Boy Ignors Grandpa’s Invite Every Christmas, He Comes Years Later and Finds a Ruined House.

“One, two, three…and four, now that’s good!”, Gregory counted the plates on the dining room table and headed into the kitchen.

So the Christmas preparations were done, now the time would stretch out in anticipation of his son and his family’s coveted guests. But most of all, the 85-year-old Gregory was waiting for his grandson, Aaron.

Traditionally, Gregory set the holiday table. The kitchen was fragrant with traditional turkey and sweet potatoes, which Gregory sprinkled with a little brown sugar. Also languishing waiting for Aaron was the last piece of pumpkin pie and ice cream, which he adored.

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The house was filled with pleasant smells. In the fireplace burned logs cut from a tree that grew in the backyard. Gregory had made the wood a week ago.

He uncorked a bottle of wine, poured some into a glass, and sat down at the set table. Gregory was so hopeful that this year Aaron would finally accept his invitation. It had been 20 years since his grandson had visited his own grandfather.

Every year Gregory sent his grandson an invitation letter, he expected Aaron and his parents to be sure to come for Christmas, but they never did. That didn’t stop Gregory, he traditionally made a holiday dinner and waited patiently for the family to visit.

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The glass slowly emptied, and Gregory’s thoughts took him back in time to the happy days when his son Brandon and his wife, Linda, and little Aaron celebrated all the holidays with him.

He remembered how Aaron had once remarked on his culinary skills and called him the best cook. “You’re the only one who makes a pie this good. Mom can’t repeat after you,” his grandson complimented him.

“I second that! Dad, you have a talent for cooking. And Linda is a long way from you. She’s no better in the workplace, but in the kitchen… God forbid!” teased Brandon to his wife.

Immediately Gregory’s mind flashed to Linda’s face, drenched in embarrassment at the mention of her cooking. She was aware that she would be utterly defeated in the kitchen.

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Gregory’s recollections were interrupted by the doorbell. To make sure it wasn’t a dream, Gregory pinched himself. The clock showed 7:00 p.m., the first time in 20 years that someone had rung his doorbell at this time on Christmas Eve.

“Aaron!”, Gregory rushed happily to the door, hoping to see his beloved grandson. But as soon as he opened the door and saw his guest, his eyes darkened and he fainted. The voice trying to wake him sounded somewhere very far away, Gregory could hear it, but he could not even open his eyes. Exhausted, he fell fast asleep.

Twenty years ago.

Six-year-old Aaron lived with his parents in the small town of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The grandson and grandfather had a close relationship. Back then, Aaron and his parents came to Gregory’s every year to celebrate Christmas.

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Gregory worked on a small farm, his salary was not enough to buy expensive gifts for his grandson, but young Aaron gladly accepted everything his beloved grandfather gave him. However, the sweet relationship between Gregory and Aaron came to an end as the boy began to grow up.

Christmas visits to Gregory’s house began to wind down. Brandon and Linda talked about the heavy workload at work, and teenager Aaron got his own thing going.

One Christmas Gregory went to visit the children himself, he missed them very much. And he overheard Aaron talking to his parents. “Mom! Why did Grandpa come? He’s got a farm that needs looking after!”, Aaron asked loudly.

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“Aaron! You talk about your grandfather, don’t forget. You loved him so much, didn’t you, what happened now?”, said Linda.

“Mom, come on. Just look at the way he looks. It’s a disgrace. Please make him go away soon,” Aaron blurted out.

That night Gregory could not sleep, the tears were keeping him awake. The next morning he hurriedly packed his things and returned home to Virginia. In his heart he told himself that he would never come to Pennsylvania again, so as not to disgrace himself.

But his sense of loneliness and his inability to travel because of his venerable age prompted him to write regular letters to Aaron inviting him to the party. Gregory hoped that his grandson would respond to his invitation. But Aaron was silent, only in one letter did he write to his grandfather that he was busy and could not come to see him.

Six months had passed since Gregory had lost consciousness.

Gregory struggled to open his eyes and looked around. The room was very quiet and cold. At that moment he saw a nurse who had just entered the room. There was excitement and amazement in her eyes.

“Doctor! Mr. Oliver is awake, he’s awake!” the nurse exclaimed and ran out of the room.

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A few minutes later, the doctor appeared in the room, he assessed the reaction of his pupils, checked his pulse. “An amazing case, Mr. Oliver. We’re glad you’re okay.”

Gregory began to get up. He asked, “Doctor, when can I go home? Perhaps my grandson is waiting for me there. I’ve made his favorite food for him. I have to go!”

