Shirley trusted her younger brother to look after their mother when she moved abroad. She believed he cared enough to ensure that she was always taken care of. But her life plans changed when she returned to visit her mother a year later.
Shirley was a 40-year-old who worked in the US as a nurse. She had moved from her hometown abroad for better opportunities. Before she moved, she lived with her aging mother who had no intentions of moving into an elderly home.
Shirley would fly back every year to visit her mother and younger brother. As the years passed, she noticed that her mother found it increasingly difficult to take care of herself, so she decided to have a private meeting with her younger brother, Alex, who had just graduated from university earlier that year.
Shirley's mother was aging and could no longer take care of herself. | Source: Shutterstock
“Mom needs someone to live with her full time. I can’t take her with me because I live with my son and husband in a small apartment,” she said.
“How about I visit her every weekend to make sure her house is clean and she has food? I don’t want to live in the village with mom,” he replied. Shirley agreed to this arrangement, but she was still worried about her mom.
Three years passed, and her brother kept his promise to visit their mother every weekend. But when Shirley returned for the holidays that year, her 65-year-old mother seemed too frail to live independently.
“We need to develop another plan,” Shirley said to her brother. “Mom can’t live on her own anymore.” Alex agreed but was not willing to move to the village. “How about you move back with her and I send you money every month to take care of yourself and mom,” Shirley suggested.
Shirley's mother was an old woman who needed to be taken care of. | Source: Shutterstock
Her brother was more amenable to the suggestion, hoping the money would be enough to take care of necessities and have some fun.”I hope that it will be enough for the both of you,” Shirley said. Alex promised to move back home and take care of their mom.
When Shirley left for the US, she was worried about whether her brother would adequately take care of their mom. She knew he enjoyed going out with friends, but she hoped he would meet his promises; it was their mother, after all.
As she promised, she sent him money every month. It was not a large amount, but it was enough to take care of both of them.
However, instead of moving in with his mother, Alex continued to visit her every weekend and spend the rest of the money on himself. Shirley’s mother wanted to contact her daughter to tell her the truth, but she didn’t want to cause added stress to her.
When Shirley left her mother in her brother's care, she was worried about whether he would take care of her properly. | Source: Shutterstock
A year later, it was time for Shirley to revisit her family, but she decided to arrive on a different date to surprise her family. When she arrived home for the holidays, she was shocked to find her mom by herself.
“Where is Alex? Shouldn’t he be taking care of you?” Shirley asked. Her mom told her that Alex would come to visit her once in a while, but he never moved back to live with her.
Shirley was furious. Every time she spoke with her brother, he promised that he was taking care of their mother. Just as she tried to make sense of her brother’s lies, he walked in, surprised to see Shirley and her family there. "Hey sis, this is a surprise. Why are you back so early?" Alex asked.
Shirley was shocked to find out that Alex did not move back home as he promised. | Source: Shutterstock
“You promised to take care of mom; why would you leave her by herself?” Shirley asked.
“There are so many old people in this village living by themselves, and they are fine; even mom has been fine this whole time,” he replied.
When Shirley questioned Alex about what he was doing with the money she had sent all year, her mother told her he used the money to gamble every weekend with his friends. “He has become popular in the village for always having extra money to gamble with,” she said.
Saddened by what her mother revealed, Shirley conversed with her husband in private. “I think we should take mom to come and live with us,” she said. Her husband wanted to take her with them, but he was worried about their financial situation.
Shirley and her mother agreed to put the house up for sale and use the money to move the family into a bigger apartment abroad. | Source: Shutterstock
“We can sell this house here and use that to get a bigger apartment,” Shirley suggested.
Worried that her brother would want a share of the money, she asked her mother in secret, and she agreed to move with them and sell the house without Alex knowing.
At the end of Shirley’s visit, she told Alex to no longer take care of their mother. “Our neighbor will come and take care of her every day until we can decide what to do with her,” Shirley said.
“Take her to an elderly home. She'll be fine,” Alex replied.
Shirley was very disappointed in her younger brother, but she was sure that her plan would work. As soon as she and her family headed back to the US, she began the process of selling the house as quickly as possible.
Shirley's mom arrived three months later to move in with her family. | Source: Shutterstock
Shirley stood at the airport waiting for her mother to land three months later. While preparing for her arrival, she and her husband and son received the proceeds of the sale and moved into a bigger apartment.
Shirley was relieved to have her mother live with her. She knew she would be able to take care of her, and her mother would not have to be lonely living by herself. She was grateful to spend time with her grandson and the rest of the family.
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