Lyudmila Efimovna was sitting in a hospital park trying to hold back tears. Spring was playing around, not letting her go completely limp. Her birthday is always on such a fine spring day, when everything is amazing. Young green leaves, birds’ singing, kids playing behind the fence…as if everything says: “life’s going on!” However, Lyudmila Efimovna understood, there was nothing left for her to wait in her own life. No one remembered about her 70th birthday, no one wanted to come and congratulate her. She didn’t even get a phone call.
Congratulated here, on the spot. Her hospital roommate gave her a beautiful knitted scarf. Their nurse brought apples. Everything looked nice and decent, but there was no soul. Just an ordinary boarding house. A temporary shelter and there is only one possible way out.
Everyone knew the truth: children and other heirs, tired of enduring senile illnesses, difficult characters, and taking into account their needs, take bored relatives to this boarding house. In short, this way they get rig of them. Lyudmila Efimovna’s son told her:
“We’re going to a sanatorium. Time or you to get some treatment. You will get massage, eat some fruits. There are a lot of people there, you can communicate with them. Every leisure is organized.”
However, that was not the truth: Lyudmila Efimovna irritated her daughter-in-law a lot. The mother was the owner of the flat, and her son suddenly asked for donation. He said:
“Mom, we’ve decided to buy a house for you, so that you can take care of yourself. As you said, two housewives in one kitchen are too many. We work in the city, so we can’t leave. And you will have your own house, fresh air. We’ll bring you everything. Just tell us when you want.”
But as soon as the owner of the flat changed, everything changed. Her son and daughter-in-law moved to their house, and forgot about the one for the mother. The daughter-in-law as if wanted to start a war against the mother. She was dissatisfied with everything: the food was bad, the bathroom was dirty, it’s put here, it’s spilled here….if you don’t like it, leave!
At first, the soon stood up for his mother, but in the end, he got irritated of the women’s fights too. He started to shout, then became quiet. Lyudmila noticed: they began to gossip, keep secrets whenever she passed by.
And so one day, having begged doctors and the God, suddenly spoke:
“You should go get some treatment. Relax, massage, vitamins…”
Lyudmila Efimovna looked into his eyes. The same eyes as her own.
“You want to send me to a boarding house? And are even afraid to say so?”, said she, looking as her son went red. Means, there was still some conscience in him.
“How can you say such a thing, mom!? This is a sanatorium, an ordinary sanatorium for elderly patients. I can’t take you to a place where there are discos until the morning and children’s screams. What kind of rest is this? You will get your treatment and return home, relaxed.
He took her out of town, signed the documents and rushed back to work. Said he would soon come for her. He even visited her one day, brought some fruits, asked about her well-being, and left without even listening to her answer.
She was 68 back then. Now she’s already 70.
Back then, 2 years ago, she waited for a month or two. She was afraid. What if they kick her out of the boarding house? Where would she go? She called home, new owners answered her. It turned out that the deal was going on when she was still at home, and now she has nowhere to go back. The new owners, however, didn’t know where the old ones were. They were sorry for Lyudmila, but the deal was fair. The granny gave up, cried at nights realizing she was left alone like a dog. And now, the boarding house was the only place where she had the right to live, unknown how much more…
The worst thing was that for the sake of her son, she forgot her daughter’s interests. Well, and now, the only thing she could do, was to cry.
Lyudmila Efimovna was from a village. There she married her classmate. They had a normal life, lived in the same house with the whole family, kept animals, worked in their garden. It was not rich, but the land never let them starve. Everything was fine, until one day their neighbor left for the city in search of money. Then he came back on vacation and confused her husband. He told him everything: the money he earned was enough, you didn’t have to carry water, and it didn’t smell like manure. The working day ended at 5p.m., then you just have some rest, no chores to do!
And her husband Mitenka also wanted to live like this. He said, they had worked hard, let the children at least grow up clean. They sold their house and the land, got a flat in the city. They they got a car, and furniture. And this damned car was the one to take her husband’s life in a car crash. Her Mitenka couldn’t survive. And here’s Lyudmila, alone in a strange city, with her two kids. The only relative was the same neighbor, so…no, thanks! She washed the entrances, delivered flyers and even had time to study. In a word, she was overcome with grief, but survived. She waited for her children to grow up and help her. However, the children let her down.
The son grew up, but without a father he went wild. Lyudmila Efimovna was waiting for him to get over it, calm down. He wanted an easy life, and got into a trouble. They had to get into debt, only for him not to be imprisoned. Seemed she had calmed down a little, but soon she had to wash entrances and yards at night again to pay off the debts. But for the boy, the only heir, you would do anything for him to become a man. A man with a house, where she could rest her head in her old age.
Nastyusha, the daughter, married a good man, but their baby was born with a heart disease. Lyudmila blamed herself for that. She should’ve returned to the village, when her husband died. Nastyusha’s husband abandoned her with the child and left the apartment to them. But the woman found another man who had a child with the same problem. His wife had left him too. Kind people found each other and began to live together. Their children underwent a surgery, got married. Everything was fine until the daughter’s husband fell sick. The daughter asked her mother for help, to lend money for treatment, there was no time left. And Lyudmila resisted. After all, he was a stranger in their family. I won’t give you money, maybe he won’t survive with a tumor, and I need to save up money for a flat for Slavushka. Nastya got offended, and never talked to her mother again. She left to another city with her family, as soon as her husband recovered.
And Slavushka never bought a house with her money. He wasted everything and took his mother. Now he lives somewhere unknown, while his mother is in a boarding house.
Now she’s sitting on a bench and thinks: “I reap what I sow!”. And Nastyushka’s voice from behind:
“Mom, Mom! Found you!”
turned out, the daughter’s heart couldn’t bear the silence. She had called her mom home, and some strangers answered. They remembered that Lyudmila Efimovna had called before, and told the daughter where to find her. Great-grandchildrena re already growing up, and they need a grandmother at home.
What an anniversary! And now you can cry without holding back tear!