Dorothy Hanks loved being around her grandchildren. Like all grandparents, she also wanted the best for them and would do anything to make them happy.
But when her fourth grandchild was born, Dorothy was unhappy and angry. She cursed her daughter for giving birth to a baby boy with Down syndrome and turned her back on them.
For 17 years, she refused to see the boy’s face, thinking he was bad luck. The grandmother hatred of people with Down syndrome began 40 years ago, when an unfortunate incident took away more than her happiness…
Dorothy was happily married to her husband, Grey Hanks, who was not only a successful industrialist, but also a philanthropist. Grey never hesitated to help the needy and always did everything possible to serve society.
He also took full responsibility for his orphaned cousin, Jeremy, who has Down syndrome. He cared for him like a father and often visited him at the special needs nursing home.
One day, while driving home from a regular visit, Grey lost control of his car and crashed into a speeding truck. He died instantly, leaving his wife and children devastated. At the time, Dorothy, a widow, blamed Jeremy for her husband’s death.
“If you hadn’t had Down syndrome, my husband wouldn’t have come to see you often,” she frowned during Grey’s funeral.
Since then, Dorothy hated even looking at people with Down syndrome. She felt that just looking at them was a bad omen. Several years passed, but Dorothy had not fully recovered from the loss of Grey. Her only relief was becoming a grandmother for the first time after her oldest daughter Madison gave birth to triplets.
“I love being a grandmother!” said Dorothy often because she loved raising children. She also wanted them to be like her.
If Dorothy’s life was happy, her happiness doubled when her youngest daughter Hannah welcomed a baby boy. The grandmother was thrilled and rushed to the hospital because she wanted to be the first to hold the baby and see him.
But when she peeked into the crib, Dorothy frowned and pulled her hands away after seeing that the newborn had Down syndrome.
“No, stop. I don’t want to touch him,” she told the nurse, blushing. “I’ve seen what I don’t want to see in my whole life…. I’m leaving. That can’t be my grandson.”
Dorothy stormed out of the ward, looking like she wanted to wash and change quickly.
A few days later, Hannah was released from the hospital with her newborn son, Michael. She was disappointed in her mother and the rest of her family for not visiting her. She decided to find out why her mother walked away in anger. So she went to her house, not knowing how she would react when she saw her son.
“Mom, why didn’t you come to me afterwards? I saw that you wanted to carry my son, but you didn’t,” Hannah asked Dorothy. “Look, he’s a boy… Mom, look how happy he is to see you….”.
But Dorothy took a step back. “Stay there!” she yelled. “Don’t bring that thing in here. It’s attracts death…. Go away and never come to me with your sick child.”
Hannah was shocked and had tears in her eyes. For a moment, she felt like she had done something wrong just by bringing her baby to her mother.
“B-but Mom, he’s your grandson,” she yelled. “How can you tell him that? I know you hate people with this disease, but he’s your blood…he’s your grandson…please don’t hate him.”
“Grandson? I only have three grandsons, and this child is not my grandson. Take him and get out of here. Don’t bring that thing into my house again, or you’ll see my worst side.”
“A thing? You call your grandson a thing?” yelled Hannah. “I will never come here again! I promise!”
Those were the last words Dorothy heard from Hannah. That evening, she called her lawyer and immediately signed the papers to disinherit little Michael from her will.
For 16 years, Hannah raised the boy alone. She cut ties with her mother and after her husband died, she worked as an office worker to support her son. She faced many challenges, but at the end of the day, she sighed peacefully when she saw her son smile.
One day, Michael curiously asked her about her family tree. He had heard his friends talk about their grandparents and was curious about his own family. Suddenly, he asked Hannah about his grandparents, much to her surprise.
“Mom, where are Grandma and Grandpa? I’ve never seen them,” he expressed curiously. “Do you have their pictures, and can you show them to me?”
“Your grandfather died many years ago, son,” she said.
“Oh, I’m sorry… So, what about grandma? Where is she?”
“Well, it has been many years since we have seen each other. Your grandmother lives a long way from here, and we can’t go there.”
“We can’t go? But I want to see her. Can you please take me to see her?”.
“No, I’m sorry. Can we stop talking about this now? I have work to do in the kitchen.”
It hurt Hannah to lie to her son, but she had no choice. She didn’t want him to be disappointed when he saw his grandmother’s true nature.
Meanwhile, Dorothy became older. Her first three grandsons, Leo, Liam and Mason, took over her business and developed a thriving industry. She was proud of them and happy when they consulted her for all their decisions and business.
“Ah, I still feel like a queen! I love it when my children and grandchildren listen to me,” Dorothy often boasted. “You see, your grandmother can never be wrong. I’m always right. And there is nothing you can say against me because you know the price you would pay if you disobey me!”.
Dorothy prided herself on her decisions and didn’t like her daughter and grandsons to argue. She only wanted them to do what she thought was right, and there were no arguments.
No one dared disobey Dorothy after she constantly threatened to disinherit them. Who would want to risk losing a $13 million fortune over a silly argument?
While everything was going well, old age slowly began to take its toll on Dorothy. She got sick often, but she was determined to live a long life. She was happy and had completely forgotten about Hannah and her son because they didn’t exist for her. Although she did not want to see them, her grandson did not feel the same way.
“Mom, I found this picture in your diary.” Michael showed Hannah an old family photo. “Is this your mother? Is that my grandmother?”