Taking a deep breath, the doctor took Gregory’s hand. “Mr. Oliver, the thing is, you’ve been in the hospital for six months now. You’ve had a stroke. We haven’t been able to reach your family. But your grandson is expecting you here.”

“What did you say?!”, Gregory’s eyes went wide with surprise. “Aaron is here?”

“That’s right, Mr. Oliver. I’ll call him now.”

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As soon as Aaron appeared in the doorway of the ward, Gregory was dazed. Instead of the jolly, chubby boy Gregory remembered him as, he saw a handsome man six feet tall, dressed to perfection with his shoes polished to a shine. After Aaron, a woman entered the room. She was the one in the pink flowered dress who had stood on his doorstep that night six months earlier.

“Grandpa, I’m sorry, please, I’m sorry!”, Aaron hugged Gregory in an impulse and cried. Cynthia, that was the woman’s name, tried to comfort Aaron, then she smiled at Gregory. “We’re glad your health is not in danger. Aaron couldn’t find his place.”

Later, when emotions had subsided a little, Gregory and Aaron were alone. Then the boy began to tell him what had happened.

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As it turned out, Cynthia was Gregory’s new roommate, and that night she and her husband had decided to invite him to Christmas dinner. When Cynthia rang the doorbell, Gregory opened it and suddenly fainted.

Gregory’s new neighbors learned that the man lived alone and had no one to spend Christmas with, so they wanted to invite him over. But Gregory suddenly lost consciousness. Then the couple took him to the hospital, where he has been for the last six months.

Not having received a traditional invitation from Gregory, Aaron became worried. For the first time in 20 years his grandfather had not sent him a letter. So he decided to fly out to Virginia to visit his grandfather, but it was after Gregory was in the hospital.

Aaron went through all the mail, but there was no letter from his grandfather. He decided to wait a little while to see if the mail was late, but months passed and there was still no letter. Swirling in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Aaron completely forgot about it. One day he was tidying up his room when he saw the letters again, and that’s when Aaron realized he had not yet heard from Gregory.

After a while it turned out that his grandfather had sent him a letter of invitation, but it had gotten lost at the city post office. When Aaron found out, time was running out.

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By then, Aaron was already in Virginia. Once at his grandfather’s house, he saw a depressing picture: the parquet floor was crumbling, the table with the Christmas treats was covered in dust. But most of all Aaron was surprised that the front door was open, and his grandfather was nowhere to be found.

He walked around the house, and there was dirt everywhere, cobwebs hanging from the corners. Then an old frame with a picture of him in it, when he was a little boy, caught his attention. Aaron began pacing from one door to the next with glowing eyes, trying to ask his neighbors if they had seen his grandfather. But he never got an answer. Until the next day, Cynthia Lewis’s husband discovered him as he slept on the stairs of Gregory’s house. Then the man told Aaron everything.

Since then, Aaron, as befits a caring grandson, visited his grandfather at the hospital every week, and when he couldn’t do it himself, he asked Cynthia and Lewis to help him. Fortunately, he was there the moment Gregory regained consciousness. Aaron was immensely happy that he was able to hug and talk to his grandfather that day.

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“Grandpa, I’m sorry I didn’t come for so long. I’m a terrible grandson,” Aaron said, wiping tears from his grandfather’s eyes. “Maybe it’s even good that I didn’t get your letter in time. Because then I wouldn’t have found out how horrible I was when I ignored you all this time. I really wanted to see you, but I put it off every time.”

“It’s okay, Aaron. Don’t worry about it. I’m glad to see you here. Maybe this time you’ll get to celebrate Christmas with me.”

“Sure, Grandpa. From now on, I’ll celebrate all the holidays only with you. Also, you’re not going back to your old house anymore, you’re going to live with me. That’s already decided!”

Gregory’s face lit up with a smile. He hugged his grandson, and mentally thanked God for having Aaron by his side again.

When Gregory was released from the hospital, he went to Pennsylvania with Aaron. Every year he celebrated Christmas with his grandson until he left this land.

And now Aaron, along with his son, travels to the cemetery each year to visit his grandfather’s grave. He brings Gregory’s favorite flowers and tells his son about what a wonderful grandfather Gregory was. The little boy, who was named after his great-grandfather, listened with great interest to his father’s stories.

“I’m going to be like great-grandpa Gregory, too. I’m sure I’ll be a good grandfather!” the little boy repeated, bringing laughter and tears to his family’s eyes with his childlike spontaneity.

 

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