to keep prioritizing her work over Zoe. She realized she had made a huge mistake and just wanted Zoe to be completely fine.
Three hours later, Zoe's surgery was finally over. The doctors declared the surgery a success, although Zoe would remain in the hospital under observation.
Shirley cried as she hugged her daughter when she regained consciousness in the hospital that day and promised she would never ignore her again. She told her she'd read her letter and was embarrassed about it.
"You read the letter? I am sorry," Zoe said sadly. "I didn't want you to see it because I thought you would be sad to read it. I wrote bad things about you."
Shirley stroked her hair gently and said, "You didn't write anything wrong, baby. Mommy did a few bad things, and she knows now that she shouldn't have done that. So thank you. And I love you!"
"I love you too, mommy," Zoe replied, smiling.
That day, Shirley learned that family should always come first. She had to learn her lesson the hard way, but she changed for the better. She began spending time with Zoe and hired a manager to assist her with business matters.
One day, when she went to pick Zoe up from school, she met Adam, a widower and father to twin boys. He and Shirley fell in love and married. Now they are a happy family of 6, including Shirley and Adam's baby daughter, Zara.
What can we learn from this story?
- Family always comes first. Shirley learned this the hard way after Zoe was hospitalized.
- A simple "I love you" to a loved one can make a significant difference in their life. Zoe just wanted to be loved and given attention, and she was ready to do anything for it.
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