Old Lady Goes to Live With Her Son and Finds Herself Locked in the Barn the Next Morning — Story of the Day
An elderly lady goes to live with her only son and his family at his farm after her husband passes away, But shortly after, her son made her move into the barn.
Delia Norton always imagined she’d live out her last days in her own house by the side of her beloved husband John, but that wasn’t how it turned out. Old age brought Delia some unpleasant surprises.
Not only did her once supple and energetic body betray her, but her husband passed away suddenly from a heart attack, leaving her to face the future alone. Well, not quite alone.
Delia and John had a son, Steven, and he was married with a baby of his own. She knew she could count on Steve.
After John’s funeral, Steven sat down with Delia and asked her what she wanted to do. Delia shook her head. “I don’t know, please Steve, I can’t think right now.”
“Mom,” Steve said firmly. “You have decisions to make. Do you want to sell the house? Move into a retirement home?” Delia shook her head, tears in her eyes.
“I never wanted that!” she cried. “To die surrounded by strangers? No!”
Our elders deserve our respect and our love.
Steve hesitated and said reluctantly: “You could come home with us for a while. Settle down before you make a decision. What do you think?”
Delia smiled for the first time since John’s death. “Oh Steve, I’d love that! To be close to little Jack!”
Steve booked another ticket to Iowa for his mother, then picked up the phone to tell his wife he was bringing her home. The response wasn’t positive.
Sheila screamed, “You’re bringing her HERE? Are you mad? You work on the farm all day, and who’s supposed to take care of her? ME? I’m not changing her diapers, Steve!”
“Calm down, Sheila,” Steve said. “It’s only for a little while…”
want her in the house, that old woman smell…” Sheila said. “You’d better put her in the room in the barn.”
“But… But that’s where the guy who does the crop dusting sleeps!” Steve cried. “I can’t put my mother in there! We’ll talk when I get home.”
Delia, who knew nothing about any of this, was delighted to be going home with her son. She didn’t have a warm relationship with Sheila but she respected her as her grandson’s mother and her son’s wife — and she simply adored little Jack.
Delia did notice that Steve was unusually quiet driving from the airport to the farm. “Has everything been going well with the farm, Steve?” she asked. “These last few days have been all about me. I haven’t asked about you, and I know you are grieving daddy too.”
“I’m OK mom,” Steve said, “And Jack is now in school and doing so well. He’s bright as a button!”
Delia smiled. “Just like you!” she cried, just as they drew up to the pretty farmhouse. “Oh look! There he is!”
Delia got out of the car and was greeted by a six-year-old with bright green eyes and a splatter of freckles across his nose.
“Nana!” Jack cried, “You’re here!”
Delia wrapped her arms around her grandson and felt her tears well up again. How John would have loved seeing Jack like this! Over the last two years, Steve had seldom visited and never with his family, something which had hurt John.
Then Sheila was there, and she kissed Delia on her cheek, but her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Delia,” she said. “I’m so sorry about John… Come in.”
Delia followed her daughter-in-law into the house while Steve took the luggage out of the trunk. They sat down to dinner but both Sheila and Steve seemed tense, so Delia started chatting to her grandson.
“I’ve brought you a present, Jack, it’s in my suitcase!” She turned to Steve and asked, “Where’s my suitcase, Steve? In the guest bedroom?”
Steve blushed scarlet. “Hum…No, mom,” he said. “We thought you’d prefer some privacy so we’ve put you up in the barn. There’s a room and a bathroom…You’ll be very cozy!”
Her son looked away but Sheila snapped, “Yes, in the barn! Do you remember what happened the last time you were here two years ago? You kept knocking things over, and you ruined the sofa! I think the barn is the perfect place for you!”
Delia got up trembling. “Steve, if you’d show me to my room, please, I need to lie down.” Steve had the grace to look ashamed as he led his mother to the barn.
“Here you go,” he said with false cheer. “You’ll be comfy here!”
Delia sat on the narrow bed and tears ran down her face. Is this what her life had come to? “Oh John,” she whispered to her dead husband. “You were the lucky one. This would break your heart!”
Outside, Steve quickly turned and locked the door behind him. When the laborers used the room, he left it unlocked, but he felt his mother wouldn’t be safe with a door that didn’t lock from the inside. It never occurred to him to warn Delia…
When Delia woke up the next morning, she got dressed and headed for the door only to discover she was locked in! There was no lock on her side of the door, no way to get out. She sat on her bed and burst into tears. She was a prisoner!
Meanwhile, Steve had got up after a sleepless night and was heading for the barn to let his mother out when he saw Jack playing with some pieces of wood. As always, the sight of his son lifted his spirits. “Hey, buddy! What are you doing”?
“Hey, dad!” Jack smiled up at his dad. “I’m making a barn for you and mom to live in when I’m all grown up and you’re old like nana!”
Steve was stunned. Suddenly he realized what he and his wife were doing to his mother. He ran to the barn and unlocked the door. “Mom!” he cried. “Mom, forgive me, forgive me! I should never have put you in here, I should never have locked you in!”
He took Delia by the hand and led her back to the house. “Sheila,” he said to his wife. “My mother is moving into the guest bedroom, and if you have a problem with that, you can pack your bags!”
What can we learn from this story?
We are our children’s role models, for good or bad. Steve didn’t realize he was teaching his son to disrespect him just as he was disrespecting Delia.
Our elders deserve our respect and our love. Delia had raised Steve with love and care and deserved the same in her twilight years.
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 a young woman who is ashamed of her crippled mother and tells her to pretend to be a maid when her wealthy fiancé comes to visit.