A grieving mother discovered that her daughter would sneak out of the house every evening, only to catch her meeting an adult man under an oak tree before riding his car.
Chelsea Wilson recently lost her husband and young son Brenden in a car crash. She and her 9-year-old daughter Tilly survived the crash, and the loss was difficult to accept as they were both devastated.
The loss of her husband and young son brought immense pain to Chelsea. She fell into a deep depression and could barely function daily. She'd always catch herself spacing out with no motivation to work whatsoever.
Little did Chelsea know, Tilly was experiencing the same. She felt lonely after her little brother Brenden's death and missed her dad a lot, as she had always been a daddy's girl. What made her feel even more lonely was her mom keeping to herself, paying less attention to her
Chelsea grieved the loss of her husband and son. | Source: Pexels
Chelsea would visit her son and husband's graves every day, where she cried the morning away. In the afternoons, while Tilly was in school, she'd remain in their living room, where she looked through photo albums of their once happy family.
Sick of being sad, Tilly reached out to her mother while they were having dinner one day. "Mom, I'm turning ten in a month!" she mentioned. Chelsea nodded, barely smiling as she acknowledged what her daughter said.
"Do you think I could get a dog for my birthday, mom? I've been feeling quite lonely, and I think getting a dog would help," she suggested.
Chelsea shrugged off her daughter's request. "I have no energy to take care of a dog. You're going to leave it at home while you're in school the whole day, so I'm sure I'll be taking care for it. Besides, we don't have extra money," she told Tilly.
Tilly asked her mom if she could get a dog for her birthday. | Source: Pexels
Tilly frowned but understood her mom's difficult situation. Her mom had always been a housewife but now had no choice but to look for a job after her father died.
Since that day, TIlly tried to find other ways to cope with her loneliness. Thinking that her mother didn't care enough about her, she would sneak out at night.
One day, her mom caught up with her daily escapades. She noticed that Tilly would leave the house at the same time every afternoon, only to return a couple of hours later in dirty clothes.
Then it hit Chelsea – she had been neglecting her daughter too much. The following day, she decided to follow Tilly when she left the house. She found her waiting for someone under the famous old oak tree in their neighborhood.
Tilly waited under a big old oak tree. | Source: Pexels
After a couple of minutes, an adult man came to greet the girl, and the two of them hugged. Then they both rode in his car.
"NO!" Chelsea yelled, panicking after seeing her daughter riding a car with a grown stranger. She hailed a taxi and followed them. "What is she doing?" she cried to herself.
After a couple of minutes, the car stopped in front of an old house. She ran out of the cab to prevent her daughter from entering until she realized it was a shelter for homeless dogs.
Chelsea sighed in relief but felt awful that her daughter would sneak out with a stranger every night. She decided to let her daughter know that she was there.
Chelsea realized that Tilly would visit a dog shelter every day. | Source: Pexels
"Tilly," she said as she approached. Tilly jumped, scared at the sight of her mom in the shelter.
"Mom! What are you doing here?" she asked in surprise.
Chelsea explained that she started to wonder where she would go, so she followed her. "Why would you sneak out, Tilly? Why didn't you just ask permission?" Chelsea asked her daughter.
Tilly revealed that she was afraid her mother wouldn't let her. "This shelter is my only source of happiness, mom," she added. "When dad and Brenden died, I was heartbroken. I needed a friend to spend time with. I don't have friends in school, and you didn't want me to get a dog," she explained.
Tilly admitted that she's been having a hard time coping with the loss of her dad and brother. | Source: Pexels
"I met Mr. Holman while he was walking a couple of dogs in the neighborhood. He revealed that he volunteered at this dog shelter. He started offering me to volunteer with him, so I'd go every afternoon," Tilly revealed.
Chelsea felt terrible for neglecting her daughter for months. She realized she had been concentrating on her own grief that she forgot her daughter was going through the same thing. "I'm sorry, Tilly. I've been so selfish," Chelsea cried, hugging her daughter. "From now on, we will cope together, alright? You'll always have me," she assured her.
Tilly smiled hearing this, as she missed her mom a lot. That day, Chelsea allowed Tilly to take a dog from the shelter. They took care of the dog together and gave it a loving and happy home.
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