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Maureen lost her husband of 50 years, William, recently. After he passed away, Maureen was left alone in their Virginia house.

“Mom, please,” Mark, her son said in phone. “I need you to consider moving. Just come and be closer to us — the kids will love having you here.”

“I don’t want to lose my independence, Son,” Maureen said. “Your father and I promised not to get involved in your life like that.”


“You don’t have to live with me,” Mark said then. “I’ll find you a place close by. I’ll start looking and send you options. Okay? Please, Mom.”

“Fine,” she said. “You can start looking, and I’ll start sorting things out here.”

“You’re really going to leave us, Maureen?” Her friend and neighbor Shelley said.

“It’s not set in stone,” Maureen said. “But it makes more sense for me to be around Mark. We’re not getting younger.”

“Then, you’ve got to throw another legendary party before you leave,” Shelley said.

Few days later, while Maureen was packing, “Mom, I found the perfect house,” Mark said to his mother on the phone. “I’ve viewed it, and I think you’ll love it.”

Then Maureen’s new life in California started, but it was a challenging start as her new neighbors were not so kind to welcome her. She was the old lady in the neighborhood who was cast away. No matter how time she tried to be friendly, they didn’t accepted her.

Few weeks later while she was eating a cake and watching TV, she heard some noise from outside, her garden. She saw some teenagers were destroying her garden. Her flowers were on the ground, crushed.

“Would your parents be proud of you? Do you think they’d be proud of your behavior? Is this how you treat your elders?” She yelled at them through the window.

Then she called her son, Mark. He was angry after he saw the situation on his mother’s garden.

“Mom, we have to do something about this,” he said angrily. “I can’t believe this. How can they treat anyone like this? Let alone you?”

“I thought moving here would bring me closer to the family, but this is just loneliness in a different guise, Mark. Do you think this was a mistake?” Maureen asked.

“I’ll talk to them, Mom! This cannot go on,” Mark said.

“No, son,” Maureen stopped him. “I have another idea, something that might just work. Do you remember how your father and I brought people together back in Virginia? How our barbecue parties were more than just food? It was about bringing everyone together for a meal?”

The angry state of mind of Mark was replaced with a smile on his face. He remembered his parents’ barbecue parties.

Then he took his mother to the supermarket, and they bought everything they needed.

On the next weekend, the whole family turned Maureen’s garden to a barbecue heaven. Mark made flyers and with his children, they invited the whole neighborhood to the BBQ party.

When the party started, and the first guests arrived, “Good day, everyone!” Mark welcomed them. “I hope you’re all hungry!”

“I didn’t know you could cook like this,” a young man said to Maureen. “I’m so sorry for how I spoke to you.”

“We’re sorry, ma’am,” the rest of the teens said. “Can we come in? It smells delicious!”

As Maureen smiled at them, she welcomed them inside.

People standing around a table outside | Source: Pexels
As Mark was giving an ice cream to his mother, “It can only get better from here, Mom,” he said with a smile.

“I think so, too,” Maureen said, “I hope so.”

What do you think? Let us know.

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