Mrs. Halls’ life was filled with challenges. She was orphaned very early, her parents died in a car accident. And when her second daughter Katie was born, her husband passed away.
Because Mrs. Halls did not receive a decent education, she had to work for a little salary and rent a small house where she lived with her 5-year-old daughter Isabel and baby Katie. The woman spent most of her time at work, and as soon as she had free time, she spent it with her children. She was convinced that no matter how much work she had, it was important to find time for the children.
Time passed. The girls grew up. Mrs. Halls had no idea that fate was preparing new challenges for her.
Mrs. Halls devoted her entire life to her daughters, but they were not overflowing with gratitude. But she hoped that when Isabel and Katie graduate, they would get jobs and help her. How wrong she was.
One evening Mrs. Halls returned home from work, it was a hard shift. In the house she saw a young man she didn’t know. Later, the eldest daughter introduced him to her mother as her husband Jack.
Isabel informed her that they would now live in the house until they find something else. Well, buying their own place was out of the question. When Isabel and Jack had their baby, they still lived together in the tiny house.
Mrs. Halls was irritated, but she couldn’t say anything to the children. Once again she hoped for Isabel’s discretion. However, quarrels were inevitable.
Originally, one room belonged to Isabel and Cathy, and the other to Mrs. Halls. Then, when Isabel had her own family, Cathy moved into her mother’s room.
Mrs. Halls was 60 years old. She no longer had the strength to be responsible for the whole family and to fit in with everyone. But because she loved her girls so much, she kept quiet. Any mother would do anything for her child.
But one day Mrs. Halls’ patience snapped. She was no longer willing to put up with her situation. In an instant, the sweet, self-sacrificing mother turned into a woman, who was ready to kick her children out in the street.
It was snowing that night. After a day’s work, Mrs. Halls was warming herself by the fireplace, and suddenly the doorbell rang. On the doorstep stood Kathy and a young man.
“You’re late, Cathy. Who are you with?” asked Mrs. Halls and looked at her daughter with a puzzled look.
Katie blushed. “That’s Adam…my boyfriend.”
“You didn’t tell me we were going to have company,” Mrs. Halls said. It annoyed her that the other daughter had also brought her lover into the house without warning her.
“Hello, Mrs. Halls! May I come in?”, Adam said.
The woman was somewhat taken aback by the young man’s insolence, but she invited them into the house nonetheless. She sat Adam close to the fireplace and went into the kitchen to make tea.
She set the table, poured the tea, and held the cup out to Adam. “What do you do, Adam?” began the conversation Mrs. Halls.
“Nothing yet, Mrs. Halls. I hope to settle the matter soon,” replied the young man.
“Fine. And where do you live? With your parents?”
At this point Katie stepped into the conversation. “Mom, we want to live with Adam together. His father is very hard on him, and he’s against us getting married until Adam gets a job. Also…”
“What else?” the woman looked at her daughter puzzled.
“We’re having a baby. I’m pregnant, Mom.”
Mrs. Halls was at a loss for words. “What child? You have no job, no money, no place of your own. I wonder how you think you’re going to get him up on his feet?”
“I was just going to talk about that. We’re going to live here,” Katie replied in a quiet voice.
“What? No, Katie, no!” replied Mrs. Halls firmly. “We’re cramped as it is. Isabel and her husband have lived here for two years and still haven’t found work. I’m supporting their family, and I can’t afford any more of you.”
“How so? So Isabel can live here, but I can’t? We’ll find a job. You could sleep in the living room or the kitchen. And Adam and I will take our room.”
In response to her daughter’s words, Mrs. Halls calmly put her cup down on the table and said: “All right, honey. I guess we really do need to make some changes.”
“Yay! Can we stay here?” exclaimed Katie cheerfully.
“The truth is that I really shouldn’t have let Isabel live here so long,” Mrs. Halls replied in a loud voice. Suddenly she screamed at the top of her voice: “Come here, all of you, now!” Isabel and Jack ran out at her shout.
“Pack up and get out of here at once! It’s time for you to find a new place to live.”
“Mom, what are you saying? It’s winter, we have no money, no roof over our heads. And besides, we have a little baby, and Katie is pregnant,” Isabel tried to argue with her mother.
“That’s not my problem anymore, Isabel. I have sacrificed myself for you and your comfort. And what’s the answer? You took it for granted. I waited until my youngest daughter sent me to sleep in the kitchen so her boyfriend could sleep comfortably. Are you kidding me? You absolutely don’t care about your mother!”
There was silence for a second.
“Silence won’t save you. I don’t want any of you here in an hour! Let’s go!” said Mrs. Halls firmly.
Despite all the entreaties and pleas of her daughters, the woman was not about to give in. So by evening she was alone in the house. But ten years would pass and her daughters would return to her.
One day Isabel and Katie came to visit Mrs. Halls.
They cried from the feelings that overwhelmed them. Her grown-up daughters told their mother that it was only by experiencing the challenges of motherhood and living on their own made them understand how difficult it had been for their mother. Isabelle and Katie talked about how challenging it had been for them to balance raising children, paying bills, and other life issues.
“Forgive us, Mom! We behaved terribly. We didn’t even think about how hard it was for you,” pronounced Isabel. “Yes, we’re sorry, Mommy. You can come live with me, or with Isabel, whatever. We’re ashamed that we haven’t called or visited you all these years,” Katie added.
Tears of happiness glistened in Mrs. Halls’ eyes. She held out her hands to her girls and said: “What a blessing, my children are grown. How about we all get together at my family table? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for everyone!”
They laughed together. Since then, Mrs. Halls’ children and grandchildren often came to the house. Happiness returned to her home.