Meryl had searched long and hard for her grandson, Brandon, who her daughter had abandoned at a shelter years ago. But it seemed that all was in vain. Just when she had almost given up, she finally tracked him down… to a place where she stood out like a sore thumb.
As Meryl nervously sauntered towards the queue teeming with young partygoers, thoughts flooded her head. Would he believe a word she said? Where would she start to explain everything? Did he even want her in his life?
As if her anxious thoughts weren’t loud enough, she was bombarded by the rampant music at the concert, the bustling streets, and the confounded looks, laughter, and murmuring from the youngsters in the queue at the large club where the show was being held.
“Who invited grandma?” one youngster said, chuckling with his friends.
“Seems like someone forgot to take their pills and lost her way to Bingo night,” another added with a cheeky snigger.
“She’s definitely lost,” another added as Meryl joined the queue.
In Meryl’s seventy-five years of life, she was all too familiar with how insensitive humans could be. She didn’t hold anything against these children. All she wanted to do was see him, and the long wait in the queue made her that much more anxious about it.
Meryl finally got to the front of the line, and the bouncer, Don, was baffled when he saw the old woman before him. He looked around, confused as if expecting someone would jump out of the woodwork and claim her.
Yeah! What’s taking so long?”
“Hi, ma’am. Uhm… Are you lost?” Don politely asked.
“Hi, young man. No, I am not lost,” Meryl replied.
“Oh…” Don simply responded, still unclear what to make of the situation.
“What’s your name, son?” Meryl asked, moving closer to hear Don better over the loud music inside the concert.
“My name is Donavan. But everyone calls me Don,” Don replied.
“Nice to meet you, Don. My name is Meryl. I was hoping—” Meryl started before one of the youngsters cut in.
“Hurry up, old lady! We don’t have all day!” the vexed youngster rudely barked.
“Yeah! What’s taking so long?” another added.
The crowd of people behind Meryl was beginning to get restless. They started shoving and hollering to get to the front. Don stepped up, holding his hand to the crowd with unrelenting authority.
“Calm down! Everyone will have their chance. Just be patient,” Don proclaimed. While slightly reluctant, the crowd soon calmed down.
“Ma’am, I don’t have all day,” Don said, growing impatient with the old lady.
“I’m sorry for making your job any more difficult than it has to be. I came to see this young man,” Meryl said, showing him a picture of a young man. The crowd behind them burst into a peal of even louder laughter than before.
Meryl looks around, confused and slightly embarrassed. Don looked at the picture and then up at the band’s poster. The man in the picture was the lead singer. Don eyed Meryl with suspicion, contemplating what to do next.
“Alright, please step through the metal detector,” Don said, giving the woman a chance against his better judgment.
He was growing suspicious of the woman.
While she was an old lady, Don’s time as a bouncer had taught him that not everything was as it seemed at such events.
“Thank you so much!” Meryl responded with much gratitude.
Meryl went through the metal detector, and it instantly rang. Don looked at the old woman in frustration.
“Lady, I don’t think you’ll be entering this concert tonight. Besides, it’s no place for an old lady,” Don said. While Don was still speaking, Meryl pulled a locket necklace from her pocket and handed it to him.
“Look, Don. I’m really grateful for everything you’ve done for me tonight, and I would hate to hold you or these other young folks any longer than I have to. Please just give this to him and tell him I’m outside looking for him… Please!” Meryl said with an earnest plead. Don sighed deeply before reluctantly accepting the necklace.
“Alright, I’ll get it to one of the guys working backstage, and they’ll pass on the message,” Don concluded.
“Thank you so much, Don. It means a lot to me,” Meryl said.
Meryl sat in a nearby hall, waiting, hoping, and praying that her message would reach the young man. She was also worried about losing the necklace. Besides its monetary value, it was of great sentimental value to Meryl.
After a few minutes of waiting, Meryl suddenly heard loud cheering from the crowds in and surrounding the queue. As she looked, Brandon, the lead singer, emerged from the bustling crowd who roared in excitement.
“This is the woman,” Don said, leading Brandon out of the wild crowd and towards Meryl. Meryl got up nervously as they approached her. She lit up with a smile, and her tears welled when Brandon finally reached her.
She inspected the young man as if he were from a foreign planet. She gazed into his eyes as if there were gold. Brandon said nothing for a moment, taken aback by the woman’s behavior.
“I’m not, Brandon. Your mother, Bridget, was my daughter. We’re family, Brandon.”
“Where did you get this?” Brandon asked, snapping out of it and getting straight to the point.
“Yes, it was my mother’s,” he said, opening the locket with a picture of an 8-year-old Brandon and his mother inside. “This is a picture of her and me when I was younger,” Brandon added, gently stroking the pendant as he reminisced.
“Now, how did you get it?” Brandon asked, with much more emphasis this time around. Meryl started to weep at the picture, then back to Brandon, still in disbelief.
“Uhm… Brandon, I am your grandmother. That’s my daughter,” she said hesitantly, pointing to the photo.
“You’re lying! Where did you get this locket?” Brandon said emotionally.
“I’m not, Brandon. Your mother, Bridget, was my daughter. We’re family, Brandon,” Meryl confessed.
“No, that can’t be true! My mom’s family hated me! And she…” Brandon started, now in tears. He took a moment to steel himself. He took a deep breath, then continued. “She eventually dumped me at an orphanage. Never to be seen again,” Brandon said, heartbroken.
“I don’t know where you got this, lady. But you can keep it. I don’t have a family,” Brandon said, wiping his tears and throwing the locket on the floor. He then turned to Don and said, “And Don, please don’t call me outside for such rubbish. This woman is obviously crazy.”
Brandon continued towards the concerts, fading into the crowd as they embraced him with slurred cheers.
