Jill had no siblings. Her father left the family, leaving his wife alone with their 4-year-old daughter. Jill’s mother had to raise her daughter on her own. Ann worked five days a week on a small farm, with extra work on the weekends. She wanted her daughter to have everything. As she got older, however, little Jill turned into an arrogant teenager who looked down on her mother.
“Mom!”, Jill exclaimed loudly when she saw what Ann was wearing. They were going to a school event together. “Why are you wearing that? It’s old, isn’t it? If you come to school dressed like that, I’ll be laughed at.”
“Honey, I bought this dress a year ago. And besides, I really like it,” Anne replied.
“You’ve worn it many times before. Please change into something else. Don’t embarrass me.”
Ann’s eyes widened in surprise. She had not expected to hear her daughter say such a thing. But Ann didn’t say anything to her; to her, Jill was still a child, and it was unlikely that the girl wanted to offend her mother. Ann quickly changed her dress, and they went to the event.
After Jill turned 18, she left her native Brownsville and moved to Houston. The reason for the move was to attend university, and with it the desire to get away from her destitute mother. Jill hardly ever called Ann.
In Houston, Jill met a guy from a wealthy family. After a month in a relationship with Bobby (that was the young man’s name), he proposed to her. Jill was over the moon. Her childhood dream of a rich life could soon become a reality.
Bobby knew nothing about Jill’s family; she preferred to tell him a made-up story that she had been orphaned early and raised by foster parents. So when the question of the guest list came up, she easily excluded her poor mother.
The venue for the wedding was to be an elaborate gala hall in New York City. Jill was very worried, she thought she would not see Ann at the wedding. But fate decided otherwise.
Two days before her daughter’s wedding, Ann decided to visit her, to surprise her.
The woman spent nearly six hours on the road, but when she got to Jill, she wasn’t home. She had to wait for her daughter, sitting on the porch. What was Ann’s surprise when she saw her daughter approaching, holding her wedding dress.
“Who does that dress belong to, Jill?”, Ann asked.
Jill sighed heavily. Ann noticed that her daughter seemed to be shackled by fear. “It’s my friend’s dress, Mom. Her name is Gina. Come on in, I’ll make some tea,” Jill hastily replied. The girl tried not to look at her mother.
Anne was shocked by her daughter’s sweet tone. It had been a long time since Jill had spoken to her like that. A mother’s heart told her daughter was hiding something.
“Honey, why aren’t you letting it out of your hands? Are you invited, too? We can go shopping and pick you something.”
“No need, Mom,” answered Jill. She turned on the stove and put the kettle on to warm. “I’ve got dresses, I’ll pick something out.”
“I see. When’s the event?”
“A week from now,” Jill blurted out. “The kettle’s boiling. Could you get the cookies, please? They’re in a box in the kitchen.”
“Okay,” Anne replied and headed into the kitchen. At that moment, she noticed a message that came to Jill’s phone. Someone, saved as “Favorite,” wrote, “Honey, the guest list is almost done. I so wish someone from your family could be at our wedding to support you. I can imagine how much you’re missing your parents right now.”
Ann didn’t hold back her curiosity and, since her daughter’s phone wasn’t blocked, opened all the messages from “Beloved.” She was shocked when she read that her own daughter’s wedding was coming up very soon, and that no one had invited Ann as a mother. Jill saw Ann holding her phone in her hands, the girl was seized by panic, and she rushed to her mother.
“Mom, what are you doing! I don’t like it when someone takes my phone without asking, give it back to me.”
“What else don’t you like, Jill?”, barely holding back tears, Anne asked. “I can’t believe you’re so embarrassed of me that you even told everyone, that you don’t have parents. And the fact that you’re having a wedding very soon, you didn’t tell me.”
“Okay, Mom. Don’t make a scene. We planned to have a small ceremony with our closest friends, so I didn’t invite you.”
“The closest of friends? 200 people, Jill! It’s your wedding, an important event in your life. I am your mother, after all. But you chose to hide it from me.”
“That’s the difficulty, Mom. You want it your way. But after all, I’m the one getting married, and I want to decide who gets to be at my wedding and who doesn’t!”
“Okay. I didn’t think you hated me that much. Tell me honestly, are you ashamed of me?”
“Okay, Mom, I’ll explain. The fact is that my future husband comes from a rich family. All the invited guests are wealthy people. Imagine what they will think when they see you unkempt, unkempt woman dressed in the wrong clothes? I don’t think they’d like that. Please, let’s stop this conversation. Nothing will happen, forget it!”
Ann was hurt by her daughter’s words. She quickly grabbed her bag and left.
The day of the wedding came. Ann was anxious to see her daughter in her wedding attire. Then she went to Jill’s Facebook page, hoping to see her in her dress. But from social media, Ann learned that the wedding had been postponed.
“We apologize. We had to reschedule the wedding because of problems with the wedding cake. If anyone knows of anyone who can help us with this, let us know.”
Despite the fact that her daughter treated her mother so badly, Ann decided to bake the cake for her herself. She stayed up all night. In the morning the cake was ready. Ann sent it to her daughter, and in a note to the cake she wrote, “Dear daughter, I hope you like your wedding cake. Of course, it’s not exactly what you posted on your page, but I tried really hard. Love you. Mom.”
After she sent the cake to her daughter, she expected Jill to thank her in some way. But no miracle happened.
Two days later, a bell rang at Ann’s house. She opened the door and saw Jill and Bobby. Jill was dressed up in a wedding dress and Bobby in a nice suit. He looked much prettier than in the picture on the phone that Ann had seen.
“Hurry up, Mom!” said Jill and slipped her mother a new dress. “We can’t be late for the wedding. I’m sorry I acted so horribly selfish. When we got your cake, we decided to have a private ceremony in the church. But then I realized that everyone had to see my mother, the woman who raised me and to whom I owed everything. I had to hustle to get the guests back together and organize a celebration. I love you so much, Mom. Please be at my wedding. It won’t be complete without you.”
“Yes, Mrs. Matthews,” Bobby joined the conversation. “If I’d known about you sooner, there’s no way I would have let Jill act so stupid. I’m sorry it happened this way. Please come with us.”
Anne cried; she hugged Jill and Bobby tightly. Of course, she went to her daughter’s wedding. It was an important lesson for Jill. She had learned that one should not treat with contempt those who did not live as well as they did.