An older woman who lost almost everyone she loved finds new affection in her grandson’s best friend and sews a prom gown for her. Years later, the girl unexpectedly calls her to a hospital and requests that she holds her hand during childbirth.

For most people in her neighborhood, Tilly, 70, was a busybody who was always on her feet doing something or the other and never interacted with her neighbors.

They knew she had a grandson, Harper, who she’d been raising alone after her only daughter and son-in-law died in a car crash. Because Tilly’s husband had passed away long ago and Harper’s late father was an orphan, she was the only one the boy had.

But while Tilly had stepped in to care for him, she was silently struggling with her own grief, too. When Harper would be asleep, she would sit alone for hours with her daughter’s picture and cry.

“It should have been me, darling,” she’d tell her late daughter. “God was unfair. He should have taken me, not you!”

As years passed and little Harper became a teen, Tilly learned how to deal with the pain. She decided to pull herself together for the sake of her grandson. But all that pain left her cranky and unsociable.

Tilly disliked interacting with anyone except Harper. But one day, a girl changed Tilly’s world.

Love is patient and kind. It can mend the most broken of hearts.
The older woman was sitting on her porch, drinking tea and reading a book, when she heard a soft sob around her. She looked up from her book and turned sideways to see a young girl hugging her knees and crying on the front porch of the adjacent house.

“You can bawl your eyes out somewhere else, girl!” said Tilly rudely. “You are disturbing my reading!”

The girl looked up, and Tilly noticed her eyes were red from all the crying.

“I’m sorry,” she sobbed. “I didn’t mean to disturb you!”

“Oh well, you did!” said Tilly. “Why are you crying, huh?”

“I don’t have a dress for prom,” said the girl. “And I… I’ve got no money!”

“Well then, stop bothering my reading and go ask your parents to do something! Being a crybaby will certainly not help you!”

“I don’t have a mother,” the girl said. “And my dad… he… he doesn’t care.”

The girl’s confession made Tilly sad. “My grandson doesn’t have parents either, but he has me. You’ve got nobody else to help you?”

The girl shook her head sadly.

Tilly sighed. She didn’t want to, but she found herself feeling sorry for the girl. “How about you come in and tell me what kind of dress you want?” she said after a brief pause. “I could make you one!”

“Would you?” asked the girl as her eyes lit up. “Really?”

“I can’t promise that, but I can try!” grumbled Tilly. “You can decide if you want to continue crying or if you want the dress!”

So the girl dashed to Tilly’s house, and as she came in, she introduced herself as Harper’s best friend.

“You’re Harper’s Gran!” she said, looking at the photos on the wall. “Oh! He’s my best friend. I’m Summer.”

“You have a lovely name,” Tilly said with a smile, then realized she was complimenting someone for the first time in years. She quickly frowned and said, “Are you really my grandson’s best friend? I’ve never seen you with him before!”

“That’s because I never get to meet Harper after school. I work part-time at the cafe down the street,” Summer said. “Dad doesn’t care about me. He spends all of his money on, well, things that no child my age should see…”

“Anyway, I’m old enough to care for myself, but Dad took all the money I’d saved, and I don’t know what to do about the prom dress. He hasn’t been home since yesterday. This isn’t the first time. He vanishes for several days in a row sometimes.”

Tilly was almost in tears after hearing what Summer said. She sat alone that night, wondering if she was prepared to sew again. She took out her old sewing machine and sobbed like a child while running her fingers across it.

Several years ago, before Tilly gave birth to Harper’s mother, she had suffered several miscarriages. She’d sewn dresses for her unborn children on that sewing machine, and looking at it brought back painful memories.

“My dear Summer,” she told herself, looking at the girl. “This child needs me. She needs me more than anything. I can put my pain aside and do this. Oh, I can!”

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By admin