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On Valentine’s Day, Old Lady Who Barely Recognizes Her Kids Meets Man She Lost 56 Years Ago — Story of the Day

Sonali Bharadwaj
Feb 15, 2022
06:20 P.M.
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An old woman who can hardly recognize her own children proves that miracles can happen when the sweetheart she lost 53 years ago pays her a visit on Valentine's Day, and she recognizes him.

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Margaret Hanks, 81, who was now confined to a wheelchair, almost immobile and expressionless, had not always been this way. She used to be a vibrant, cheery woman who was always smiling, but her husband's death devastated her and aged her in an instant.

Exactly 6 years ago, she had been busy making lunch when her doorbell rang. Thinking it was her husband, Bob, she hastened to answer the door, but when she addressed the other person in the doorway, she was driven to tears and a searing agony in her heart.

Margaret was confined to a wheelchair | Photo: Shutterstock

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A police officer had paid her a visit that afternoon, notifying her that her husband had died in a car accident. He said he'd gotten Bob's address from his driver's license and had come to request her for body identification.

"You - You must have made a mistake, officer," she whispered, shivering and practically crying as she retrieved the driver's license from his grasp. "Bob...he - he can't leave like that...He was just..." she said before she collapsed.

The officer dialed for an ambulance and rushed her to the hospital. When she awoke, he was already sitting by her bedside. He gently described how she'd arrived at the hospital and asked if she had any other family members she could contact.

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Margaret, with trembling hands, scribbled down her kids' contact numbers and addresses and gave it to the officer. Later that evening, her son Andrew and daughter Clara paid her a visit.

"Mom! Are you okay? We heard about dad," Clara's eyes welled up as she hugged her. "It's alright, mom. Everything will be fine." 

"Yes, mom. We'll be staying with you for a while. So don't feel that you're alone," Andrew added to console her. But no one could have predicted that things would not improve and would instead worsen...

Margaret missed Bob terribly | Photo: Pexels

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One year after Bob's demise, Andrew, his wife, and Clara had paid Margaret a visit for Christmas so she wouldn't be alone. 

When Clara went to call her mother for dinner, she found her sitting motionless on her bed, staring out the window. "Mom, what's up with you? I've been calling you for dinner for so long!" she said, slightly irritated.

"What time is it?" Margaret asked, turning around. "And who are you? Please call my husband Bob! I've been looking for his belongings, but I can't seem to find them. Why is his closet empty?"

Clara was stunned. "Mom! It's Clara! And dad is no longer alive! We lost him a year ago! What are you even saying?"

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"Shut up!" Margaret lashed out. "How dare you say such horrible things about my husband? Get the hell out of my house!" she added as she dragged Clara out of her room and downstairs to the living room.

When she saw Andrew there, she was even more furious. "Did you also call your friends? How the hell can you call someone to my house without my permission? I'm calling the cops right now!"

Margaret's condition was deteriorating | Photo: Pexels

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"Mom!" Andrew cried. "Please, relax! What's the problem? It's me, Andrew, your son! This is my wife, Shelly, and that's your daughter, Clara," he continued, pointing to a photo frame in the living room containing their photos.

As Margaret looked at the photo, she burst out crying. "Bob… But where has Bob gone? I need to contact him. Clara, where has your father gone? Why isn't he home yet?"

"Um, mom..." Clara was speechless. She and Andrew managed to persuade her that night that he would return home; however, they knew their mother wasn't doing well. So they took her to the doctor the next day, and their suspicions were confirmed. Maragert was suffering from Alzeihemer’s. It was still in its early stages, but it could worsen if they didn't take adequate care of her.

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Clara and Andrew tried everything in their power to keep Maragert's condition from deteriorating. They resolved to take care of her for six months each and spend enough time with her on weekends. But nothing could help her, and a year later, she barely recognized them...

Clara and Andrew were worried about Margaret | Photo: Pexels

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One day, Margaret had just awoken and was sitting on her bed when Clara came in to give her breakfast. When she saw her, she started panicking. "Stay away from me! I'm going back home! You won't be able to keep me here for long."