Hannah realized she could no longer hide the truth from her son.
“Mom, tell me, is that my grandma? I know her,” Michael said, startling his mother.
“You know her? How do you know her, and have you talked to her?”
“Not really… She came to my school a few months ago as a guest. But I wasn’t allowed in the room. I saw her from a distance… Why didn’t you see her again, and why didn’t she come to see us?”
At that point, Hannah decided to reveal the truth.
“You’re right… She is your grandmother, and she lives half an hour away. But she doesn’t want to see you…because she hates you, son. She thinks that people with Down’s syndrome are a threat and an evil. She refused to look at you when I took you to her house.”
Hannah told Michael about her father’s accident and the impact it had on her mother, who began to hate people with birth defects.
“But Mom, it wasn’t my fault… It wasn’t Grandpa Jeremy’s fault either. We are God’s special children, and Grandma should accept that,” Michael cried. “Everyone is unique, and we were born for a reason. Why do people only care what we look like when there is so much to see in our hearts?”
Although Hannah was moved to tears by her son’s words, she refused to let him meet his nana and made him promise never to try. With a heavy heart, Michael promised. But he still wanted to see his grandmother, so he decided to partially break his promise.
For the next two months, Michael often stood on the road in front of Dorothy’s house, just to catch a glimpse of her. Every time he saw her, he wanted to run and kiss her. But the promise he had made to his mother prevented him from doing so, and he didn’t want to upset his grandmother by showing her his face.
One day, Michael went to his usual spot in front of his grandmother’s house to see her. But she didn’t appear, even two hours later. Curious and concerned, he asked security what had happened, and then learned that Dorothy had passed away the night before.
Torn between his promise to his mother and his love for his grandmother, Michael had to make a choice. He rushed to the gate and was shocked to learn that his grandmother had already been taken to the cemetery for her funeral.
“I have to see her one last time,” he exclaimed as he ran to the cemetery to pay his last respects.
Michael feared his aunt and cousins would not even let him near his grandmother’s casket. But he was determined and ran as fast as he could to see her face, except when he got there, he witnessed something shocking.
“What? No one is here for the funeral?” exclaimed Michael after seeing only a priest and a few strangers around Dorothy’s casket. “Where are my aunt and her sons? Why aren’t they here to say goodbye to Grandma?”
It turned out that Madison and her three sons were at the lawyer’s office waiting for the late Dorothy’s will to be released. For so long, until her last breath, they had only done her good for her money. They didn’t love her sincerely and did everything they could to win her heart to secure her fortune.
But Michael was unaware of all this and shouted to his grandmother.
“Grandma, I’ve come for you! Please look at me. I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you,” he shouted. “I’m mad at you for keeping me away, but I still love you and I forgive you. Please give me a chance to talk to you and feel your love.”
Soon, Hannah arrived at the cemetery. She was angry at her son for not keeping his promise, but she knew it wouldn’t make much difference now. Although she had seen her mother in a casket, all she remembered was Dorothy’s bitterness toward her and Michael.
“Come on, let’s go home. What’s the point of seeing her like this when she hasn’t even given us a chance to talk to her?” said Hannah.
“Mom, Grandma is not with us anymore…. She may have been harsh on the outside, but we can’t blame her for being angry with us. Everyone has choices, and we can’t judge them based on that.”
For a moment, Hannah was speechless, realizing she was wrong about her mother.
“Grandma is gone, taking her hatred for me to the grave. Now she deserves our love and respect. Let’s honor her for all the good she did and forget her hatred for us, Mom.”
Moved by her son’s words, Hannah placed a bouquet on her late mother’s grave and wept. Later, she met her sister and nephews, who seemed unhappy after witnessing an unexpected shock in the lawyer’s office.
As luck would have it, Dorothy had changed her will without anyone knowing. According to her last wishes, only those family members who paid their last respects at her funeral would receive an inheritance.
Madison and her sons were shocked when the lawyer showed them the documents and told them that someone else in their family would inherit Dorothy’s $13 million estate.
It turned out that one of the strangers at the funeral was a junior attorney in disguise to verify who in Dorothy’s family would be present at her funeral and called Dorothy’s attorney when he witnessed Hannah and Michael’s presence.
Ultimately, Hannah and Michael became the legal heirs to the late Dorothy’s $13 million fortune, much to the astonishment and resentment of Madison and her sons.
Although Hannah and Michael became rich overnight, they were unhappy because they never wanted Dorothy’s money. Hannah spoke to her sister and nephews for the first time in several years.
“You can keep Mom’s money and estate if you want. I’ll take care of the paperwork. Mom is gone, and she’s not coming back. What are we going to do with her money?” she said, bowing her head in shame.
Madison and her sons realized there were more precious things than money. They regretted turning their backs on Hannah and Michael to please Dorothy.
The family was reconciled, and although mother and son were overjoyed, they regretted not being present with Dorothy during her final days. Hannah often visited her late mother’s grave and spent long hours crying and begging for forgiveness.
“I should have at least made an effort to talk to you…. I’m sorry, Mom,” she sobbed. “Please forgive me… But you should have talked to my son at least once. He loves you, Mom.”
Unfortunately, Dorothy never realized this and never accepted Michael as her grandson until her last breath. While Hannah and Michael hope the grandma will be happy for them from heaven, the emptiness and pain she left in their hearts will take a long time to heal.