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Flickr / Joshua Ganderson
Source: Flickr / Joshua Ganderson

Old Lady Celebrates 82ND Birthday Alone on Street after Her Children Learn She Is a Janitor – Story of the Day

Rita Kumar
Aug 05, 2022
08:40 A.M.
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A doting grandma who turned 82 wanted to surprise her granddaughter with a birthday celebration in the park. She waited for several hours under the hot sun, but nobody from her family showed up after learning she was a janitor.

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The relationship between grandmothers and grandchildren is always special. To nurture that unique bond, grannies would go to any extent to foster love, patience, wisdom, fun, and support for their grandkids. Charleston granny Doris also wanted to do something special for her beloved granddaughter, Alisa.

When she thought deeply about how to make her granddaughter happy, she remembered that her 82nd birthday was nearing. So Doris decided to throw a lovely garden party in the park. But the only obstacle she had was that she did not have enough money for the occasion.

Doris did not want to ask her son Kevin or daughter Ella for money because she felt it was unfair to burden them with unwanted expenses. So, she decided to look for a job...

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

The grandma was sent out of almost every doorstep she reached, begging for a job. People felt she was too old to work and did not want to hire her.

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"...I'll be waiting for you at 9 in the morning. Please don't disappoint me," cried the grandma.

She finally turned the wheel of fortune when a local school principal was moved by her story and hired her as a janitor. It was the only available position, and the grandma was assigned a corridor near the hall to sweep and clean.

Doris was delighted, thinking she would save enough money in two months for the party. After her husband's death 20 years ago, she lived alone in her small house just a block away from her son and daughter, so whenever Kevin saw his mother going out unusually, he started to get curious.

"Mom, where are you going? Aren't you supposed to be resting? You said your legs were aching," he asked Doris after spotting her heading out one day. Since she wanted to surprise everyone, Doris lied to Kevin.

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"Son, I'm alright now. I just wanted to go for a walk in the park," she fibbed.

Kevin believed her and brushed it off.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

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Doris worked to earn enough money for the party. Unlike the other staff in the school who were paid monthly, she was given a weekly payout.

The school had advertised for a janitor's position and wanted to keep Doris as a substitute until they hired a full-time cleaner. For the next two months, the grandma worked hard to save money. She was happy to do it and never complained about anything.

One day, she noticed an unusual commotion in the corridor. As it turned out, it was the school prom for the students in their final year. The area where Doris worked led to the venue for the event.

Doris was unaware that Alisa was in her final year there and was going to participate in the event. The girl was on holiday and had just returned to school, unaware that her granny was a cleaner there.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

A little later, Alisa arrived with her father and aunt. She noticed the children were making fun of an old lady and walked over to see.

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"Grandma?!" Alisa shrieked. "What are you doing here, and why are you holding a mop?"

The kids around burst into laughter and started teasing Alisa and her granny.

"Hey, look, our gonna-be prom queen's grandma is a cleaner in our school," someone said.

"No way, bro...I'm not dancing with a janitor's granddaughter!" another boy added.

Alisa was embarrassed. She ran in tears to her father, who was just about to drive home. "Dad, let's go home...I don't want to be here even for a minute," she sobbed.

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Kevin and his sister were shocked. "Wha-what happened, honey?" he asked. "You were preparing for this event for months. Why are you crying?" asked the dad.

He heard a roar of laughter coming from the corridor, and before he stepped out to check, he saw a faint figure approaching him with a mop.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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"MOM???" Kevin shrieked. "What the hell are you doing in that uniform? Put that thing down. Put it down and stay right there. Don't come near us."

"Has she gone crazy?" Ella added. "Mom, what is wrong with you?"

Doris was hurt after hearing her children's words. "But sweethearts, I was just trying to save money for...."

Kevin was far from just furious. "Shut up, mom! Stay right there and don't talk. You should have told us that you were working here. What was the need for you to work as a cleaner? You're an embarrassment to us. Don't talk to me again!"

The three stormed away in their car, leaving Doris heartbroken and speechless. Deep inside, she hoped her son would forgive her and understand if she explained it to him. But she had no clue what was about to happen next.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

Doris took out her last paycheck and quit the job. Since she had saved enough money to arrange for the party, she did not want to work any further. She was also hurt by how the kids taunted her, so she didn't want to go back to work and bring more shame to her granddaughter.

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In an attempt to mend things, Doris went to meet her son and granddaughter the next day. She was dreaming about how Kevin would hug her and say he was sorry for being so harsh to her. But it was nothing short of heartache when Kevin slammed the door on his mother's face and asked her never to see him again.

"Enough, mom...I don't want you to come again and hurt my daughter more. She's already disappointed about what happened yesterday, and I don't want you to add to it," Kevin fumed.

