Margret smiled as she watched a young girl run into the room with excitement. Her heart illuminated with joy as she watched the youthful child skip excitedly up to an old woman across the room. The old woman smiled.
Margret turned her gaze to the window and watched the snowflakes softly fall to the ground outside.
It had been months since her family had visited her at the nursing home. She told other residents that she understood her family’s absence, saying “they are busy”. She couldn’t lie to herself though. Deep inside, she was sad. She felt like an outdated toy that got shoved into a box of old forgotten items.
Though she knew her family hadn’t completely forgotten about her, like the old box of items, she knew there were probably more exciting things for them to spend their time on than her.
So Margret spent her days watching other residents receive surprise visits from their loved ones. She couldn’t help but be a little envious of them. She sat in view of the door, waiting for her family to visit her. She recounted the last time her daughter visited. Like most of the visitors of the home, it too was a surprise visit. For some reason, people didn’t find importance in visiting their elders, so they visited infrequently. If only they knew how much it meant to them… She knew how much it meant to her.
Though her daughter’s last visit was brief, it kept her going. It gave her something to smile inside about each morning, and something cozy to reminisce about each night. But, over time the memories of the visits would slowly become bittersweet because – just as much as the visits reminded her of how much she was loved, when the memories grew distant, they also reminded her how forgotten she was. Though she was around many other residents in the home, she had never felt more alone in her life.
One sunny spring morning, Margret fell faint and was rushed to the hospital. She awoke to flowers and balloons next to her bedside – but most importantly, to her daughter’s hand holding hers. She felt a breath of life fill her lungs as happiness overtook her. She looked over at her daughter’s face noticing smudged makeup around her eyes.
“Sweetie, what’s wrong?” Margret asked, rubbing her daughters hand in hers.
Her daughter sat in silence and just looked at her. The haunted look in her daughter’s eyes said it all.
Margret hated seeing the pain in her daughter’s eyes, but the painful look oddly comforted her, for it showed that her daughter did truly care.
Margret nodded and looked across the room. She breathed in and breathed out slowly, accepting her fate - she was dying. Margret sat in self-pity for a moment, when suddenly she thought of something she wanted to do. She shook the sorrow from her heart and her eyes brightened.
“Honey, can you do something for me?” she asked.
“Sure Mom, whatever you want.”
Margret smiled. “I know that you are really busy with your books, but I have a story I want you to write.”
Her daughter took intricate notes as Margret shared her heart and dreams with her. She learned a lot about her mother, and felt sorry she hadn’t visited more often. The next two and a half weeks her daughter visited her daily to talk and take notes on the story. Margret was so happy to finally spend time with her daughter. She was the happiest she had been in years. Though her happiness grew, her condition worsened, until one stormy summer night, she drifted off in her sleep and never woke up.
On the one year anniversary of her mother’s hospital stay, her daughter released what would be her mother’s legacy – “The Invisible“, a book that shined a spotlight on how lonely life could be in a nursing home. With success beyond her wildest dreams, the book brought nursing home residents back into their families’ lives once more. “The Invisible” shed light onto a forgotten topic - making an unforgettably wonderful impact on the lives of elders all around the world.
The forgotten and the invisible became the remembered, the visited, the seen, the heard, and the loved.
Genre: Sentimental Drama
A story about the lonely life of nursing home residents.