This is a story of our mothers

Lucy got married at the age of fifteen. Within that year, she gave birth to her eldest daughter. Within six years she already had four children. Her husband who was a few years her senior had a good job but did not provide enough for his growing family. He was overwhelmed by paternal obligations. He also started womanizing.

Lucy found a clerical job at the council hall. She took on feeding her small children and sending them to school. She made sure they went to the best school in their hometown. A few years passed, Lucy broke off with her philandering husband.

She fell in love with another man at her workplace. This man moved in with her. Her children detested the new relationship. They thought her relationship was a mistake because the new person, although kind at times, was not making enough money to provide for her needs and for the upkeep of the household. The new person was also a gambler. Soon enough, money became scarce.

Lucy became depressed. However, she still kept her relationship with the man who later on she found out was having an affair with another woman. She broke off with her boyfriend and focused on her family. Quitting her job, she had to rely on her small savings. She also started selling off the properties left behind by her parents to get by.

When the children grew up, finished school and got jobs and their own families, one by one they left her in the care of other people. One of the children, who was unmarried, supported her financially but seldom visited her because of work and the long-distance travel from her residence.

One day, the woman, who was already old, asked her adult son, who lived in the next town, to allow her to move in with him and his family. In the first few weeks, she was treated well until the son, his wife and their grown-up child started acting hostile. They would also ask her to foot her own utility bills while staying with her. The woman, who was only living on the meager Government pension and support from her youngest daughter, had to sacrifice not eating or buying her medicines to be able to pay her bills.

Then her son and daughter-in-law started maltreating her. Later on, when she got sick and relied on the wheelchair for mobility, the daughter-in-law booted her out of the house. She asked help from people and relatives, including her other children but nobody came to her rescue. She was helped by someone who took her to the slum area where rooms for rent were cheaper. Frail and ill, she spent the rest of her days in her old wheelchair and in the care of strangers who would take money from her in exchange for small favors.

One day, in the midst of isolation, of the still silence of her shabby rented room, a stranger visited her and convinced her to go with him on a journey. The woman did not want to go. She still wanted to see her children and her grandchildren. On the other hand, she felt, no one wanted her anymore. She was useless to her children. She was poor and hungry. She was also nearly blind. The woman, with wobbly legs, got up from her wheelchair and lied down on the floor. She felt her body sank on the cold, hard cemented floor. The stranger, a towering shadowy figure, looked down on her as she reluctantly gave a final heave. Lucy quietly left, without saying goodbye.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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