"But son, I came to invite all of you to my 82nd birthday tomorrow," Doris said in tears. "I have arranged for a small party on our favorite lawn in the park...I'll be waiting for you at 9 in the morning...Please don't disappoint me," she cried and walked away.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

The next day, on her birthday, Doris went to the park and found a bright, clean spot on the lawn. She carried heavy food baskets and mats for the occasion. She arranged everything and topped it with her birthday cake box.

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Doris waited an hour, looking around for her son and his family, but they never showed up. People who passed the picnic set-up were curious. They stopped to look before going about their business.

Poor granny Doris had her eyes fixed on the park's main gate. It was already 2 o'clock, and she had been waiting for her family under the scorching sun for over five hours.

"Please, Jesus, I pray they come," she tearfully prayed with her eyes fixed on the main gate.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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Moments later, she saw a silhouette of a family approaching the main gate and ran to them as fast as her fragile legs could carry her.

"Kevin? Is it you?" the granny anxiously asked, reaching out to a stranger's shoulder. "Alisa, my darling. I knew you would not disappoint your granny."

She ran after them to hug them but was heavily disappointed. It wasn't Kevin and Alisa.

"I'm—I'm so sorry. I thought you were my son and granddaughter," she apologized and turned back in tears.

Doris waited for a couple more minutes before she began packing her stuff. She carried everything and walked to her son's house, hoping to celebrate her long-awaited birthday party in his house. With a heavy heart, she was just about to reach out to the doorbell when the door creaked open with Kevin on the other side.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"Son, I was waiting for you for a very long time," she cried, looking at Kevin. But he ignored her and walked away.

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"Won't you forgive me? I wanted to surprise my granddaughter with her favorite cake on my birthday. I also made your favorite schnitzels and pie. I wanted to arrange this party on my own, which is why I worked as a janitor in the school. I am sorry, son. I should have told you earlier."

Kevin was still furious with his mother. He was not ready to listen to her still.

"Because of you, Alisa's prom was ruined. Only because of what you did, mom. How could you easily ask me to forgive you for ruining my daughter's happiness?"

"Why are you even talking to her?" Ella fumed. "Mom, please go away. You're a shame to us. Please don't come here until we call for you."

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Alisa overheard her father and aunt shouting at Doris and rushed out.

"Enough! Stop it, both of you!" she yelled and hugged her granny. "Stop shouting at grandma. Those boys were monsters who didn't know how to treat a lady. You are no different from them if you don't know how to treat your mother!"

Kevin and Ella were stunned by the girl's words.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Grandma, I missed you so much! I came to your house yesterday to apologize, but it was locked. I tried calling you, but you had left your phone in our house," Alisa cried.

"Come, let's leave. I don't want to stay a minute more here...And dad, don't call me. I don't want to talk to you or see you again. I hate you for hurting grandma. She is more precious than all the money and diamonds you have. We can earn assets and reputation back, but we cannot earn such a loving grandmother again."

At this point, Kevin realized his mistake. He was not ready to let his daughter walk away. Moreover, he felt ashamed of himself for hurting his poor mother instead of appreciating the efforts she made to make his daughter happy.

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Kevin ran after his mom and daughter and hugged them. He burst into tears and begged Doris for forgiveness.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"I'm sorry, mom. I was carried away by trying to maintain my reputation in society. I should have realized that no job is big or small, clean or dirty. I failed to recognize your good heart. My love for prestige and my daughter blinded me from seeing your love and sacrifices. I'm sorry," Kevin sobbed.

"Please forgive us, mom," Ella said.

Doris hugged them and was moved to tears. Alisa carried the food baskets inside and organized everything for her grandma's birthday.

As Doris blew her birthday cake, the family took beautiful pictures, and their house echoed with laughter. Kevin realized his mistake and offered his mom to move in with them. Although Doris was reluctant, she could not refuse and happily moved in.

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From that day on, Doris and Alisa were inseparable. Rumor has it that the grandma decided to save money for her 83rd birthday party and has started her cake baking class in the neighborhood.

Way to go, granny Doris!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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What can we learn from this story?

  • Be a good listener before jumping to conclusions about someone. Although Doris tried explaining to her son why she worked as a janitor, he refused to listen. He found fault and cut ties with for telling lies and humiliating his daughter.
  • Appreciate the good in a person instead of finding fault in them. Doris wanted to save money for her 82nd birthday and surprise her granddaughter with a lovely garden picnic. She worked as a janitor, and when her son found out, he criticized her. He failed to realize his mother's efforts and motives. Instead, he insulted her and was blinded by his love for his daughter and reputation in society.

A beggar was wandering the streets when he found a little girl crying and pleading for her grandma. Touched by her pain, the man escorted the girl home, only to meet the woman who made him homeless several years ago. Click here to read the full story.

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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