When Cindy Brooks’ ungrateful children abandoned her in a nursing home and sold her house, she thought her fate was sealed. But when they came to visit her two years later, they found that someone had come to their mother’s rescue and taken her into their home..
Cindy Brooks loved her job. She had worked in her antique shop for decades, but it seemed it was time to retire and take a break. She had saved a good amount of money and expected to enjoy her old age. A few years earlier she had divorced her husband Eric Brooks. She was desperate and heartbroken! Eric was not just her husband, he had been her confidant and companion for four decades of their marriage.
Their relationship was admired by all. Unfortunately, over the years they drifted apart as their dreams and life goals diverged after Eric quit his job to take up farming. They decided it was better to part amicably before they started hating each other. Eric moved to Texas, leaving Cindy and their two children behind.
“What will I do without you, my love?” – she often asked herself, looking at old photographs of her husband.
Despite the divorce, she kept pictures of Eric on the mantelpiece of their home in the heart of the Oasis area of Louisiana.
Cindy often had tears in her eyes when she thought of her husband. They had married young and had children early. Sometimes Cindy wished they had waited a little longer before having children so that their babies, Emily and Jonathan, could be home for a while longer.
They had all grown up and had long since left home to start their own lives, families and jobs. As a result, Cindy was left home alone, which admittedly was quite lonely for a woman her age.
Now, at 70, she is retired and doesn’t know what to do with her life. She had a close-knit community around her, but this was not how she envisaged her old age. She wanted to spend time looking after her grandchildren, but a problem arose.
Her children visited her infrequently, and in recent years the visits became less frequent. She hoped that her new life would allow her to see them often and spend time with her grandchildren. Unfortunately, life had prepared an unpleasant surprise for her.
One morning Cindy awoke to the insistent sound of the doorbell. “Who could possibly be here this early? It’s only just dawn!” – she complained. Annoyed, she quickly put on her dressing gown as she descended the stairs.
As soon as she opened the door, she was surprised by what she saw: Emily and Jonathan were there, only hours after she had prayed for them to visit her. “God answers prayers,” she thought.
With tears in her eyes, she threw herself into the arms of her children. But her joy was quickly replaced by pain when she heard her son say, “We are not here for fun, Mama! We are here to take you to your new home.”
“But… but… this is my home. What do you mean by my new home?” – Cindy wondered.
“Now that you’re not working, we want to put you in a care home where someone will look after you all the time,” says Emily.
“I don’t need someone to look after me. I’ve taken care of myself all this time and I’ll take care of myself without anyone else’s help,” she shouted to her children, even as Emily walked into the house to start packing.
Cindy was beyond furious. The children had visited her only to take her to a nursing home. She was frustrated by this huge disappointment.
After shouting at the top of her voice and trying in vain to push the children away, she finally gave up. Jonathan and Emily took her to a nursing home, many miles away from the place she had called ‘home’ for decades. Without Cindy’s knowledge, her children had already put their childhood home up for sale and received part of the payment. It was located in a wealthy neighbourhood, and they had made a fair amount of money.
They hardly spoke to each other, each seemed preoccupied with their own thoughts – Jonathan and Emily were quietly planning their holiday with the proceeds from the sale of the house, while Cindy sat in the back of the house, contemplating parenting, occasionally letting out a strangled sigh.
Arriving at the nursing home, Jonathan and Emily left their poor mother at the reception desk and then turned and left, anxious to get home as soon as possible and celebrate their victory. Cindy was devastated! During the long journey, she had hoped it was just a bad joke of her children, but now she had no illusions. She was quickly escorted to her room and, knowing that her fate was sealed, she closed the door and cried.
Life in the nursing home was not as difficult as Cindy had imagined. After overcoming her initial shock, she began to make friends and enjoy their company. She particularly enjoyed walking in the gardens and picking flowers with her friends.
Time passed, and one day, in her fourth month there, she was walking in the garden with one of her friends when she noticed a truck pulling up. For some reason, the truck and the driver seemed familiar to her.
“I know that truck… and the driver!” – she exclaimed to her friend, who was busy picking the beautiful flowers that always added colour to their dreary days.
“Is that your son?” – The friend inquired.
“No, I can’t tell from this distance, but it doesn’t look like Jonathan,” Cindy replied, rushing towards the truck.
One year and eight months later…
Jonathan and Emily park the car in the car park of the nursing home and hurry to the reception. “We’re here to see our mother, Cindy Brooks,” Jonathan tells Angela, the receptionist.
“Cindy… Brooks? Cindy hasn’t been here for at least a year and eight months!” – Angela says, opening a tab on her computer showing the discharge dates of her residents.
“What do you mean she hasn’t been here in a while? Where is she?” – asks Jonathan, raising his voice.
“Your mother has been taken away from here,” Angela says, trembling with fear.
“Taken where? And by whom? And with whose consent?” exclaims Emily as Jonathan casts a threatening glance at Angela.
Later that evening they knocked on the turquoise door at the address Angela had given them and waited with bated breath to see who had taken their mother. They were shocked when they recognised in the owner of the house none other than their father, Eric.
For many years, Eric, a passionate farmer, has been delivering groceries to an old people’s home. One day, while making a delivery, he noticed Cindy walking in the garden with the other residents. At first he thought he was mistaken, because he could never imagine such an agile and strong woman like Cindy in a nursing home. So he went to see Angela for an appointment. She told him how Cindy’s children had abandoned her there and how none of them had come to visit her. Eric immediately took custody of Cindy.
“We were happy for many years, so I’m going to take care of her,” he told the management of the care home before packing up Cindy’s things and taking her home.
Eric lived alone until he was 80. After his divorce from Cindy, he no longer married and moved to another state to start a new life. And now the two have found each other and are catching up.
“So why did you come looking for me after leaving me so long ago?” asked Cindy.
“We’re very sorry, Mum,” said Emily. “We’re very sorry for what we did to you. We were too blinded by greed to put your needs first.”
“We’ve come to the nursing home to apologise and compensate you for the pain we’ve caused you,” Jonathan said, pulling a piece of paper from his suitcase. “We bought the house back for you,” he added, handing over the deed for the house to his mother.
Cindy was stunned! She couldn’t believe that her children, who two years ago had been so hostile to her, had changed so quickly. “Do you really think so?” – she asked, sobbing. Emily and Jonathan asked for forgiveness from their parents, and Cindy, always so gracious, replied, “On one condition.”
“Whatever it is, Mum,” Emily said.
“I want you two to bring your children over often so they can spend time with their grandparents,” Cindy exclaimed cheerfully.
“It’s okay, it’s okay!” replied Emily and Jonathan in unison.
Eventually, Cindy and Eric sold Cindy’s house and got married again in a small ceremony in the garden, attended by their children and grandchildren. They spent the rest of their days caring for their grandchildren, just as Cindy imagined their old age.