My grandson called me the worst grandma for not being able to give him presents, only to appear at my doorstep eight years later, begging for my forgiveness.
I grew up close to my grandson Simon, and he would visit me at my house every summer. We enjoyed each other’s company, taking walks in the park and cooking our meals together.
Our relationship suddenly changed when he grew up and had his own group of friends. He paid no attention to me and stopped calling to check on me.
One day, when Simon was 15, I visited their house because I missed him and his mom dearly. When I got there, he ignored me and treated me coldly the entire afternoon.
“Are you feeling alright, sweetheart?” I asked him after he didn’t acknowledge my arrival for a couple of minutes.
He looked at me and shrugged before going back to using his cellphone. I wondered if I had done anything wrong to my grandson through the years for him to treat me the way he did.
I excused myself to the bathroom, trying to hold back my tears. That’s when I overheard my daughter Sally confronting Simon.
“Simon,” she called out. “Have some respect for your grandmother! What did she do to you for you to ignore her that way? She came all the way here to spend time with us.”
“She’s the only grandmother I know who doesn’t give gifts to her grandson! All my friends share great stories about how their grandmothers always give them gifts. I never got anything from her! Not even candy!” he yelled.
“Simon! Did I raise you to become materialistic? How could you mistreat your grandma just because she can’t afford to give you gifts? The fact that she tries to spend time with us should be more than enough. Stop being a spoiled brat!” Sally spat back.
While hearing them argue, tears started streaming down my face. I didn’t realize that all these years, Simon distanced himself from me because I couldn’t provide him with what he wanted. After all, I only had enough for my basic needs.
I heard Simon’s footsteps go up the stairs, after which I took a deep breath and left the bathroom. I decided to follow him up to his room to talk to him.
“Hey, sweetheart,” I called out to him. “Come down to the kitchen. Do you want some candy?” I asked him. I still had enough money to spare to buy a few candy bars at the grocery store.
Simon glared at me after hearing me speak. “See what you did? My mom got mad at me because of you! What kind of grandmother doesn’t bring gifts for her grandson? I’m the only person in my class who has to deal with someone like you! You’re the worst grandma!”
Hearing Simon yell that way offended me deeply. I realized how much I had disappointed him simply because I could not shower him with gifts like his classmates experienced with their grandparents.
I could feel tears streaming down my face again, so I decided to leave his room. I lied to my daughter Sally about having to go home to help my neighbor with something, but the truth was, I was just too sad to continue staying in their house.
That night, I hoped Simon would call me to apologize. He did, but upon hearing his voice, I could tell that Sally forced him to give me a call.
Since that day, Simon was cold towards me whenever I visited, and it remained that way until they had to move to another city. I never got to see him again after their big move.
Years passed, and I longed to be with my family again. It was difficult living alone and being so far away. I spent most of my days reading books indoors or gardening to pass the time. While I would speak to Sally on the phone every once in a while, I still wished to see her in person.
One day, while I was preparing lunch for myself, I heard the doorbell ring. I slowly made my way to the front door and was surprised to see a young man standing there.
“Hi grandma,” the man said softly. I took a closer look at him and realized it was Simon, only a lot taller and more masculine than I last saw him.
“Simon, sweetheart, is it really you?” I asked. He nodded his head and burst into tears, falling to the ground.
“I’m so sorry, grandma. I’m sorry for wasting so much time being a selfish young man. I was foolish, superficial, and I didn’t realize how much I had hurt and disrespected you,” he cried.
I was not expecting Simon to visit, so I was admittedly overwhelmed by what was happening. I hurriedly grabbed his arms and asked him to stand up so that he wasn’t begging on his knees. “Get up, sweetheart. Come on. Hug grandma,” I told him.
He looked up at me with a guilty look and proceeded to stand. He embraced me tightly and apologized once more. “I’m sorry for not being in your life all these years, grandma. I can’t believe I wasted so much precious time,” he sobbed.
I tried my best to soothe Simon by stroking his back repeatedly. I told him not to worry and that we still had a lot of time left to spend together.
We entered the house, where Simon continued to update me about what he had been doing in the past eight years that I hadn’t seen him. It turns out he had graduated from university and worked a good job at one of the top accounting firms in the country.
“When I was 16, I realized how terrible I had been to you. Since then, I was ashamed even to look you in the eyes, grandma. I thought about how I could make it up to you, so I took my time and worked hard. Since then, I saved up money to provide not just for my future family, but for you, too,” he revealed.
I was surprised that Simon had been thinking of me all these years because he never reached out to me nor checked up on me. He admitted he was too ashamed to approach me until he finally mustered up the courage.
“Grandma, I’ve saved up enough money to buy a new house in this neighborhood. My company will relocate me here, and we can live together. I want to take care of you and make it up to you for all the years we were apart,” Simon told me, shocking me.
“Oh, Simon,” I cried. “I can’t believe you thought all of these through. I don’t want to be a burden to you,” I told him. He shook his head and insisted that we live together. I was happy to agree because I had longed for his presence for many years.
Eventually, when Simon had a wife and kids, one of his non-negotiables was to have me still living with them. I became the happiest woman on earth when I started to get along with his wife and when they started involving me in taking care of my great-grandchildren.