Eric moved to a small town and loved working as a bus driver. One day he noticed an old lady crying at a certain bus stop. She was there almost the same time every day but never got on. He met her one day at the end of his shift and asked her why she was crying. Her answer was amazing.
“Living in a small town is so much better than living in the city, Ms. Davenport,” Eric told one of his clients. He had recently moved to Bremen from Berlin and loved it. He’d been a bus driver in the big city, but he’d wanted a change of pace, so this move had been spot on.
In this comparatively small town, he was able to learn the names of some of his passengers and get some human contact. In Berlin everyone was always so busy that they had no interest in a conversation. It had gotten lonely, so Eric had made a big decision and didn’t regret it even though he was relatively new in town.
He had already met some great people, like Mrs. Davenport, who also sat down near him and told him about her day. She was also a great listener and he couldn’t have been happier.
“Why don’t you get on the bus? What are you waiting for?” he asked, giving her his serious look. The older woman stared back and something in his eyes made her answer.
But on his first day at work, he got to a bus stop and saw an elderly woman sitting right in front of it, crying. Eric wanted to help her, especially since it was snowing heavily, but he had no idea what to do. Maybe he could talk to her when she got on the bus. But she didn’t get in. She walked the other way as he opened the doors and she didn’t look back.
Eventually he asked Ms. Davenport about it, but she had no idea who he was talking about. “Where did you see her?” she asked and he explained to her which bus stop she had been at. “It’s near the nursing home, so it’s not that surprising. She could be confused or grieving for her late husband.”
“Oh, that’s horrible. You shouldn’t let her out unsupervised. She could hurt herself,” commented Eric as he drove and greeted all the new passengers.
“It happens. One day we’re all going to be in their shoes,” Ms. Davenport said, shrugging, finally getting off at her stop.
Eric saw the same old lady in the same place at the same time every day for a week, and she kept crying. But one day, for some reason, she wasn’t there. He began to worry and hoped that someone in the nursing home would take care of them.
But as his day drew to a close, he was on his way back to the terminal when he saw the woman at the same bus stop. Despite breaking protocol, he stopped the vehicle and approached the woman who was sitting on the bench crying.
“Ma’am. Are you alright? Is there anything I can help you with?” Eric asked, trying to be as gentle as possible.
The elderly lady looked up and shook her head. “No, you can’t do anything.”
“Are you staying at the nursing home? Would you like me to walk you there?” he continued, trying everything to get her to talk.
She shook her head again. “I don’t want to go back there anytime soon.”
Eric sat down next to her and talked about himself to calm her down. “By the way, I’m Eric. I just moved to town a few weeks ago and recently started my route. I’ve met some great people and have seen them at this stop every day since. But today you were a bit late . Why?”
“Oh, you noticed me. I fell asleep at home,” explained the elderly lady, taking a handkerchief from her purse and wiping away her tears. “I should probably go now.”
“Wait ma’am. What’s your name?”
“I’m Rose Lindell. Nice to meet such a kind young man,” she replied, standing up.
“Wait. I’m sorry, Ms. Lindell. But I have to ask you…why don’t you get on the bus? What are you waiting for?” he asked, looking at her seriously.
The older woman stared back, and something in his eyes made her answer. “My grandson left me here. He told me he would pick me up as soon as his house was ready for me. It should be a couple of weeks. It’s been months and I haven’t heard from him.”
“You mean he just left you in that nursing home? Just like that?” Eric asked, feeling terrible that the woman had gone through it.
“Yes, he did. I sold my house and gave him everything so that he could start a business. In exchange, I should live with his family. But he didn’t come. I wait for him every day at the bus stop. I I don’t think he’ll be coming back. But the route you’re driving is straight to my house. I miss him very much,” Ms. Lindell said, tears welling up.
Eric couldn’t believe her grandson had done something so despicable after she sacrificed herself for him. It was terrible. “Listen, why don’t you come with me? I’ll invite you to dinner at my house. All I have to do is take my bus to the terminal and then we can walk to my house. I’ll take you later on my Car back,” Eric offered, hoping his kindness would ease her pain.
The old lady nodded and finally boarded the bus with him. They took the bus to the terminus and walked to his apartment. But when Eric got to his front door, he noticed that Mrs. Lindell had stopped on the sidewalk.
“What’s going on?” he asked worried.
“You live here?”
“This is…was my house,” Ms. Lindell explained, shocking Eric. He couldn’t believe such a coincidence and somehow felt guilty for buying her house. Her tears began to flow again and he couldn’t resist the urge to hug the woman. They paused on the sidewalk in an emotional embrace for several minutes.
When she had calmed down, Eric whispered, “Why don’t we go in?”
The older woman nodded and smiled. They had dinner and Eric told her to spend the night in his second bedroom. She reluctantly agreed and he could see that she was glad to be in her house.
Meanwhile, he tossed and turned all night pondering this predicament until he made a decision in the morning.
“Ms. Lindell, would you like to live here with me? I lost my mother when I was younger and I’ve had no family since. A little company would be nice, so you can stay in this house,” offered Eric and smiled at the elderly lady while they ate breakfast.
Mrs. Lindell’s eyes watered. “Young man. I have no money for the rent. Only my pension. Is that alright?”Frau Lindells Augen tränten. “Junger Mann. Ich habe kein Geld für die Miete. Nur meine Rente. Ist das in Ordnung?”
“Don’t worry about it. We’ll work it out,” he continued.”Machen Sie sich darüber keine Sorgen. Das kriegen wir schon hin”, fuhr er fort.
“Thank you,” she breathed and began to cry again. But hopefully she wouldn’t have to cry anymore in the future.”Danke”, hauchte sie und begann erneut zu weinen. Aber hoffentlich würde sie in Zukunft nicht mehr weinen müssen.
Eric took her to the nursing home to get her things and they never looked back. Mrs. Lindell was a great cook and eventually she became something of a mother to him. They never heard from their grandson again.
What can we learn from this story?
A complete stranger can become your family. Eric offered Mrs. Lindell a house and she became his family.
It is important to take care of the elderly. Some people forget their elderly relatives and leave them in nursing homes. They deserve so much better.