When Derek found fresh flowers at his wife Alice’s grave every week, he assumed it was the work of one of her students because she had worked as a teacher all her life. But one day, he saw a little boy sitting there and discovered the truth his wife had kept hidden for so long.
Alice Miller was 87 years old when she died. She had been married for 58 years to her husband Derek, who was seven years younger than her. However, God did not bless them with children, and after Derek noticed how fertility treatments were affecting Alice, he told her that they were enough for each other.
Alice had always been a loving wife to him, and he cherished their relationship equally. In fact, Derek had often wished God would take them together, so no one would be left alone to mourn. However, fate had other plans for them, and Alice died of cancer.
One year had passed, and Derek could still feel the immense pain of losing his wife. He was in deep mourning. He would visit Alice’s gravesite every weekend after attending the Sunday service at the nearby church.
One day, he noticed that someone had placed fresh flowers on Alice’s grave. It was her favorite flowers. Derek thought they were most likely from one of her students. However, when he returned the following week and the week after that, there was always a new set of flowers.
Curious about who was leaving flowers at his wife’s grave, he began visiting the cemetery every day. Then one Sunday, he saw a little boy sitting beside Alice’s grave. He sat there in silence, motionless, not uttering a word. Derek decided to approach him.
“What’s your name, young man? And what are you doing here?” he asked the child gently. But the boy did not respond. He turned around and looked at him, then again turned in the direction of Alice’s grave.
Wondering who the boy was, Derek’s head ran with the weirdest suspicions.
“Are you here by yourself? Did you know Alice?” he inquired again, hoping for an answer, but the boy’s response was the same.
Suddenly, Derek heard a woman’s voice behind him. “He might not answer to you, Mr. Miller. Let me try talking to him.”
Derek turned around and saw a woman, somewhat in her late 30s, approaching from the church’s direction and holding Alice’s favorite flowers in her hands.
“Are you okay, Michael?” she gently asked the boy. “Maybe you should go and play with your friends. I’ll meet you soon. Would you like to do that?” The boy nodded his head and walked away with his head bowed down.
“So you’re the one who’s been leaving flowers on my wife’s grave?” Derek asked the woman after the boy left. “Did you know my wife?”
“Yes, Mr. Miller,” the woman said with a smile. “Would you mind if we take a seat? There’s a lot I’d like to tell you.”
Derek had no idea why the woman said that, but he followed her to a park near the cemetery where Michael was playing with his friends. Then the woman revealed the whole story to Derek.
“I know it may come as a surprise to you,” she said as she watched Michael run around the park, “but I’m your wife’s granddaughter. My name is Melissa Roberts.”
“What?!” Derek was astounded. “But Alice and I never had children, and we never adopted one.”
“I know, Mr. Miller,” Melissa admitted. “I’m a product of your wife’s past, before you.”
Derek was stunned by the sudden revelation, but he listened to her intently as she narrated the whole story.
“Grandma was only 16 when she got pregnant,” Melissa began. “Her parents were adamantly opposed to the pregnancy and forced her to terminate it. But Grandma chose to give birth.”
“Unfortunately, after the child was born, the doctors told her she would never be able to conceive again. Her parents obviously did not accept the child because they were against such an early pregnancy, so she was forced to give the child up for adoption. She had given birth to a lovely baby boy. His name is Adam, and he is my father.
“Dad’s adoptive family later sent him to study at the school where Grandma taught, and fate brought them back together. She came to meet her son secretly ever since she recognized him and never told anyone about it, not even you, because she was afraid you wouldn’t take it positively.
“Later, my father married my mother, then I was born. Michael is my son with my husband, Dean. Michael was really close to Grandma, and after she left, he became very quiet.
“However, I never expected our paths to cross this way. I’ve asked my mother and father to meet with you and tell you the truth, but they never agreed because of Grandma.”
“But I’m glad we met, Melissa,” Derek said as she wiped her tears away. “If Alice had told me about her son before, I would have wholeheartedly accepted him. However, it is not too late. May I please meet your parents?”
“Sure, Mr. Miller,” Melissa chirped. “My parents would love to see you!”
That evening, when Derek visited Melissa’s home, Adam and his wife Georgia greeted him warmly. They ate dinner together, and Adam thanked Derek for caring for his mother all these years.
Later, Adam and Georgia proposed that Derek move in with them, and he gladly agreed. This way, Derek united with Adam’s family and became a loving grandfather to Melissa. He also doted on Michael, and a couple of years later, a little girl Melissa named Alice.
What can we learn from this story?
Families are built with love and care and not necessarily blood. Adam and Georgia welcomed Derek into their family wholeheartedly.
Derek acknowledged their love by becoming a loving grandfather and great grandfather.
Never, ever keep anything from your partner. If Alice had told Derek the truth sooner, they could have lived as a happy family and been reunited long ago.