Meryl searched for a long time for her grandson, Brandon, whom her daughter had abandoned at a shelter years before. But it seemed that everything had been in vain. Just when she had almost given up, she finally tracked him down…to a place where she didn’t fit in.
As Meryl nervously made her way toward a line full of young people waiting to get into a concert, thoughts flooded her head.
Would he believe a word she said to him? Where would he begin to explain everything? Would he even want her in her life?
As if her anxious thoughts weren’t enough, she was bombarded by the riotous music from the concert, the bustling streets, the confused looks, the giggles, and the murmurs of the young people in line at the big club where the show was taking place.
“Who invited this grandmother?” a young man asked, laughing with his friends.
“Looks like someone forgot to take their pills and got lost at bingo night,” another added with a cheeky chuckle.
“She’s definitely lost,” added another as Meryl joined the line.
In her seventy-five years of life, the older woman had become familiar enough with how callous humans could be. She had nothing against these guys. All she wanted to do was see him, and the long wait in line for her made her that much more anxious about it.
Meryl finally made it to the front of the line and the doorman, Don, was taken aback when he saw the older woman in front of him. He looked around her in confusion, as if he expected someone to show up to claim her.
“Hi, ma’am. Uh…is she missing?” Don asked politely.
“Hello Young. No, I’m not lost,” Meryl replied.
“Ah…”, was what the man could answer, still not knowing what to do with the situation.
“What’s your name, son?” asked the older woman, moving closer to listen better to the guard, since the loud music from the concert did not allow her to hear well.
“My name is Donald. But everyone calls me Don,” he replied.
“Nice to meet you, Don. My name is Meryl. I was hoping…” Meryl began before one of the young men in line interrupted.
“Hurry up, old lady! We don’t have all day!” the angry boy snapped rudely.
“Yeah! Why is it taking so long?” added another.
The crowd behind Meryl was starting to get restless. They started pushing and yelling to get to the front. Don stepped forward, holding out his hand to the crowd with implacable authority.
“Calm down! Everyone will have their chance. Be patient,” the man proclaimed. Although somewhat reluctant, the crowd calmed down.
“Ma’am, I don’t have all day,” Don said, growing impatient with the older woman.
“I’m sorry to make your job more difficult than it has to be. I came to see this young man,” Meryl said, showing the doorman a photo of a man. The crowd behind her burst into laughter even louder than before.
Meryl looked around, confused and a little embarrassed. Don looked at the photo and then at the band sign. The man in the photo was the lead singer. The guard eyed the older woman suspiciously, contemplating what to do next.
“Okay, go through the metal detector,” the man said, giving the lady a chance against her better judgment.
He was beginning to suspect the woman. Although she was an old woman, Don’s years of experience as a bouncer had taught her that all was not as it seemed at such events.
“Thank you so much!” Meryl responded with a lot of gratitude.
The older woman went through the metal detector and it went off instantly. Don looked at the old woman in frustration.
“Ma’am, you will not be entering this concert tonight. Besides, it’s no place for an old lady,” Don said. While the man was still speaking, Meryl took a medallion necklace out of her pocket and handed it to him.
“Look Don. I am so grateful for all you have done for me tonight, and I would hate to keep you or these other young men any longer than necessary.”
“Please give this to the young man in the photo and tell him I’m out looking for him… Please!” the older woman said with a heartfelt plea. Don sighed deeply before reluctantly accepting the medallion necklace.
“Okay, I’ll take it to one of the guys who work behind the scenes and they’ll get the message across,” the goalkeeper concluded.
“Thank you very much Don. It means a lot to me,” Meryl said.
The older woman sat in a nearby parlor, hoping, hoping, and praying that her message would reach the young man. She was also worried about losing the medallion. In addition to her monetary value, he had great sentimental value to her.
After a few minutes of waiting, Meryl suddenly heard loud screams from people in and around the line. As she watched, Brandon, the lead singer, appeared in the boisterous crowd.
“This is the lady,” Don said, leading Brandon out of the wild crowd and toward Meryl. She grew nervous as they approached her. She broke into a smile and her tears welled up when Brandon finally caught up with her.
The older woman surveyed the younger man as if he were from an alien planet. She looked into his eyes as if they were made of gold. Brandon didn’t say anything for a moment, surprised by the woman’s behavior.
“Where did you get this from?” Brandon asked about the medallion, getting right to the point.
“Do you recognize him?” Meryl asked with a sigh of relief.
“Yes, it was my mother’s,” he answered, opening the locket that had a picture of Brandon from when he was 8 years old with his mother. “This is a picture of her and me when she was a child,” he added, gently stroking the pendant as he reminisced.
“Why did you have the medallion?” Brandon asked, with much more emphasis this time. Meryl started to cry at the image, then looked back at Brandon, still incredulous.
“Um…Brandon, I’m your grandmother. That’s my daughter,” she said hesitantly, pointing to the photo.
“He is lying! Where did you get this locket?” Brandon asked again, his voice shaking.
“I’m not lying, Brandon. Your mother, Bridget, was my daughter. We are family,” Meryl confessed.
“No, that can’t be true! My mom’s family hated me! And she…” Brandon began, now crying. She took a moment to steel herself. He took a deep breath and then continued. “Eventually, she left me in an orphanage. I never saw her again,” said the young man, heartbroken.
“I don’t know where you got this from, ma’am. But you can keep it. I have no family,” Brandon said, wiping away tears and dropping the locket on the ground. Then he turned to Don and said, “Please don’t make me go out for this kind of crap again. This woman is obviously crazy.”
