An old disabled lady wakes up alone the day after telling her only grandson to leave her — it left her sad because it was a day to Christmas, but his leaving was for a greater purpose.William Connis was a 28-year-old man who had two jobs he loved — one was working remotely as an internal auditor, and the other was caring for his disabled grandmother, Julia.He had moved in with her after she took a fall down the stairs and lost use of her legs. He had always blamed himself for what happened. As far as he was concerned, if he had been there, it could have been prevented.
William loved and respected Julia very much because she and her husband had been the ones to take him in after his parents passed away in a car accident.”It was a drunk truck driver,” the police had told his granny when they thought he was asleep.
He was determined never to forget that, but Julia and her husband, Todd, had done their best to dispel the rage and sadness in his heart — their love was enough.
Todd was everything to Julia, but when he clocked 75, he had a stroke in his sleep and passed away in her arms. She would always tell him that she knew when it happened, and he couldn’t doubt it because he knew how much they had loved one another.
How could they not? She was the only one he knew who could contain Todd’s tendency to get lost in his imagination. His healthy outlet was through writing, and he excelled at writing books for children.
“They are the salt of the earth,” he would say.
As a child, William would listen to Julia reading him his favorite book written by Todd. Every Christmas, William and Todd would sit by the fireplace and listen to Julia read the book.
Two years after Todd died, Julia had a bad fall while she was climbing down the stairs in the home she shared with Todd. After it was revealed that Julia had lost her legs, William took over taking care of her and got a moving company to move her things to his smaller house.
Amidst the chaos of the move, the book got lost. It would have given them closure with Todd that Christmas but that wasn’t possible, so from that moment, every Christmas was gray and without any emotions.
After some time, Julia started noticing that William had gotten tired of caring for her, so she decided to talk to him.
“I’ll go if I must,” she said one day as they had lunch together.
“What did you say?” he asked. “Where do you want to go?”
“To a nursing home,” she said, staring intently at her soup.
“What do you mean?” William asked, confused. “Why so suddenly?”
“I know you’re thinking it, I’ve become a burden these past few years without my legs. I’m sorry Will, I’ll go to a nursing home so you can live your life to the fullest,” she said.
William was astounded, and he just watched Julia in silence until she looked up from the stew she was staring into. He didn’t say anything. He just resumed eating his food.
The day before Christmas, Julia woke up but was not attended to by William. Instead, he had a representative from the family hospital hired.
“I’m here for the day ma’am,” the representative said when Julia asked how long she would be babysitting her for.
“Does that mean William will return?” Julia thought.
“I will also return at the same time tomorrow all things being equal,” the nurse added, dashing Julia’s hopes. Her grandson was really gone.
Later that evening, Julia’s neighbor told her that her husband, who had been returning from a business trip that night, met William at the airport.
“That’s it, he is definitely gone.”
Christmas morning came, but Julia only saw her nurse, Miss Penelope, and the woman left at noon saying she had appointments with her own family.
One could see the disappointment written on the old lady’s face – would she be spending what should be the most joyful holiday all alone? Julia turned on the TV in her room to listen to the news – since that was the closest shot to companionship – but all she could think about was her situation – her loneliness.
Then evening came with Julia sitting alone near the fireplace – tired of being strong, she started crying. She missed William; however, just as soon as she thought about him, he appeared in the doorway and it all felt like a miracle had just happened.
Then he walked to her and handed her a gift box saying, “Merry Christmas, my lovely granny. I will never leave you – you are all I have left.”
If Julia could use her legs, she would have jumped for joy at what was happening, but as it was, she could only raise her hands and wave happily.
Inside the box, she found the same book that she lost two years ago. It was a limited edition, which is why it was so difficult for William to find.
The only other person who had the book was a woman in another state, and it was what made him travel, leaving her alone.
“You little rascal, you played with my strong heart. I can only take so much,” Julia said playfully when William revealed to her what happened.
“I’m sorry for making you cry, granny. Here, please read it to me, just like old times,” he begged. Julia agreed, but the most shocking thing happened when she opened the book to start reading — on the first page was Todd’s handwriting dedicating the book to her and William.
It turned out that William had indeed found the exact book that went missing two years ago. It made Julia smile when she thought it through; the book had returned to its rightful owners.