From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

January 20

During summers when I was young, I would join my grandfather for his evening walk, and he’d tell me how life was when he was a boy.

“Grandpa, what was the hardest thing you ever had to do in your life?” I asked.

“When your mom and your uncles were little, Grandma had to go to a sanitarium. The hardest thing I ever had to do was put my babies in an orphanage. I went every week to see them, but the nuns would only let me watch them from behind a one-way mirror. I’ll never forgive myself for not making the nuns let me hold them.”

Years later when my grandfather suffered from memory lapses and depression, I tried to encourage my mother to let him come live with us.

“Why? He never cared what happened to us!”

“Mom, Grandpa loves you and always has. He came every week to the orphanage and brought treats, but the nuns wouldn’t let him in the room with you.”

Not long after, my grandfather came to live with us. At last their love transcended the cold pane of glass that had remained between them for all those painful years.

Laura Reilly

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