For many weeks and months Jaanne had been
feeling sad and depressed and melancholic. She had realized she had no good
reason to live anymore. Her life had become useless and meaningless. She was
fired from her job and her marriage had failed. She lived alone and felt lonely.
On her 50th birthday
she got up, went to the washroom and then went back to bed. The sight of
wrinkles on her face made her feel worse. She had no plans and no good reason to
get up. Lying in bed she started contemplating about ending her life. She
thought of the bottle of pills she had from the time she used to take
anti-depressants. It was such a long time ago. Maybe the medications had
expired. Maybe they would make her unconscious but not kill her. She did not
want to wake up in the emergency room feeling that she had failed even to kill
herself. She could not tolerate another failure in her life.
She rejected that idea and
thought of jumping from the bridge in front of the traffic. What if that broke
her legs but still did not kill her? It would also make a lot of mess on the
highway. She rejected that idea too.
Then she thought of buying a gun
and shooting herself. But then she rejected that idea too as it sounded too
bloody. She wanted a peaceful not a violent death. She could not imagine her
brains splashed all over the walls of her bedroom.
In the evening she went for a
long walk. When she arrived at the lake, she thought of Virginia Woolf, who had
filled her coat pockets with rocks and walked into water, never to return again.
Of all the options she could imagine, that sounded like the most peaceful death.
While Joanne was contemplating
about filling her coat pockets with rocks, her cell phone rang. It was her son
David wishing her a happy birthday and inviting her for dinner.
When she arrived at David’s
house, she was welcomed by his wife Suzanne who had her son Adam in her arms.
The moment Adam saw her grandma he smiled and wanted to be picked up by her.
When Joanne took him in her lap he put his arms around her neck and snuggled up
“He has a special relationship
with you” Suzanne said.
“He does not snuggle up with
anyone like that, not even with her mom.” David confirmed.
“After all I am his special
grandma. He loves me.” Joanne responded.
While Joanne was saying those words she saw
a special smile on Adam’s face. She kissed him and said, “I love you, my little
Suddenly Joanne felt a warm
feeling in her heart. Adam’s smile was like a sun that was coming out of the
dark clouds of her heart. She could feel the sunshine of his love. It was that
smile, that love that changed her life.
“I want to live.” Someone
whispered in her heart, “to see Adam grow” She smiled at Adam and he smiled back
as if he could read her thoughts. That night when she was going home she felt
peaceful. She had found a good reason to live.