One day, Mrs. Smith went to the cemetery and noticed a boy sobbing bitterly at his mother’s grave. She approached the boy out of concern, but she froze in shock when she took a closer look at his face.
Mrs. Smith was sitting in the park with her friends. After her daughter Tina relocated to a different city and her husband Josh passed away, spending time with friends was the only way she could escape from her daily boredom.
As the other women started talking about their children and how they were doing, Mrs. Smith fell silent. Her daughter had left her home a long time ago, but she had not bothered to check on her elderly mother even once in the last few years.
She’d called once and told Mrs. Smith that she was relocating to a new town, but when she was asked for the address, all she said was that she’d call her soon. Ten years passed, and neither that call nor any other call came.
Mrs. Smith gradually accepted her fate, believing her daughter had abandoned her at her advanced age. The elderly lady spent all of her holidays alone or with Mrs. Atkins, who had been her friend for over 40 years.
As they all sat talking about their children, Mrs. Atkins understood why her friend was silent. “What happened, Linda?” she asked when she noticed Mrs. Smith’s sad look on her face. “Tina didn’t call you this year again?!”
“Well, you’re aware that it’s been ten years. I don’t think she’ll ever come to see me,” Mrs. Smith sighed. “I could have visited her if I knew her address, but if she’s cut me off, I really don’t want to force myself on her. I’m hoping she’ll return to me one day.”
For Mrs. Smith, happiness was something that was lost back in the past and would never return to her. Every day, the old lady went through the same routine of collecting eggs and feeding the animals, then making herself breakfast and enjoying a delicious cup of tea. The morning routine was followed by cleaning the house in the evening and relaxing in front of the television.
On occasion, she would take time out of her monotonous schedule to meet the other ladies in the village and spend time with them. As Mrs. Smith sat talking to Mrs. Atkins, she noticed two black cars driving to the cemetery. People from nearby cities left their loved ones in the village’s old cemetery because it was difficult to find such a nice place in the town and also because there was never an issue with documentation of the deceased souls there.
“Who do you think is it this time, Linda?” Mrs. Atkins asked Mrs. Smith to distract her from her sad thoughts.
“It must be someone wealthy from the city,” Linda replied. “I’ll go to the cemetery tomorrow and find out. It’s Josh’s birthday, and I plan to visit him.”
The next day, Mrs. Smith was all decked up in the dress her husband had given her on their last anniversary. She often visited him during special occasions and that day was no exception.
As she approached her husband’s grave, she placed the bouquet she’d bought for him and sat there for a while talking to him. Then as the sun began to set, she stood up to leave, promising to return soon. Just then, she heard a crying sound.
Out of curiosity, she followed the sound, looking around the cemetery, trying to find the sad soul whose weeping piqued her curiosity. After strolling through the whole cemetery, she came to a halt in front of a freshly dug grave where a little boy stood, holding the grave’s stone with his head bent on it, weeping bitterly.
Feeling bad for the poor child, Mrs. Smith decided to approach him. “Hello, honey. What are you doing here by yourself? It’s getting dark and cold outside. Where are your parents?” she inquired softly.
“I don’t have a dad,” the boy said. “And my mom is here. I don’t want to leave her.”
Mrs. Smith looked at the fresh mound of earth near the boy’s feet. Oh, poor soul!
“What’s your name, honey? And where are your relatives?” she gently asked.
“Mom said my granny lives in this village,” he said in a trembling voice. “Other than her, I don’t have anyone. So I need to find her. My name is Atlas Wilson.”
“Do you know your grandmother’s name, Atlas? I know all the women in this village, so we’ll have no trouble finding her.”
“Well, I don’t know her name, but mom gave me this envelope when she fell sick.”
Mrs. Smith’s heart began to pound as she opened the envelope Atlas gave her. It contained Atlas’s birth certificate where his mother’s name was listed as Tina Wilson, and his father’s name was listed as Kyle Wilson.
Mrs. Smith took a closer look at Atlas’ face, which was difficult to see due to the darkness, but the closer she looked, the more she saw the boy’s resembled to her daughter Tina. Is he Tina’s son? The old lady’s mind raced through the most heartbreaking suspicions., but she was hoping it was all a coincidence.
She promised the boy that she would help him find his grandmother and took him home. She washed and fed him, and when he went to sleep, she sat by his bedside, staring at the envelope and its contents again and again. There was a note inside the envelope that housed their address. “Tina Wilson, 50 Oakland Ave, #197 Florida,” it read.
The next day, Mrs. Smith left for Florida, making it her mission to find out the truth about Atlas. She asked Mrs. Atkins to look after the boy while she was away.
When she arrived at the address, nobody answered the door. Tired of waiting there, she knocked next door, and a middle-aged woman answered. “What do you want?” she asked Mrs. Smith in a rough voice.
“I’m looking for Tina Wilson,” Mrs. Smith said. “She’s your next-door neighbor, right?”
The woman gave her a stern look. “I’m her landlady. That house is vacant now because she’s dead! Who are you, and why are you asking about her?”
“Well, there’s a possibility that she’s my daughter. Do you recognize the woman in this picture? That’s my daughter Tina.” She showed a picture of her and Tina to the woman.
“Yes, that woman does resemble Tina. But what kind of a mother are you? Your daughter was so sick, and you didn’t come to see her even once? Do you know your grandson is missing? Tina wanted to be buried in the village, so people from the city drove to the village. Your grandson was with them, but he was nowhere to be found when they returned from the cemetery.”
“Well,” Mrs. Smith said, teary-eyed. “It’s a long story. Can I please take a look at Tina’s home?”
“Yeah, whatever,” the woman said, unbothered by the old lady’s mournful expression. She unlocked Tina’s door and allowed Mrs. Smith in.
Mrs. Smith broke down as she saw her daughter’s pictures all around the living room. She looked so sweet and happy. Oh, honey! I can’t believe this!
She packed Atlas’ clothes and toys and decided to raise him alone. Then as she lifted Tina and Atlas’ photo frame from the bedside, a note fell on the ground. The woman opened it with trembling hands and began reading.
“Dear Mom,” it said. “Please forgive me for everything. I moved away from you, but I want you to know that it was a mistake I regretted for the rest of my life. I did that because I fell in love with a man who was much older than me. I was too embarrassed to confront you after that, so I cut myself off from you.
“When we had our child, I wanted to call you and tell you, but then my husband left the world. I barely survived to give my child a happy childhood. And then I was diagnosed with cancer. Atlas saw me in the worst state, and I’m hoping he won’t be miserable after my death. If you find this note, mom, I want to tell you I love you. Please take care of my son. With love, Tina.”
Mrs. Smith burst into tears as she read the letter, and the landlady dashed into the room to comfort her. When she calmed down, the landlady requested that her husband drive the elderly lady to the village.
She arrived home to the arms of Atlas who ran to her and hugged her. “So did you find my granny?”
The elderly lady sobbed as she hugged him. “Indeed, Atlas, I did. Your grandmother is also looking forward to meeting you, and she will never leave you.”
What can we learn from this story?
Everything in life happens for a reason. Mrs. Smith ran into Atlas at the cemetery, where she was fated to meet her grandson.
Never, ever keep anything from your parents. None of them would have suffered if Tina had told Mrs. Smith everything. Mrs. Smith would have cared for her daughter and grandson, and the older woman would not have spent her life in loneliness.