Mrs. Jane Stepson sold her house to help her grandson then vanished without a trace. Then one day, her stepdaughter Anna received a phone call from the hospital informing her that Jane had been discovered in critical condition on the streets.
Jane was sitting in the living room, casting a condemning glance at Anna. “Is this all you’ve got for me, Anna? Do you really think a buttercream cake and some cheap tea would suffice as a present for me? All of this doesn’t cost more than a few dollars!”
“Sorry, mom,” Anna said. “I was having a hard time financially this month. I promise I’ll get you something nice next month.”
“You’d better!” Jane went on. “Take a look at your sister, Lesley. She got me a lovely gown this time. Oh, she has a great sense of style! But you should know that it’s not your fault. Lesley, after all, is my daughter.”
“You’re right, mom,” Anna added. “Lesley is pretty good at everything.”
“Oh, she’s just amazing!” Jane said. “There’s no one like Lesley!”
“So, where’s dad, mom?” Anna inquired, diverting the conversation to something else because she was tired of Jane constantly bringing up Lesley.
“I’m here, honey!” Josh Stepson replied as he entered the room. “Oh, did you get the buttercream cakes? They’re my favorite!” He dashed towards the table in excitement but halted when Jane cast a stern look at him. “Aren’t you a little overjoyed, Josh? These cakes aren’t something out of this world!”
“Oh, honey, you’re right,” he agreed to avoid his wife’s stern expression. “Don’t you have plans to go to the market today?”
“Yeah, I’m leaving right now. I’m going to make Lesley’s favorite pie, so I need special ingredients. Enjoy the buttercream cakes! Only you can like them!” She stood up and walked away after mocking Anna once again.
“Don’t feel bad about what she says, honey,” Josh said as his wife walked away. “She’s worried about Lesley these days and can’t accept the fact that her perfect daughter is separating from her husband!”
“What? Are Lesley and Harry splitting up?”
“Yes, honey. In fact, they’ve been living apart, and their poor son Thomas is currently staying with his father, but he will have to choose between his mother and father in the future.”
“I really had no clue about all of this,” Anna said. “Now I understand why mom was acting like that again. She was really nice to me the past few months. However, right now, I feel terrible for Thomas.”
Anna’s biological mother left for her heavenly home when she was only ten years old. Her father later met Jane at a work conference, fell in love with her, and married her.
Jane was a widow and a single mother, and Josh gladly accepted responsibility for Lesley. But things weren’t the same after Jane took over the responsibility of raising Anna. She hardly did the bare minimum for what was required and didn’t care for her much.
She was only concerned about Lesley when they were kids, which didn’t change as they grew older; in fact, the little concern she had for her vanished when little Thomas was born. Perhaps that’s the reason why Anna rarely visited her mother. After all, she, too, was sick of being mocked all the time.
After a few months, Lesley divorced, and Thomas chose to live with his mother. It was challenging to care for a child on one’s own, but Jane frequently assisted Lesley and looked after Thomas.
Several years passed like that. Thomas turned 18 and moved to a different city to attend university. Meanwhile, Anna started a beautiful family with her husband Dave, whom she met online.
They had a beautiful girl soon after their marriage, but Jane never looked after her like she had looked after Thomas when he was a child. She was jealous that Dave and Anna had a beautiful family, whereas her daughter Lesley’s family was broken.
Meanwhile, Josh’s health began to deteriorate, and no treatments seemed to be effective. Dave and Anna took him to the best doctors they could find and enlisted the help of friends who were doctors abroad, but none of the medications or treatments worked. Josh battled his deteriorating health for nearly four years until he lost.
After Josh died, Dave and Anna visited Jane frequently and looked after her, but Lesley was too preoccupied with her own life. She’d met a wealthy man in a different town a few years after Thomas left for university, and she never returned to care for her mother again; in fact, the only time she returned was to attend Thomas’ wedding.
One day, Thomas paid Jane a visit and made a “request.” “Grandma,” he said. “Let’s sell this house and buy a new apartment where we can all live happily ever after! You’re all alone in this big house, and no one is looking after you.”
“But honey, this home holds all of your memories. I don’t want to sell it,” Jane said, skeptical at her grandson’s sudden request of selling the house. “Why don’t you just come live with me?”
“But Grandma, this place doesn’t have anything to offer. Mom doesn’t care about you, and Aunt Anna is a whole different story,” Thomas insisted. “Plus, selling the house will help me with my business. I need money, and I’m hoping you won’t turn me down.”
At this point, Jane realized why Thomas had been persuading her to sell the house all along. The old lady was adamantly opposed to it. But then she reflected on her lonely life and decided that moving in with Thomas and his wife wouldn’t be such a bad idea, not realizing that the worst was yet to come.
During this time, Anna became preoccupied with her life and a newborn child, and she could not check on Jane frequently. So when she went to visit their house one day, she discovered Jane had moved out a long time ago.
She asked her sister Lesley about Jane’s whereabouts, but she said she had no idea where Jane went. When Anna called Thomas, he pretended that he hadn’t seen her in a month.
Anna went around the entire neighborhood, door to door, asking about Jane, but nobody knew anything. At last, she decided to file a missing person complaint, but just then her phone rang. “Am I talking to Mrs. Anna Collins?” a voice on the other end of the line asked her.
“Yes, who is this?”
“I’m calling from the hospital, ma’am. It’s about your mother, Jane Stepson. She was brought here last night. She finally gained consciousness and asked us to contact you.”
“What?! Please send me the address as soon as possible. I’ll be right there!” Anna hopped in a cab and headed to the hospital.
It turned out that after Thomas received all of the proceeds from the sale of the house, he evicted Jane from his home. The poor woman didn’t even have a penny with her and was wandering the streets like a homeless woman until her body gave out and she collapsed.
When Anna visited her at the hospital, Jane couldn’t stop crying. “I’m so sorry I’ve mistreated you my entire life, honey. I’m a terrible mother!”
Anna had a big heart. She forgave Jane and took her home after she was discharged from the hospital. Jane became a loving grandmother to Anna’s daughter and lived happily with them until she went to heaven.
What can we learn from this story?
Families are formed through love and care, not necessarily through blood. Anna was Jane’s stepdaughter, but she treated her as if she were her mother.
Too much love can sometimes end up spoiling the children. Thomas and Lesley were always the center of Jane’s attention and turned out to be terrible people.