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An Old Lady Knocked on My Window When My Life Was in Ruins, She Became My New Family in a Month — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Aug 05, 2022
12:00 P.M.
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A 37-year-old woman whose life is devastated by tragedy discovers a way back to happiness when an elderly lady knocks on her window.

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The night Amelia knocked on my window, I had been begging God for death. I didn't think I could survive one more day with the pain clawing at my heart.

A year before, I had a perfect life. I was happily married to a man I adored and with whom I shared six-month-old twin baby boys. But one day I came home from work, and Peter broke the news. He was leaving me.

For illustration purposes only | Source:  Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"But we're happy!" I protested. "I don't understand..."

"Look, Marissa," he said coldly. "I waited until after the boys were born, and you were more settled, but the truth is, there is someone else. "

"Someone else?" I couldn't believe my ears. "For how long?"

Peter had the grace to look ashamed. "A little over a year."

"I was pregnant with your babies, and you were having an affair?" I gasped.

"It doesn't matter now," he said. "It's over, OK? You can keep the house..."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"The house?" I cried. "The house is falling down around our ears! You promised we'd renovate, put in a new furnace..."

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"I'm not spending my money on that!" he said. "I gave you twelve years of my life; you won't get a minute more -- or a cent!"

He left, walked out, and left me with two children to support and no one to help me. That night, I called my mother and asked her to fly down to Texas and stay with me for a while.

Letting go of the pain doesn't mean letting go of the love.

I needed her help. I struggled to juggle my job and raising six-month-old babies while fighting depression. Mom's kindness and tranquility were a godsend.

Before long, she had everything running smoothly, and I could concentrate on that promotion I was angling for. My boss called me into his office and broke the news -- I had the promotion AND a fat raise!

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I drove home happy for the first time since Peter had left me. I knew that my luck was changing, finally, I was on my way to a new and happier life. I was so wrong.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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When I turned into my street, I saw several fire trucks surrounded by firemen dragging hoses. They were aiming them at a house wrapped in flames.

It was my house, where I'd left my mother and my sons. I started screaming and tried to run into the flames, but someone held me back. I don't know how that night ended.

I can't remember anything except the funerals, those tiny coffins battered by the rain, with my mother's casket beside them. I had nothing left to live for.

They told me later that the furnace had exploded, the same one Peter had promised he'd replace. I should have done it, but I was so busy feeling sorry for myself that I'd forgotten it.

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That forgetfulness cost me my family. I could never forgive myself for my carelessness. I quit my job, took the insurance money from my home, and bought a small house in a small town where no one knew me.

I wanted to disappear, to be invisible, and I succeeded until the night Amelia knocked on my window. I was curled up on my couch, lost in my grief when I heard the sound of knuckles on glass.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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I jumped up, ran to the window, and found myself looking into a white, frightened face. It was the face of an elderly woman with hair as soft and white as cotton floss.

I opened the door and ran out into the garden. "Hello," I said gently to the woman who now cowered under my window. "Are you looking for someone? It's cold out here. Why don't you come inside?"

I took the woman's frail hand in mine and led her inside. "What's your name?" I asked after I sat her on my couch. "Where do you live?"

The woman gave me the sweetest childish smile. "I'm Amelia," she said. "Who are YOU?"

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"I'm Marissa," I replied, smiling back. "Where do you live?"

Amelia said, "I live with my daddy and my mommy in the house by the church."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Oh," I said. "Of course, let me get you some milk and cookies, and then I'll get you home, OK?" My heart broke for poor Amelia. I had considered memory my curse; now, I saw what its loss could do.

I imagined losing my memory of my mother's smile and the sweet scent of my babies in my arms. I might have the agony of loss, but I also had the blessing of their memory.

I closed my eyes and sent up a prayer. "Thank you, Lord," I whispered. I knew now that I could let go of the pain without letting go of the love.

I placed a light shawl around Amelia's shoulders and walked her down the street to the house next to the church. I knocked on the door and heard the noise and chatter of children.

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A tall man opened the door. "Mom!" he cried as soon as he saw Amelia. "Where have you been?"

"It's OK," I told him. "Amelia was lost, but I brought her home."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Thank you!" the man said, and I saw that he had kind eyes. "It's my fault; I didn't notice she was gone, but with five children..."

"You have five children?" I asked. "You and your wife are very lucky!"

"My wife passed away," he said. "It's been a year, but... I just can't seem to get over it."

"I know how you feel," I said, touching his hand. "But I've learned that we must let go of pain and keep only the love."

He smiled for the first time, and I saw how attractive he was. "I'm Victor," he said. "Come in, have dinner with us!" To my surprise, I found myself accepting his invitation.

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His children were adorable, and I had a wonderful time. I asked Victor for permission to take Amelia for walks, and he agreed. Little by little, we all became closer.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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A month later, we were having a picnic, and I saw Victor look at me with a special light in his eyes. "Marissa," he said softly. "Would you have dinner with me? Just me alone!"

I agreed, and exactly a year after our first date, Victor and I were married. Amelia was happy as always, and the kids were delighted. I have one secret -- Victor doesn't know yet, but we are going to have a baby. I will never forget my lost family, but I've learned to live, love, and hope again.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Dedicating ourselves to others helps us overcome despair. Marissa was so focused on her loss that her pain was constant until she met Amelia and her family, who needed her help
  • Letting go of the pain doesn't mean letting go of the love. Amelia taught Marissa to cherish the memories of her loved ones and leave her grief behind.
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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an unexpected encounter with a child by the side of a lonely road that changes a grieving woman's life completely.

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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