After two sons refused to visit their mother even after repeated requests, she decided to leave her inheritance to the little boy next door instead.
Elsa spent most of her years raising her two sons alone, working very hard to feed them and pay for their education. When she got older and started experiencing health problems, her children stopped visiting her or even checking on her despite all of them living in the same city.
Although Elsa worked several jobs for decades in order to feed her children, she only started to feel the effects when she started getting older. Her mobility was affected by the rigorous work she used to do, and she ended up bound in a wheelchair.
When her two sons, Matt and Gabriel, graduated college, they both got hired by good companies. They never moved away from their town but they decided not to live in the same community as their mom.
Soon, they started to have their own families, then stopped visiting their mother completely. Instead, they hired a nurse for her who would come several times a week to help her with tasks.
Through the years, Elsa only longed to be in the company of her sons and her grandchildren. However, every time she’d call them, it’d be the same conversation:
“When are you coming to visit me, son?” she’d ask.
“Not anytime soon, mom. I’ve got a work trip soon and the kids are busy with school,” they’d reply.
Elsa got so used to the words “not anytime soon” that even before her sons would respond to her question, she already expected the answer. Instead of sulking at home, she would spend the afternoons outside in her yard. She would watch the children play on the street, and exchange stories with her neighbors.
Sometimes, if she felt like it, Elsa would also bake cakes and pies which she would share with them. The children would rush to her yard to get a slice of “Grandma Elsa’s” delicious cakes.
“It’s my lucky day!” the kids would exclaim. They would line up to get a slice, and Elsa was happy to oblige.
“There, there. I baked enough for everybody so there’s no need to rush,” she would say with a smile on her face as she sliced through the cake.
“We’re the luckiest neighbors in the world! Thank you, Grandma Elsa!”
One day, a snowstorm hit Austin in the middle of winter. No one dared to go out, and they stocked up on necessities. The neighbors made sure Elsa was fully stocked, so she stayed at home and braved the storm alone.
After the storm, Elsa’s nurse came in to check on her. “How are you doing?” she asked as soon as she got in.
“I’m doing fine, sweetheart, don’t worry,” she assured the nurse who was worried about her being alone.
“Your fence didn’t make it, unfortunately. That snowstorm was pretty bad,” the nurse said, pushing Elsa’s wheelchair towards the window where her fence fell over.
“That’s too bad. I’m going to call my sons to fix it. They should be able to do it,” she said confidently.
She proceeded to call her sons one by one. “Hi, Matt. I hope you weren’t too hit by the snowstorm,” she started to say.
“Of course, we were, mom. The entire Austin was hit,” Matt responded. “I’m taking the family to Miami for a week to get them away from this snow,” he said.
“Oh, okay. Well, you enjoy yourselves,” Elsa said. At that, Matt hung up. She then proceeded to call Gabriel, hoping he could come to fix her fence.
“Hi, Gabriel. How are you?” she asked him.
“Fine, mom. I’m on the way to the airport with the kids. The snow in Austin is terrible. I’ve decided to take them someplace else,” he said.
“Oh. Are you going with Matt?” she asked.
“Yep. I gotta go, mom, take care,” Gabriel said before hanging up.
Elsa felt hurt and defeated. She couldn’t understand why her children couldn’t spare a couple of minutes to talk to her, all the more visit her at home.
The weekend came, and she was alone at home when the doorbell suddenly rang. She smiled, hoping maybe Gabriel and Matt changed their minds. When she opened it, she was surprised to see Ben, a six-year-old who used to be her neighbor.
“Oh my goodness, Ben! What are you doing here?” she asked, embracing him. Six months ago, Ben and his parents moved to a different city.
“Happy Birthday, Grandma Elsa!” he said, carrying a small cake in his hands.
“Oh dear! I forgot it was my birthday!” she said, surprised. It was true. She had forgotten about her birthday, and now that the little boy was here, she couldn’t help but feel touched that someone didn’t.
“Oh, sweetheart. Thank you for remembering my birthday,” she said, tears in her eyes. A little boy who was not her blood relative remembered her birthday, while her own sons didn’t. She was hurt, but at the same time, so moved that someone actually remembered.
“When I was sick last year, no one wanted to come to see me on my birthday. You were the only one who greeted me, Grandma Elsa. You even brought me a cake that you made yourself! That was the most delicious cake ever. Now, I made sure to ask my parents when your birthday was. I never forgot it, so I asked them to drive me here to greet you,” he explained.
Elsa suddenly saw his parents standing behind him, smiling, and she cried tears of joy. “Thank you,” she said, with so much appreciation in her eyes. She invited Ben and his parents over for dinner, and they enjoyed a night full of laughter and fun stories.
“Guess what, Grandma Elsa?” Ben said suddenly before they left.
“What is it, Ben?” she smiled.
“Dad got a job near here again, so we’re looking for a place to live in the neighborhood. I can visit you every afternoon again soon!” he said excitedly.
“Oh, that is great news, Ben! I’m sure your playmates miss you a whole lot, too. I’m so excited to have you back near me,” she replied.
After they left, Elsa spent the entire night thinking. She couldn’t begin to imagine why her sons could not bother visiting her despite living a couple of miles away when a boy whom she was not related to managed to get his parents to drive all the way from another city just to celebrate with her.
They simply stopped caring when they didn’t need me anymore, she thought to herself. With that thought, she decided to do something major.
A couple of days later, she called her lawyer then breathed a sigh of relief after. She went outside to greet the children waiting for her on her lawn.
“Hi, kids,” she said. “Who wants to hear a story?”The kids proceeded to surround her, sitting on her lawn as she prepared to read a children’s book to them.
Elsa did this for a couple more years, with Ben joining them once he moved back to the neighborhood. Until she passed, her children had only visited her thrice in all those years, and it was because she mentioned she had gifts to give her grandchildren.
When she died, the lawyer called her children, who were expecting to inherit her house and other assets. Instead, “Your mother left you this photograph,” the lawyer told them, handing them a printed photo. As they looked at it, they realized it was a photo of both of them happy with gifts and a cake on their birthday.
Matt flipped the photo over to find an inscription Elsa had written: “In order to buy you the gifts you wanted when you were younger, I had to sell my mother’s ring. I gave everything I had to two people who didn’t care about me. Now, I give everything I have to a person who gave me more love than you have in my entire life.”
In the end, it was revealed that Elsa decided to give her assets to Ben. His parents were shocked by her gesture, but it was very timely for them because they were struggling financially.
Ben’s parents allocated an amount for his college education, and the rest, they decided to donate to a charity under Elsa’s name. The charity they chose supported the vulnerable, particularly children and the elderly.
What can we learn from this story?
We should be kind to our elders. Just because Matt and Gabriel became successful on their own, they stopped caring about their own mother.
Sometimes, family doesn’t always mean blood relatives. When Elsa’s children abandoned her, her neighbors stepped in as her honorary family members. They made sure she was taken cared of and had everything she needed.
Its sad her son didn’t care for her.Its nice she had wonderful neighbors. What a greatful little boy. Ben God Bless you 🙏 ❤