An elderly sick man was thrown out of his son’s home by his daughter-in-law, who did not want to take care of him. However, she crawled over to him when something amazing happened.
“Are you new here?” – the friendly woman at the care home asked me when I arrived and settled in. The staff wheeled me outside in a wheelchair, feeling that I needed some relaxation. The woman approached. She must have seen the sad look on my face.
I shrugged. “Why is everyone here?” I replied sardonically. I smiled at the corner of my mouth, but she only looked back with wide-eyed curiosity. “Well, I used to live with my son. But my daughter-in-law found a way to kick me out when he had to leave for work.”
“Oh, it’s terrible,” she said, “but it’s not so bad here. You won’t be alone. The people here are nice, and there’s plenty of entertainment.”
” I see. What’s your name?”
“Miriam, and yours?”
“Nice to meet you, Don,” – she said, “I’m all curious. What will your son do if he finds out you’re gone when he gets back?”
“Well, I’ve no idea,” I shook my head, “I hope he’ll at least reproach his wife for what she’s doing behind his back. But I suspect she might convince him it’s for the best. Maybe it’s for the best. Sometimes she had to cook and look after me. It can be exhausting.”
” You can always hire someone,” Miriam said, shaking her head.
“I thought that’ s what would happen. My son has money. It’s not about the money,” I said.
“Well, you’ll like it here, and perhaps your son will take you soon,” she suggested, smiling. I smiled back, but said nothing and continued to admire nature.
To my utter shock, the person who turned up at the nursing home a few weeks later in despair was not my son Jackson. It was Adeline, his wife.
“Don! Don! Oh my God, I’m so sorry! Please, you have to come home!” – she pleaded, kneeling in front of me. I was reading in the common room and everyone turned towards us.
“Adeline, stand up. Don’t make a scene,” I said quietly.
“Please, Don. Jackson kicked me out! And… no one’s going to offer me a place to sleep anymore. Everyone’s so busy with their lives they don’t remember me at all, and my husband won’t let me in the house,” Adeline sobbed, sitting on her lap.
“Well, I know how it feels,” I murmured, the sarcasm in my voice clearly audible.
“I know! I know! I’ve been cruel to you! Please, you must come back to us! I’ll do anything! I will take care of you! I won’t be so selfish anymore! I hate myself, but I don’t want my husband or you to hate me. Please, I’m sorry. Please will you help me?” – Adeline pleaded, looking at me with tearful eyes.
“If Jackson kicked you out, why isn’t he here with me?”
“I didn’t tell him where I sent you. That was the last trump card I had. I wanted to punish him for being mad at me. He must have been looking for you, but it was only three days before he found out about it,” she replied.
I sighed. I didn’t know what to say to her. Honestly, I was starting to like what was going on here. Miriam was right. It was nice. I made some friends and the staff was extremely professional. Perhaps it was the right choice, even if I hadn’t made it myself.
I told Adeline I couldn’t go back. But I asked her to call Jackson and tell him where I was. I needed to talk to my son.
Jackson came and apologised for what his wife had done to me. He said he had promised his mother – my late wife Sarah – he would always take care of me and never send me to a nursing home.
I told him that wasn’t a bad decision. In fact, I assured him that I would rather be in a nursing home than alone at home with nothing to do.
However, I didn’t persuade him to forgive Adeline. It was up to him. Because after all, she was acting behind his back, and what happened next was his decision.
In the end, my son forgave Adeline after she started visiting a nursing home and volunteering. It took him some time to make that decision. She moved back in three months after he kicked her out.
Since I decided to stay in the nursing home, I felt much better, and as an added bonus, Miriam and I bonded and eventually got married. At one point I even thanked Adeline, which made her laugh and apologise again. She never acted selfishly again.