Brandon headed back to the concert hall, disappearing into the crowd as he was embraced with cheers.
As Meryl watched the young man disappear into the distance, her legs began to give out. She started to fade.
“Are you okay, ma’am?” Don asked, picking her up quickly. “Let’s sit. I’ll get you some water,” Don said, sitting her down and grabbing a bottle of water nearby in the hallway and handing it to Meryl.
“Thank you Don. I’ll be fine. It was a bit overwhelming. Can I still come in?” Meryl asked, taking a big gulp of water.
“Come in, ma’am?” Don asked, puzzled.
“To the concert. I would love to at least see him sing,” Meryl said sadly.
“I’m sure it can be arranged, ma’am,” the doorman said, feeling bad for the older woman. “I just hope she’s ready. The crowd gets pretty crazy in there,” added Don.
“Oh please. She used to go to concerts in the ’50s. This is nothing,” Meryl said with a sneer. They both shared a laugh as Don helped Meryl to her feet and then walked her to the concert.
The lady was still in awe of Brandon. Even more so when she saw him on stage doing what she loved. She watched the concert through tears of joy and sadness.
He felt joy to see his grandson doing what he loved. Her daughter used to have the same spark and love for music, but she never pursued it professionally. As she watched Brandon, she remembered her daughter.
However, Meryl was heartbroken at the possible reality that she might never get to know her grandson well. She was hoping that things would have gone better, but unfortunately, she seemed like this concert would be the closest she would ever get to him.
Don had been watching her the whole time, feeling sympathy and pity for Meryl. He wasn’t too far from her. He stayed watching her in case something happened to her.
As he looked at her, she began to fade again. Don ran over to her, helped her to a nearby lounge, and laid her down on the couch.
“So much for someone who used to go to concerts in the ’50s,” Don said with a smile. “Seriously, are you okay? Do you want me to call an ambulance?” the man asked.
“I’m fine, just a little tired and heartbroken. At my age, too much activity, whether emotional or physical, can land you in the hospital. But I’m fine. I just need a little time to recover; that’s it,” Meryl said.
“Okay then. I’ll stay with you until you feel better,” Don said, sitting down next to him.
The two chatted for the rest of the concert, and she told him her story. Meryl didn’t know of Brandon’s existence. Her daughter, Bridget, had brought him into the world and raised him in secret for about eight years. Before that, she had eloped with a boyfriend that she Meryl disapproved of.
Every time Brandon would ask his mom about their family, she would simply tell him that they didn’t want anything to do with them and that their family hated them.
Just before he turned six, his father abandoned him and his mother. Bridget raised him alone for two years, but then she started to get sick.
She realized that she couldn’t raise him, because she couldn’t support him, and she left him in an orphanage. Years later, Bridget came to Meryl’s house in a weak state and asked her to help her find her child.
The woman explained to her mother everything that had happened over the years. She told Meryl that she had tried to find him at the orphanage where she had left him, but her information had disappeared and nothing was found on him.
Meryl agreed to help her, and for a couple of months, they searched for Brandon, but to no avail. Bridget passed away later that same year. Meryl cherished the time they had spent together before her daughter passed away.
They managed to heal old wounds and expressed their love for each other in the short time they spent together.
Before she passed away, Bridget made a wish to her mother: she asked her to find Brandon, give him her locket, and be there for him since they were the only family they still had.
“And now here I am trying to do exactly that,” Meryl said, concluding the story as she sat down on the couch with Don, feeling much better.
“Oh. It’s a great story. So how did you find Brandon?” the man asked.
“Well… Honestly, after a few years, I had stopped looking for him. She was still praying for him to show up, but she didn’t have the strength for another disappointment,” Meryl said with a stoic look.
“Then one day one of my old friends visited me with her grandson. She saw the image on the locket and told me that the boy in the photo looked like the lead singer of her favorite band.
“I did research and my search led me here. Unfortunately, it looks like it was all for nothing,” Meryl said with a deep sigh.
Don looked at the older woman and felt very sorry for her. He had been raised by his grandmother, and had never met his parents. That is why he felt empathy towards the lady. He thought he would dishonor her and her grandmother’s integrity if he didn’t try to help Meryl.
“Listen, I can’t promise you anything. But Brandon and I have a pretty good relationship. I’ll try to talk to him,” Don promised.
“Oh really? Thank you my child. God bless you!” said an emotional Meryl, crying.
A month later, Meryl was at home having tea. She looked at the locket on the table and thought of 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 rang.
“I’m coming,” she said, gently placing the locket on the table. The doorbell rang a second time.
“I’m coming,” Meryl repeated, moving to the door. When she opened it, her heart immediately filled with joy.
“Brandon!” the older woman said in surprise.
“Hello. I had a talk with Don, and I think I’m willing to listen to what he has to tell me,” Brandon said, crying as he handed over the flowers.
“Of course. Please come in,” Meryl replied, pointing inside.
Meryl told Brandon all about his mother from the very beginning. She gave him the locket and expressed her daughter’s love for it. The young man burst into tears when he found out that his mother had died.
I was hoping she was alive somewhere. She was hoping that one day they might get a second chance. Meryl comforted him, and from that day on they were grandmother and grandson. From that moment on, they were family again.
What can we learn from this story?
Family is the most important thing: The fact that Meryl’s family was separated for so long caused them a pain that they had to harbor individually over the years. If they had tried to resolve their differences, it wouldn’t have been so difficult to meet again.
Forgiveness Opens Doors to Joy: Meryl and Bridget forgave each other and it helped them repair their relationship. Brandon also forgave his family for not being there and was later able to forge a relationship with his grandmother.
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