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Elderly woman in a wheelchair | Source: Getty Images
Source: Elderly woman in a wheelchair | Source: Getty Images

Older Lady Who Can’t Recognize Own Son Cries When Man She Hasn’t Seen for 63 Years Shows Up — Story of the Day

Preeti Pillai
Nov 02, 2022
01:30 P.M.
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Charlotte's memory had robbed her of a lot of precious memories, but her son refused to give up on her. Little did she know that weeks later, she would be standing face to face with the most unforgettable man from her past.

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Frank was heartbroken by his mother's illness, but he wasn't ready to give up on the woman who had raised him yet.

Friends and family had been asking Frank to finally "come to terms" with his mother's Alzheimer's and let her be looked after in a home, but he refused to do that. He would wake up and spend most of his day caring for his mother, cleaning up after her, and trying to put pieces of her memory back together.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

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But Charlotte didn't remember much now. She would look at old photos of her own wedding, her honeymoon, and early motherhood like she was looking at strangers. The disease had robbed her of remembering some of the most precious things in her life, including the face and name of her own son.

"You…you're…" Charlotte would shake her head and break down in her son's arms, cursing herself.

One day, Frank was cleaning his mother's room when he found an old diary he had never seen before. The pages were barely attached to the spine anymore, and the ink was starting to fade…

Frank opened it to a bookmarked page, and it read in big, bold letters: "Jack…I miss you!"

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He noticed that the page was bookmarked by a tiny old photo of his mother standing arm-in-arm with an unfamiliar man. He leaned in to look more closely at the man in the picture.

Be kind to the life journey your elders have been through.

"There's no way that's dad…" Frank thought and kept the photo in his pocket.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

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That night, he patiently read page after page of the diary that held the biggest secret of his mother's life. And by the time the morning light shone through the window, his eyes were wide awake in shock and tears as his heart battled with an existential dilemma.

Later that day, he showed his mother the old photo. It was like life had returned to her eyes and her body. Charlotte held the photo to her chest, stood up, and began calling the name of the man in the picture. "Jack! Oh, Jack…" She waltzed around delicately as tears streamed down her face.

Frank was overwhelmed by his mother's reaction because it only confirmed what he had learned from the diary the previous night.

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Jack was once the love of Charlotte's life. He and Charlotte grew up together on either side of the same farm. Their families were dirt poor, but their childhood and youth were blissful.

The isolated village was witness to the story of Charlotte and Jack's love, their secret meeting spots, the places where they dreamed, the roofs where they stared at the starry skies…

But Charlotte's father had come back from work one day and shattered the couple's plans.

"The Whittakers are a rich family, and Adam seems like a nice boy with a big inheritance. Our Charlotte will be very happy there…" her father said, and her mother was dizzy with happiness.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

But Charlotte put her foot down, saying she would only marry Jack and she didn't care about the money. Her parents knew her well, and so they came up with a rather devious plan to change her mind.

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"Jack? That skirt chaser?!" a neighbor spoke to Charlotte exactly like he had been asked to by her father. "I saw him getting cozy with another woman in the barn yesterday. Also overheard him saying he was bored and done with Charlotte," the man lied.

It hurt Charlotte, but she didn't believe it. "My Jack wouldn't cheat on me like that!" she wrote in her diary.

A few days later, Charlotte was shocked to see Jack show up at her door, looking at her with coldness in his eyes.

"It's true. I don't love you anymore. Go live your life!" he had said with a shivering voice before storming off.

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Charlotte was devastated and tired of fighting her parents' pressure. She finally gave in and married the son of a wealthy industrialist.

She knew she would have to forget Jack. She knew she couldn't be an unfaithful wife. She got pregnant just a few months in, and she pretended to be happy.

But what she hadn't told a soul was that the baby in her belly wasn't Adam's. It was Jack's!

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

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The diary was the only bearer of this secret until Frank discovered it years later. He struggled to cope with the truth, went through phases of anger at his mother and Jack, and looked back at the lie that Adam had unknowingly lived until he breathed his last.

But after the avalanche of emotions had passed, Frank looked at his now frail mother waltzing around the room wearing the same old hearty smile that had gone missing years ago.

"This isn't about me anymore…this is about her…about them!" Frank said, taking another look at the old photo and making a decision in his head.

Leaving his mother in a trusted relative's care, Frank set out to his mother's childhood home and neighborhood, determined to find Jack. It had been a whole week, and he had visited every house, every diner, asked every elderly stranger on the street if they knew a man named Jack who once loved a woman named Charlotte.

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Only two people had given him an address, and they didn't sound too sure. But when Frank found that house and knocked on the door, the man who opened the door and took a look at the old photo burst into tears.

"That's my Charlotte…Where…where is she?" Jack could barely speak over his tears.

"You might want to sit down for this," Frank said before telling him he was his son.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

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Jack thought all of it was a dream, the fact that he had a son, the fact that his son was driving him to see Charlotte after all these years, or that she still remembered him and danced.

"Son," he told Frank, "I need you to do something when I finally meet her." Jack smiled at the idea brewing in his head.

For Charlotte, it appeared to be just another afternoon, watching TV without looking at it, wandering between fragments of memories that came and went.

Until she heard the doorbell and saw her son come in. He appeared to be in an unusually great, lively mood. He played an old familiar song on his phone and walked to her, lifted her from the wheelchair, and danced with her gently.

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Charlotte felt a strange feeling rise within her, a memory that made her knees weaker than usual. She knew that song, and she knew the man she once danced with to that same tune. It was all coming back, and Charlotte closed her eyes to relive that delicious memory.

She swayed and turned, holding Jack's face in the center of her mind. He felt so close, so real. And when the song was over, she opened her eyes, and there he was. Her Jack. The father of her child. The only man she ever managed to love with all her heart.

Tears trickled down her cheeks as she felt the forgotten spark of his loving kiss.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

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"Jack?" Is that really you?" Charlotte gasped.

"I take it back, Lottie! I love you. I've always loved you!" Jack embraced Charlotte and let his tears out.

Frank watched this moment with a deep sense of satisfaction. "She may have forgotten her son," he thought, "but at least she remembers his loving father."

For the rest of their sunset years, Jack and Charlotte lived in Frank's care. Thanks to him, they were able to revive their love and at least try to make up for the lost time.

Seven years later, Charlotte died peacefully in Jack's arms. And it was as if Jack was waiting to reunite with the love of his life once again because exactly two months after Charlotte's passing, Jack breathed his last, embracing the same old photo that had changed their destiny.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

What can we learn from this story?

  • True love stands the test of time. Charlotte and Jack had parted ways decades ago, but she still remembered him despite her illness, and he still loved her just the same.
  • Be kind to the life journey your elders have been through. Frank was initially angry at his mother for keeping such a big secret, but ultimately, he chose to be kind and give her joy and love in the time she had left.

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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about another unfinished love story between two high school sweethearts who finally gets a twist 50 years later, in the form of a forgotten letter in the woman's old jacket.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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