After hours of convincing and Andrew by her side – he arrived there quickly upon getting a call from Clara — Margaret finally calmed down. But that day, they realized she wouldn't get any better. So they decided it was time to send their mother to a nursing facility, where she would be adequately cared for.

They called their mother's doctor and told him they'd be bringing her to a nursing home the following day. Clara began preparing Margaret's bag and decided to send some of Bob's stuff with her. She went to the storeroom to fetch some of his things and as she pulled out something from a high shelf, a large carton fell on the floor, revealing a picture album and several letters.

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Clara had been dusting them off and putting them back when something caught her eye. She opened the letters one by one and couldn't believe her eyes when she learned they were from her mother's past.

Clara found pictures of a young man in the storeroom | Photo: Pexels

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It turns out, when Margaret was 23, she was engaged to a man named Andy Matthews. They were madly in love and inseparable, but post-Vietnam War, the man never returned. 

"I'll be right back, Margaret. And that's my promise to you," he'd said in one of his letters to her before departing. But he never got to keep that promise. 

He later told her in letters that he'd been unconscious for a year after the war because he was gravely hurt. He also wrote that he knew she'd been married by that point, which was why he didn't want to return.

After reading most of the letters, Clara had an idea. "Andrew!" she cried. "I found these letters in the storeroom! Mom had a lover? I never knew! She even has his pictures, some guy named Andy Matthews."

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Don't lose hope.

Andrew shrugged. "Ugh... what's the point of it all? I spoke with Dr. Evans. He said we may need to get some documents...."

"Idiot! What if it can help mom remember?"

"Clara, we've tried everything. I don't think this will help. We showed her our baby pictures and dad's stuff, but she barely recognized anything. She's not going to recognize them for sure!"

Clara proposed showing the old letters and pictures to Margaret | Photo: Pexels

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"Maybe we can show everything in order? We begin with these letters and photos, then show Dad's pictures, and finally ours?"

"Cool, do whatever you want. It won't help, though," Andrew muttered as he walked away. But later that evening, when Clara showed the pictures in a specific order to Margaret, she began to sob after seeing Andy's images. "He - He…" she mumbled something that was hard to make out, but Clara had an unsettling feeling that there was something about this man named Andy that could help her mother get better.

So that night, after helping Margaret to bed, she opened Facebook and began looking for him. She'd already postponed the nursing home plan, considering Andy as the last ray of hope for Margaret.

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After stumbling upon a few profiles, she found a man who looked much like the young Andy. His profile picture was with a woman, and his marital status said "widowed." 

Regardless, she decided to contact him and sent a message. A week later, there was a reply. He agreed to Clara's request to visit them to see Margaret, and it happened on Valentine's Day.

Andy paid Margaret a visit on Valentine's Day. | Photo: Pexels

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When he entered Maragaret's room with a bouquet of her favorite flowers, the older woman couldn't take her eyes off him. Her eyes welled up, and it was the first time in so many years that she ultimately recognized someone. "A - Andy? You…"

"Yes, Margaret," he said, falling on his knees and giving the flowers to the first woman he ever loved. "You love flowers, don't you?"

"Oh, you remembered. But why are you so late? You said you would take me to dinner yesterday? You did not."

"I'm sorry, I was late, Margaret. I will never leave you, okay?" The older woman nodded, teary-eyed, as Clara and Andrew got emotional seeing their mother like that.

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They later learned that Andy had married a woman named Daisy after returning from the war, but they didn't have any children. He he'd lost her to cancer three years ago.  He was taken aback when Clara messaged him because he didn't think he'd see Margaret ever again!

Margaret continues to have bouts where she forgets everything after that day, but at least, she is doing much better now. Dr. Evans is quite perplexed, and he labels it as a miracle! More importantly, everyone is especially glad that Andy and Margaret are with each other and happy together.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Miracles indeed happen. Incredibly, Margaret got better when everyone thought she wouldn't and even recognized Andy.
  • Don't lose hope. Clara was hopeful that contacting Andy would help her mother's condition, and it did.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who found an abandoned baby on her doorstep 20 years after she left her own.

This account is inspired by our reader's story 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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