Before they both lost the most significant person in their lives, Justin and Rebecca, his mother-in-law, were two very different people who had never gotten along. Will it be too late for them to recover before this?
Amazingly, Erica’s husband and mother-in-law would argue with one another about the smallest issues.
Rebecca, Erica’s mother, was a conservative, devout Christian who believed she had brought up her daughter in the same way. But Rebecca realized she would never be able to accept Justin when Erica made the decision to wed an aspiring artist named Justin who did not believe in God.
Rebecca viewed him as a lazy, rebellious struggler unworthy of her daughter, while Justin saw her as a traditional woman who was spiteful and nasty.
And neither of them squandered a chance to debate and try to outwit the other.
“Justin, I’m getting sick of this!” Rolling her eyes, Erica spoke slowly. Despite being enraged, she refrained from waking their teenage sons because they had just gone to sleep following another argument among the family’s adults.
“Babe, you know how wound up Mom can get about simple things as she ages. It’s not as though she despises you.
With his hands in the air, Justin scowled. This is what you consistently do. You always support her position!
Erica realized it would be another one of those days where she would have to juggle having to care for her two developing teenagers as well as two other adults who were acting like teenagers as she watched her husband storm off to another room.
Even Justin became weary of the fights. “For God’s sake, it’s starting to effect me as a spouse and a father! I’ll never be good enough in that woman’s eyes, no matter what I do! On one of the nights out with his friends, Justin vented.
Justin made the decision to keep as far away from Rebecca as he could. He avoided going to see her every weekend with Erica and the kids. Up until the day Erica returned home teary-eyed and anxious…
The doctors predicted Rebecca wouldn’t be able to walk for a few weeks after she suffered a severe fall in her rural home.
I’ve never witnessed her sob in such agony, Justin! We must look after her. Will you visit her tomorrow, please? Erica enquired while seeming upbeat.
Justin patted her head before turning his back. He would not be paying the woman he could not stand a visit. And despite Erica’s best efforts, Justin resisted going due to his broken heart.
Justin received a call that broke his heart into a million pieces, shards he would never be able to put back together, one day when the kids were at home and Erica had left to visit her mother.
How Erica had sadly passed away on the distance between her husband and her mother was heartbreakingly poetic.
Days of uncontrollable crying, an empty house that still smelled like Erica, and concerns over how to help his 16- and 14-year-old kids cope with the worst tragedy of their lives were all experiences that Justin had to go through.
Rebecca was miles away, all by herself, and had neglected to eat, sleep, or dry her tears. By refusing to come out of her cover, she avoided the sun so that she might grieve again when night fell.
Since Erica’s burial a week prior, she had not said a word or seen a person’s face. She hurried to answer her door when she heard a knock and the word “Mom!” coming from the other side.
“Justin?!” She would not have recognized him. After all, since marrying her daughter, he had never even been to her home.
Rebecca wanted to be upset with Justin, but as she observed his dead grin and softened eyes, she realized that he, too, was damaged. She could not believe that the carefree man who had taken her daughter from her was back.
Justin opened every curtain and loaded Rebecca’s kitchen with food while Rebecca watched. He cleaned the cobwebs from the ceiling and looked for any damages around the entire house.
Justin held Rebecca’s hand with reassuring strength and encouraged her to stand up for the first time in months, saying, “Let’s go for a walk, mum.”
That afternoon, the two sorrowful individuals crossed the deserted village way, finally letting their guard down and hugging one another like family.
That evening, Justin didn’t notice when dusk had fallen until he was finally walking to his car to go. “Mom, keep in mind what I said.” When I come to fetch you up, the kids and I will be here, Justin added, turning around one more time. You will be going with us home, where you belong.
Rebecca waved and muttered, “I love you, son,” with tears in her eyes. She questioned if he heard her as she watched his car go off into the distance.
Even after Justin and the grandchildren arrived and made an effort to convince Rebecca to leave her old house for a month, Rebecca continued to politely avoid the request. But Justin kept returning and continued to watch after her. And he said nothing about how he was finding it difficult to make ends meet because of all the additional responsibilities.
Rebecca’s heart did eventually begin to thaw. She contacted Justin’s number one evening to let him know she was prepared to move in. But her grandson was the one who picked up the phone.
“Oh, dad? He just left for his night shift at the hotel after returning home an hour earlier. He overlooked his phone.
“I believed your dad was employed for the mall,” Rebecca was taken aback.
“Yeah, okay. His regular work is that. He also began working a night shift as a cleaner. Additionally, he works weekends at the pub.
After learning how hard Justin had been working, Rebecca was rendered speechless. She knew from their recent chats that he was hurting as well.
Justin received another call before he realized Rebecca had phoned her. It was from the medical center. A heart attack struck Rebecca.
Despite Justin’s best efforts, life only granted them an hour together before he had to leave for the hospital. And in that moment, Rebecca was able to do something extraordinarily good for the boy who cherished her daughter.
She took his warm hands in hers and said, “Son.” “I was mistaken about you. You were never good enough in my eyes for my daughter. But you revealed to me in just one month what I had been unable to comprehend about you for all these years.
Justin struggled to contain his tears as he observed Rebecca’s brightness slipping away.
“Son, you have a difficult job ahead of you. It goes beyond simply taking care of your children and doing your best for them. However, it continues to accomplish all of that even in the face of adversity. I now wish I could have moved in with you and the kids to help you care for them and for yourself as well. But now it’s my turn. Additionally, I want you to have something before I leave. She said this and requested Justin to get an envelope out of her purse.
It was a $300,000 check. When Justin thought about his mother-in-final law’s demands that he guarantee she would spend the money for himself and the kids, he started to cry. He recalled their arguments throughout the years and their laughter on their most recent walks.
And he recalled how much they both missed Erica.
I tried my best for mom, Erica, dear,” Justin said to the sky. “She’s now entirely yours!”
The following year, Justin started a small business in the city selling art materials and workshops, and with his hard work, he was able to produce enough money to support the kids’ future and education.
Even though Justin’s life became simpler, he continued to pay weekly visits to Rebecca’s cemetery.
Justin would mutter, “I love you, mom,” and ponder whether the sweet old woman’s spirit could still hear him.