After scaring his neighbor, a young boy was in her house when he saw a picture on the shelf that looked familiar. Before he showed the picture to the old woman, he wondered, “Is that mom?”

Mark liked to go for a walk on the street in front of his house on Christmas Eve to see how his neighbors decorated their homes. He liked looking at all the lights and pretty decorations, but one house stood out because it didn’t have any Christmas lights and the front yard was always empty.

Because she never talked to anyone, the teen didn’t know much about the homeowner. An old lady lived in that house on that corner of the street, but she didn’t talk to or accept invitations from her neighbors very often. Mark tried to help her whenever he could, even though she liked to stay inside.

Mark noticed as he walked down the street before Christmas that the old lady’s house wasn’t decorated either this year or last. Why don’t her other neighbors help her hang Christmas lights or buy her a tree? Mark wondered.

As he walked home, he thought that, since it was a holiday, he should do something to please the old lady. Before he went into his house, he said, “I think I know what to do.”

Every Saturday, the woman left her home to go to the nearby grocery store. Mark thought that would be the best time to surprise her by decorating her house. Before going to the old lady’s house, the teen did what he had planned and got a ladder and some garlands from his house.

He quickly put up decorations on her front door and front yard so that she would be happy when she got home. A few minutes after Mark was done decorating her house, the woman got home.

She said, “Look, Mark.” “There’s something your mom never told you.”

“Oh my God!” she said when she saw how beautiful the room was. Then she turned around and saw Mark standing in a corner.

“Young man, did you decorate my house?” She gave him a smile even though tears were running down her cheeks. “It’s great! “Many, many thanks!”

Mark was happy to see tears in the eyes of the old woman. He was happy because the woman was happy because of what he did. He said, “I’m glad you like it,” and then turned around to go back home.

“Wait!” what she said. “What are you called?”

“My name is Mark,” he said. “The person who lives next door.”

She smiled and said, “Nice to meet you, Mark.” “Hi, I’m Martha.”

“Martha, you don’t leave your house very often,” Mark said. “I’m glad we met today, though.”

“I’m glad, too,” she nodded.

“Why don’t you come in with me and have some tea? I went to the store and bought a fresh cake. We can do it as a group!”

Mark didn’t want to hurt the old woman’s feelings, so he said he would have tea with her. He said, “Sure, I’ll come with you,” and helped her bring the bags of groceries into her house.

“Martha, your house is beautiful!” He had his hands in his pockets as he looked around. “I have to say that you are good at designing rooms.”

“Oh yes,” Martha said with a laugh. “This old lady loves to make her house look nice.”

Mark joined Martha in the living room after Martha had served tea and cake. He said, “This tea tastes so good!” “Are you going to tell me your secret recipe?”

“You are so charming!” Martha was happy. “I don’t know any secrets. Pour hot water into a cup and put two teabags in it. It’s easy!”

Mark got up after eating one piece of cake and took a picture frame from a shelf across the room. He thought, This picture looks so familiar. Then he looked at the photos in the other frames and remembered where he had seen them before.

“Hi, Martha. “These photos look familiar,” he said, squinting his eyes and looking at her.

She asked, “Really?”

“Yes. “I don’t know if this makes sense, but the little girl in these pictures is my mother,” he told the older woman and showed her the pictures.

After a short pause, Martha told one of her biggest secrets. She said, “Look, Mark.” “There’s something your mom never told you.”

“Who is my mom?” Mark looked puzzled at her. “What do you know about her?”

Martha smiled and said, “Well, she’s my daughter, Mark.”

“I’m your grandma,” she said.

“What?” Mark’s eyes were wide open as he looked at her.

Then Martha had her grandson sit down and told him everything that had happened in the past. “When your mom was young, she fell in love with your dad, and I didn’t want them to be together,” she said. I didn’t want her to get married to your dad.

Martha told everyone that her daughter got pregnant against her will. When Martha found out that she was pregnant, she was very angry. “I told her to get rid of her child. Martha said, “I didn’t want her to start a family with that man.

Mark went up to his parents that night and told them he had met Martha that day.

“Then she moved in with your dad next door and stopped talking to me,” Martha said. “She got married to him, and she wouldn’t let me get close to you, Mark. She told me to leave her life.

Mark was surprised to find out that his grandmother lived next door. He thought his grandmother was dead his whole life. He didn’t know that his mom had told him a lie.

“I’m sorry, Mark,” Martha said as she looked at the ground and shook her head. “I should have said yes when she asked me to marry your dad.

“But why didn’t you tell me that you’re my grandmother?” Mark was interested. “I went by your house often and said hello, but you never said anything to me.”

“Mark, your mother told me I could never talk to you,” Martha said. “After your mother left me, I never had the courage to leave my house and talk to my neighbors. I thought it would be best to be by myself.”

“I can’t believe my mother let you get away with this!” Mark said.

“I had no idea she could be so mean to her own mom.”

Mark went up to his parents that night and told them he had met Martha that day. “Mom, she feels bad about what happened in the past. “She’s sorry she went against you,” he told her.

His mother yelled, “Mark, stay away from this!” “It comes down to her and me.”

“But mom…”

“Don’t say anything to me!”

Mark talked to her mother about his grandmother again the next day. He hoped she would listen to him this time without getting upset. “Mom, look. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but your mother needs you,” he told her. “I think you should let her off the hook.”

His mother told him, “Mark, I told you to stay out of this.”

Mark then told his mother that Martha still had pictures of her and that she missed her. He did everything he could to convince his mother, and soon he was able to do so.

“Okay, Mark,” his mother told him. I’m doing this only because you told me to.

Mark took his mother to Martha’s house on Christmas Eve. “Who is it?” When she heard a knock on her door, Martha asked. No one ever came to see her at this time of year, so she thought it was strange when they did.

She couldn’t stop crying when she opened the door and saw her daughter standing there. “I knew that Mark would bring you here!” Martha wept and gave her daughter a hug.

The old woman let her daughter and grandson into her house and took care of everything. Martha’s daughter said, “Mom, I’ll never let you go now.” “I’m sorry for everything that has already happened.”

After that day, Martha saw her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson every day and often invited them to dinner. After years of not talking to her, she was glad that her daughter had finally forgiven her.