An Old Lady Knocked on My Window When My Life Was in Ruins, She Became My New Family in a Month


A 37-year-old woman whose life is devastated by tragedy discovers a way back to happiness when an elderly lady knocks on her window.The night Amelia knocked on my window, I had been begging God for death. I didn’t think I could survive one more day with the pain clawing at my heart.

A year before, I had a perfect life. I was happily married to a man I adored and with whom I shared six-month-old twin baby boys. But one day I came home from work, and Peter broke the news. He was leaving me.”But we’re happy!” I protested. “I don’t understand…””Look, Marissa,” he said coldly. “I waited until after the boys were born, and you were more settled, but the truth is, there is someone else. ”

“Someone else?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “For how long?”

Peter had the grace to look ashamed. “A little over a year.”

“I was pregnant with your babies, and you were having an affair?” I gasped.

“It doesn’t matter now,” he said. “It’s over, OK? You can keep the house…”

“The house?” I cried. “The house is falling down around our ears! You promised we’d renovate, put in a new furnace…”

“I’m not spending my money on that!” he said. “I gave you twelve years of my life; you won’t get a minute more — or a cent!”

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He left, walked out, and left me with two children to support and no one to help me. That night, I called my mother and asked her to fly down to Texas and stay with me for a while.Letting go of the pain doesn’t mean letting go of the love. I needed her help. I struggled to juggle my job and raising six-month-old babies while fighting depression. Mom’s kindness and tranquility were a godsend.Before long, she had everything running smoothly, and I could concentrate on that promotion I was angling for. My boss called me into his office and broke the news — I had the promotion AND a fat raise!I drove home happy for the first time since Peter had left me. I knew that my luck was changing, finally, I was on my way to a new and happier life. I was so wrong.

When I turned into my street, I saw several fire trucks surrounded by firemen dragging hoses. They were aiming them at a house wrapped in flames.

It was my house, where I’d left my mother and my sons. I started screaming and tried to run into the flames, but someone held me back. I don’t know how that night ended.I can’t remember anything except the funerals, those tiny coffins battered by the rain, with my mother’s casket beside them. I had nothing left to live for.

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They told me later that the furnace had exploded, the same one Peter had promised he’d replace. I should have done it, but I was so busy feeling sorry for myself that I’d forgotten it.That forgetfulness cost me my family. I could never forgive myself for my carelessness. I quit my job, took the insurance money from my home, and bought a small house in a small town where no one knew me.I wanted to disappear, to be invisible, and I succeeded until the night Amelia knocked on my window. I was curled up on my couch, lost in my grief when I heard the sound of knuckles on glass.

I jumped up, ran to the window, and found myself looking into a white, frightened face. It was the face of an elderly woman with hair as soft and white as cotton floss.

I opened the door and ran out into the garden. “Hello,” I said gently to the woman who now cowered under my window. “Are you looking for someone? It’s cold out here. Why don’t you come inside?”

I took the woman’s frail hand in mine and led her inside. “What’s your name?” I asked after I sat her on my couch. “Where do you live?”

The woman gave me the sweetest childish smile. “I’m Amelia,” she said. “Who are YOU?”

“I’m Marissa,” I replied, smiling back. “Where do you live?”

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Amelia said, “I live with my daddy and my mommy in the house by the church.”

“Oh,” I said. “Of course, let me get you some milk and cookies, and then I’ll get you home, OK?” My heart broke for poor Amelia. I had considered memory my curse; now, I saw what its loss could do.

I imagined losing my memory of my mother’s smile and the sweet scent of my babies in my arms. I might have the agony of loss, but I also had the blessing of their memory.I closed my eyes and sent up a prayer. “Thank you, Lord,” I whispered. I knew now that I could let go of the pain without letting go of the love.I placed a light shawl around Amelia’s shoulders and walked her down the street to the house next to the church. I knocked on the door and heard the noise and chatter of children.

A tall man opened the door. “Mom!” he cried as soon as he saw Amelia. “Where have you been?”

“It’s OK,” I told him. “Amelia was lost, but I brought her home.”

“Thank you!” the man said, and I saw that he had kind eyes. “It’s my fault; I didn’t notice she was gone, but with five children…”

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“You have five children?” I asked. “You and your wife are very lucky!”

“My wife passed away,” he said. “It’s been a year, but… I just can’t seem to get over it.”

“I know how you feel,” I said, touching his hand. “But I’ve learned that we must let go of pain and keep only the love.”

He smiled for the first time, and I saw how attractive he was. “I’m Victor,” he said. “Come in, have dinner with us!” To my surprise, I found myself accepting his invitation.His children were adorable, and I had a wonderful time. I asked Victor for permission to take Amelia for walks, and he agreed. Little by little, we all became closer.A month later, we were having a picnic, and I saw Victor look at me with a special light in his eyes. “Marissa,” he said softly. “Would you have dinner with me? Just me alone!”

I agreed, and exactly a year after our first date, Victor and I were married. Amelia was happy as always, and the kids were delighted. I have one secret — Victor doesn’t know yet, but we are going to have a baby. I will never forget my lost family, but I’ve learned to live, love, and hope again.