Two elderly people who are estranged from their oldest son are delighted when their grandchildren show up on their gran's birthday.
"It's your fault!" Peter screamed at his parents. "You NEVER accepted Leah and you never liked her! You destroyed my marriage and ruined my life!"
Amanda and Jack Western stared at their oldest son in shock. "Honey," Amanda said. "That's not true! We accepted Leah, tried to make her feel welcome..."
"TRIED?" Peter cried. "You should have done more than try! We're finished, mom and dad, I never want to see you again as long as I live!"
Peter blamed his parents for his divorce. | Source: Pexels
The quarrel had been eight years ago, and Peter had remained true to his word. He never saw his parents again. His only contact with his mother and father had been through his younger brother Jared.
Although Peter had permitted his two children to see their grandparents, he would always drop them off and wait in the car. He heard family news through Jared, who was ten years younger.
Truth can wound as deeply as any lie.
When the estrangement happened, Jared had been just fifteen to Peter's twenty-seven. Jared had worshipped his big brother and adored his niece and nephew.
Peter hadn't the heart to push him away. Six years later, the distance from his parents increased when Peter accepted a new job in Colorado, leaving his past and his family behind in his native Texas.
Coincidently, Jared was already living in Colorado, attending university there on a sports scholarship. It had been Jared who'd reached out to Peter, and he quickly became his big brother's best friend, despite the age difference.
"I never want to see you again as long as I live!" | Source: Pexels
It was Jared who stepped in and babysat little Amy and Joe when Peter had to work late, or when he had to take a business trip. It was Jared who kept their grandparents' memory alive.
He'd tell Amy and Joe stories from his own childhood, all about Amanda and Jack. "This is how your gran Amanda makes pancakes!" Jared would say, flipping the skillet.
Or he'd say: "Grandpa Jack can fix ANYTHING, and he tells the best bedtime stories!"
Peter would hear him talk about his parents, but he never participated in the animated conversations. He'd just sit and listen quietly, especially when Jared was telling his children news about Amanda and Jack.
Far away in Texas, Amanda and Jack would beg Jared daily for news about Peter and the children. After Jack logged off the Zoom call, Amanda said sadly, "He will never forgive us, never...I miss him, Jack. I miss our son, and I miss the children."
Peter still took Amy and Joe to see his parents. | Source: Unsplash
Jack said gently, "My love, one day he will forgive us. What else could we do?"
"We could have kept our silence," Amanda said. "If I'd known it would cost me the love of my son, I would have!"
"Pretend you'd never seen his wife with another man?" Jack asked. "Let him be cheated on, humiliated?"
"He loved her," Amanda said. "He would have preferred ignorance. We cost him his happiness."
But Jack shook his head stubbornly. "But look what happened!" he said. "As soon as she was outed as a cheat she walked out on Peter and abandoned her own children. We did the right thing!"
But Amanda blamed herself and fretted about the estrangement from Peter. "I'll be seventy years old, and my son and my only grandchildren won't be there!" she said to her husband.
Amanda missed Peter and the children. | Source: Pexels
"It will be alright," Jack said. "I'll throw you the biggest party you've ever seen!"
Jack set about organizing a fabulous birthday bash for Amanda and invited all her friends and the entire family. For his sake, Amanda pretended to be excited. She was greeting her guests and receiving gifts when she heard an excited voice cry out, "Granma Amanda! It's US! We've come to wish you a happy birthday!"
Amanda turned around and saw Amy and Joe running towards her! They had grown so much! She looked behind them hoping to see a beloved face. Then she was hugging the two children.
"My sweet babies, you came from another state just to wish me a happy birthday?" she cried. "And where is your dad? In the car?"
Jack threw a huge party for Amanda's birthday. | Source: Unsplash
"No, we came without him," Amy answered. “But how did you come to another state without father?” Amanda asked Amy and that was when Jared stepped forward grinning.
"Happy birthday, mom!" he said. "I hope you like your birthday presents?"
Amanda hugged her son. "Thank you my darling! But how did you..."
"Peter went on a business trip and asked me to take care of the kids," Jared said. "I couldn't help but bring them to you, even though I know Peter will hate me for it..."
A quiet voice interrupted: "You're wrong about that!" Amanda and Jared turned around and there was Peter! "Mom," he said. "Happy birthday..." He stepped forward, and for the first time in eight years, he embraced his mother.
Amanda was reunited with her grandchildren. | Source: Unsplash
"Oh my boy," Amanda whispered through her tears. "My boy, I'm so sorry! Please forgive me..."
"Mom," Peter said. "There's nothing to forgive. You were right all along." He reached into his pocket and took out a pretty box with a silver ribbon. "This is for you, from Amy, Joe, and me!"
Jared watched with a huge grin and tears in his eyes. "I'm so glad you're not mad at me!" he said. "But how did you find us?"
Peter grinned back. "I have a tracker installed in the kids' cell phones," he explained. "And I could never be mad at you, Jared. You may be my younger brother, but you are much wiser than I!"
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