Poppy Walsh, 75, was a sweet, typical American grandmother who was dying to meet her grandson. A year ago, when her daughter Natalie gave birth, Poppy couldn’t wait to see him, but her health problems prevented her from visiting her daughter’s family, who lived in another state.
One morning before breakfast, Poppy checked the calendar and realized that her grandson Max’s birthday was only two weeks away! She had to visit him at least on his first birthday! So Poppy gathered all her savings, booked a plane ticket and bought gifts for her daughter’s family to surprise them.
When the big day arrived, only Poppy knew how much courage she had to muster. She wasn’t in the best of shape and airsickness plagued her, but at the end of the flight she would see her grandson’s smile and celebrate his birthday, so it was worth it. At least that’s what Poppy thought.
When Poppy finally arrived at her daughter’s house, she could not contain her excitement. She pulled a hand mirror from her purse and examined herself. Her face was marred by wrinkles and she looked frail, but the pressed powder had hidden most of her imperfections and her lipstick was perfect.
Poppy smoothed out her old cardigan to look presentable and took a deep breath before approaching the door. But no sooner had she reached the front door than she heard people clapping and singing the birthday song.
Poppy’s face fell as she looked out the window into her daughter’s living room. She sees her daughter’s stepmother, who also lives in another state, and several other people celebrating Max’s birthday.
“How come she didn’t invite me?” wondered Poppy with tears welling in her eyes. Nevertheless, she rang the doorbell, wiping away her tears, and when Natalie opened the door after several rings, she frowned.
“Mom, what are you doing here?” she asks as she walks out and closes the door behind her.
“Oh, honey!” Poppy wiped her tears with her hands and hugged her warmly. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I’m here for Max’s birthday, and I brought you presents!”
Natalie pushed her away.
“You’re kidding me, Mom! You came to our house dressed like that?”
She looked at Poppy from head to toe and the older woman became a little embarrassed.
“Mom, please leave. I don’t want a scene here!”
Poppy looked at her blankly.
“What’s wrong with my clothes, honey? Natalie, look, I haven’t had a chance to meet my grandson! I went on a long trip, especially for him. I have nowhere to stay here, and my ticket home isn’t due for another week,” she explained.
“Well, that’s your problem, Mom. Please, we live in a decent community, and look at your old clothes! We are friends with rich people here! You don’t need to ruin everyone’s mood, so just leave. And no, we don’t want any of your cheap gifts!” shouted Natalie, slamming the door in Poppy’s face.
Poppy was heartbroken, and she had no choice but to leave. She rolled the suitcase down the porch and walked out of Natalie’s house. She looked at the house one more time before leaving, and this time her tears would not stop flowing.
After wandering the streets for a while, Poppy didn’t know what to do. After all, her flight home was a week away and she had nowhere to go. She sat on the sidewalk for a while, and after checking the money she had on her, she decided to take a train home. It would take a long time and several transfers, but it was the only way.
Poppy did just that, and when she got home, she sat in her room and cried. How had time so quickly changed her daughter, whom she had raised with such affection, and who had not hesitated to reject her? Could she ever meet her grandson? Poppy cried herself to sleep that night.
A few days later, Poppy wakes up to the sound of the doorbell. She glances out her bedroom window and notices an unfamiliar car parked in front of her house. She hurriedly pulled on her sweater and went downstairs to the door, curious as to who had arrived.
She is puzzled when she opens the door and sees Natalie’s husband Adam, her mother, Catherine, and Max standing in the doorway.
“Oh, my God! What are you doing here?” she asks, shaking. “Is everything okay?”
“Wouldn’t you like to invite us inside, Mrs. Walsh?” asked Adam, smiling at her. “Max was excited to see his Granny and we couldn’t say no!”.
“Oh, honey, come in, come in….” Poppy replied, opening the door wider for them.
As they all settled in, Adam handed Max to Poppy to hold, and Poppy couldn’t help but cry.
“My darling, we finally got to meet. Do you know how much I wanted to see you? Grandma loves you so much!” she says to her grandson, who can’t stop smiling at her.
“Well, Poppy,” Catherine interjected. “There’s this and something else we wanted to tell you. Don’t get me wrong …”
“What’s going on?” Poppy asked, concerned.
“It’s just that, Mrs. Walsh,” Adam says, “Natalie and I are getting a divorce.”
“What?” Poppy’s heart sank. “What are you saying, Adam? That…how did this happen?”
Adam explained that Catherine had seen her when she had come to their house for Max’s birthday, but she didn’t know why she had never come in. Catherine asked Natalie about it and was shocked when she learned the truth.
“I thought it was very disrespectful of her to do that to you. How could she not let you in? I wish I had done something at the time. Adam and I told her to apologize to you, but she wouldn’t listen.”
“Exactly, Mrs. Walsh,” Adam added. “Things have gotten out of hand, and we’re separating. She can’t provide for Max, so she’s agreed to give me custody of him. We are here to ask you to move in with Max and me. Natalie will be moving here soon once the formalities are completed and we don’t want you to put up with her any longer…”
Polly felt bad that her daughter’s marriage was over, but she knew how stubborn and selfish Natalie was. If she didn’t see the point of continuing the relationship, she wouldn’t do it. So, eventually, Polly accepted Adam’s offer and moved in with him.
Natalie ended up living on her own and regretting her decisions, but she was only paying for her mistakes. Polly, on the other hand, is living happily with Adam and Max, and has plenty of time to care for her adorable grandson.