As Meryl looked at Brandon disappear into the distance, her legs began to fail her. She stumbled back and forth.
“Are you okay, ma’am?” Don asked, quickly holding her up. “Let’s sit down. I’ll get you water,” Don said, sitting her down and grabbing a nearby water bottle in the hall, and giving it to Meryl.
“Thank you, Don. I’ll be okay. It was just a little overwhelming. Can I still get in?” Meryl asked, taking a huge gulp of the water.
“Get in, ma’am?” Don asked, bewildered.
“Into the concert. I’d love to at least see him sing,” Meryl said sadly.
“I’m sure it can be arranged, ma’am,” Don said, feeling for the old woman. “I just hope you’re up for it. It gets pretty crazy in there,” Don added.
“Oh, please. I used to party in the ’50s. This is nothing,” Meryl said with a scoff. They both shared a laugh as Don helped Meryl to her feet and then escorted Meryl into the concert.
Meryl was still in awe of Brandon. Even more so as she watched him on the stage doing what he loved. She watched the concert in tears of both joy and sadness.
She felt the joy of seeing her grandson in his element, doing what he loved. Meryl’s daughter had the same spark and love for music but never pursued it professionally. As she watched him, she remembered her daughter.
However, Meryl was heartbroken at the possible reality that she could never get to know him. She had hoped things could have gone better, but unfortunately, it seemed that this concert was the closest thing she’d ever get to seeing her grandson again.
Don had been watching her the whole time, sympathizing and feeling sorry for Meryl. He stood not too far from her, keeping a close eye on her just in case she collapsed. As he watched, Meryl began to stumble again. Don rushed to her, helped her into the nearby staff hall, and lay her on the couch.
“So much for partying in the ’50s,” Don said with a chuckle. “Seriously, are you okay? Should I call an ambulance?” Don asked.
“I’m fine, Don, just a little tired and heartbroken. At my age, too much activity, be it emotional or physical, can see you ending up in the hospital. But I’m fine. I just need a little time to recover; that’s all,” Meryl said.
“Alright, then. I’ll wait with you until you’re better,” Don said, sitting beside her.
Don and Meryl conversated for the rest of the concert, and she told him her story. Meryl had never known about Brandon. Her daughter, Bridget, gave birth to him and raised him secretly for about eight years. Bridget eloped with a boyfriend Meryl disapproved of.
Whenever Brandon would ask his mother about his family, they would simply tell the child that their family hated them and couldn’t be with them. Just before Brandon turned six, his father left him and his mother. Bridget raised him alone for two years, but then she began to fall ill.
She realized she couldn’t afford to raise him as medical bills piled up, so she left him at an orphanage. Years later, Bridget arrived at her doorstep in a feeble state, asking her to help her find her son.
Bridget explained all that had happened over the years. She told Meryl how she had tried to find him at the orphanage, but his information had gone missing, and Brandon was lost in the system.
Meryl agreed to help, and for a couple of months, they searched for Brandon but to no avail. Bridget later passed away that same year. Meryl cherished the time they got to spend together before she passed.
They mended old wounds and expressed their love for each other in their little time together.
And while it was difficult considering everything with Brandon, they made it work. Bridget’s last wish to her mother was to get the locket to Brandon and be there for him as they were the only family they still had.
“And now, here I am, trying to do exactly that,” Meryl said, wrapping up the story as she sat on the couch with Don, looking much better.
“Wow. That’s quite a story. So, how did you find him?” Don asked.
“Well… Honestly, after a few years, I had given up looking. I was still praying to find the boy, but I didn’t have the strength for another disappointment,” Meryl said with a stoic gaze.
“Then, one day, one of my old friends visited me with her grandchild. She saw the picture on the locket and told me the young boy looked like the lead singer of her favorite band. I did my research, and it led me here. Unfortunately, it seems like it may have all been for nothing,” Meryl said with a deep sigh.
Don looked at the woman and felt deeply for her. He was raised by his grandmother but never knew his parents. The whole situation was too close to home for Don. He thought he would dishonor his integrity and grandmother if he didn’t try to help Meryl’s family.
“Listen, I can’t promise anything. But Brandon and I have a fairly good relationship. I’ll try to talk to him,” Don promised.
“Really? Oh, thank you, my child. God bless you!” an emotional Meryl said, tearing up.
A month later, Meryl was at home having tea. She looked at the locket on the table and thought about Brandon. She hadn’t heard from him, and after a month, she figured even Don couldn’t convince him. As she opened the locket, the doorbell immediately rang.
“Coming,” she said, gently placing the locket on the table. The doorbell rang a second time.
“I said I’ll be right there,” Meryl said, approaching the door. As she opened the door, her heart immediately warmed up in joy.
“Brandon?” Meryl gasped.
“Hi. I had a chat with Don, and I think I’m finally ready to hear it for myself,” Brandon said, tearing up as he handed her flowers.
“Of course. Please, come in,” Meryl responded, ushering him in.
Meryl told Brandon everything about his mother right from the beginning. She gave him the locket and expressed her daughter’s love for him. Brandon broke down weeping when he heard his mother was dead.
He had hoped she was still out there, somewhere. He had hoped that one day they might get a second chance. Meryl comforted him, and from that day, they were grandmother and grandson. From that day, they were family again.
What can we learn from this story?
Family is the most important thing. Meryl’s family being apart all these years brought them pain they had to harbor individually over the years. Had they tried to sort out their differences, it wouldn’t have taken such difficulty to finally reunite them again.
Forgiveness opens up doors for joy. Meryl and Bridget forgave each other, and it helped them mend their relationship. Brandon also finally forgave his family for not being there and was then able to forge a relationship with his grandmother.
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