A man places his elderly mother in assisted care but she finds friendship and loving kindness in a young volunteer.
Being old was a bitter pill to swallow, Edith Norton thought. She had been an active, dynamic woman all through her life, and into her late sixties, then her health had started to deteriorate.
By her seventy-second birthday, Edith realized she could no longer live alone. A slip and fall landed her in the hospital, but the worse was that she lay on her kitchen floor for hours, her cell phone out of reach, until a neighbor came calling.
Her only son Gary came to see her in the hospital and told her that "steps had to be taken" by which Edith knew that her independent days were over. At first, she thought Gary would take her to live with him and his family, but he had other plans.
"Mom," Gary said, "I've been thinking, you need to sell that house, and move into an assisted living facility. It would be much safer and suitable for a woman your age."
"Oh!" said Edith, "I thought maybe...Well, you have such a huge house..."
"Mom, Kate, and I like our privacy," Gary said, "And the kids are in college and certainly wouldn't like being fussed over. You'd be much more comfortable in Autumn Meadows, and it's close so I'd visit often!"
Our parents and grandparents have given their all and should be loved and cherished.
So Edith moved into Autumn Medows, and it really wasn't that bad. She had her own little apartment which afforded her all the privacy she could have wanted -- and in fact, Edith often felt very lonely.
Gary had visited her twice in the first three months she was in Autumn Meadows, then he never visited her again. When Edith phoned him he was always charming but in a hurry, on his way to a meeting or just plain busy.
Esther's health started to suffer | Source: Pexels
One day she was sitting in the recreation room drifting in her own memories when a cheery voice interrupted her. "Hi! I'm Jack." Edith looked up at a tall young man with a huge happy grin and found herself smiling back.
"Jack," Edith said, "Hello, nice to meet you. Are you visiting family?"
Jack shook his head sadly. "No, my grandparents passed away three years ago. They raised me, and I miss them, so I volunteer at Autumn Meadows."
Edith laughed bitterly. "You like being around useless old people? I wish my grandchildren felt the same way!"
"You are not useless," Jack told her sternly. "You still have a lot to give and to share. So tell me...What do you miss the most? Going shopping? To your favorite salon for a pedi?"
Esther's son placed her in an old age home | Source: Unsplash
Jack swept Edith a bow. "I'm at your disposal, my lady!"
Edith laughed. "Silly boy! My name is Edith and if I tell you what I miss the most you'll laugh at me..:"
"Try me!" said Jack smiling.
Edith leaned in and whispered, "I'm a big basketball fan. I used to go to matches with my husband, and that is what I miss the most! Sitting on the sidelines, watching those moves..."
"Ma'am," cried Jack happily, "you are a woman after my own heart! I will speak to the coordinator and ask for permission to take you to a basketball game!"
Esther calling her son | Source: Pexels
From then on, Jack would take Edith to basketball whenever he could manage, at least once a month, and those outings became her greatest joy. She particularly enjoyed Jack's company and his kindness.
Over the next three years, Edith became very fond of Jack, and he seemed to have adopted her as his own grandmother. He brought Edith flowers, he phoned her and told her the joys and upsets of his life, and celebrated his birthdays with her, while her own son Gary never visited.
Sadly, Edith passed unexpectedly, and Jack was there at the graveside, crying and saying his goodbyes. Edith's son was there too, and so was his wife and children. They all looked suitably upset, but something else was on their minds.
Three days after the funeral, Edith's son contacted her lawyer and asked when he would start probating his mother's estate. "Well, Mr. Norton," said the lawyer in an embarrassed voice, "I've already started..."
Meeting Jack, a kind, sweet young man | Source: Pexels
"You have?" asked Gary, "But you never read us the will..."
The man coughed. "Well...I thought your mother would have mentioned it to you..."
"Mentioned what?" asked Gary.
"Well..." the lawyer harrumphed.
"Stop saying 'well' and get on with it!" cried Gary impatiently.
"As you know, Mr. Norton, your mother's estate was considerable..." the lawyer said.
Esther's Last Will and Testament leaving it all to Jack | Source: Unsplash
"Yes, I know how much she was worth, so when do I get it?" Gary asked.
"Never," said the lawyer. "Your mother left it all to a Mr. Jackson Kersey."
"What?" gasped Gary. "Who the hell is that? I don't know any Jackson Jersey!"
"Your mother did. This young man was very fond of Mrs. Norton, and she of him. Three months ago, when her health faltered, she called me in and changed her will. According to Mrs. Norton, you'd visited her three times in the last three years..."
"I'm a busy man..." blustered Gary, "I don't have the time !"
Esther's son hearing the bad news from her lawyer | Source:Pexels
"Well, sir," said the lawyer in a sharp voice, "now you don't have the money!"
Gary screamed and complained and he got his own lawyer to try and contest the will, but it was watertight. Edith and her lawyer had made sure of that. Her estate in its entirety -- over $1.5 million after inheritance taxes -- went to Jack, who had loved and cared for her as if she was his own grandmother.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Our parents and grandparents have given their all and should be loved and cherished.
2. If you give nothing you should expect nothing in return.
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