Charlotte Davis had saved money throughout her life to ensure she would have enough to support herself in her old age, but she had never expected to live 102 years old.

Charlotte Davis’s greatest worry throughout her life was that she would outlive her husband, which happened when she was only 71. Orson had been a great big man with a loud laugh and a kind word for everyone, but he passed away at 78.

One day, Charlotte discovered him dead, sitting in his chair on the veranda. She could not identify the terrible illness that had whittled away every scrap of flesh from his bones. She sat down and let out a lonely cry. And she would be alone for a lot longer than she had anticipated.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels


If there is one thing that Orson and Charlotte have always been cautious about, it is their economic position. They married at an early age, before the war (Charlotte always referred to the war against Hitler and the Nazis as “the war”), and Orson had already been deployed to the South Pacific front.

Charlotte had started working in a uniform factory, and after the war was over and Orson returned home, the factory began producing smart shirts for businesspeople.

They asked Charlotte to continue because she was their best seamstress. Orson didn’t like it when she worked at first, and he complained a lot about how it was a person’s duty to provide for his family, but she managed to convince him otherwise.

She continued to work even after their son, Orson, birth in 1948. Every paycheck received from the factory was deposited into a separate bank account. Charlotte explained to Orson that “This here” Charlotte told Orson, “is for Lil’Orson’s future.”

Orson wasn’t doing too poorly, either. He handled the accounting for the tool and die shop, the small store, and most of the town’s other minor businesses. They were doing well and were even considering buying a new car.

Lil’Orson wasn’t as little anymore, so he received his driver’s license. He persisted in pressuring Orson to visit the fancy car stand daily. Still, everything ended when Lil’Orson received a letter from the government telling him that he was required to join the military.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

After reading the letter, Orson addressed it to the receiver, saying, “Well, boy, I went and did my bit, and I guess now it’s your turn.” Lil Orson just shrugged and said he would probably go even though he wasn’t exactly sure where Vietnam was, but he did know where it was.

Charlotte never saw the boy she loved again. They sent her a metal box with the promise that Lil’Orson was inside two years later, but Charlotte didn’t believe them when he arrived. Orson cried a lot when he believed Charlotte couldn’t hear, but she never shed a tear.

She went about her business as usual, going to the factory where she worked, operating the machine, and cutting the thread. Those were things she comprehended that had order and reason, as opposed to other things, like boys coming back in steel boxes.

Charlotte became so wrapped up in herself that she stopped talking to Orson for a long time. Daisy-Anne, a friend, then stopped by one day. “Charlotte,” she said. “I need a favor from you, and it’s a mighty big one.”

Charlotte did nothing more than look at her and nod in agreement. Timothy, a son of Daisy-Anne, had also perished in the small war. They were able to interact with one another.

“I have to go to Ohio to see my girl, but now I have this child they say is Timmy and some china girls…”

Charlotte noticed she was holding the hand of a three-year-old boy with black hair and long green eyes. Daisy-Anne reached out and shook the child’s hand, but he did not respond in any way.

“Will you take care of him for me? Just for a few days.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Charlotte was unable to reject the offer. “Yes,” she responded quickly. Bring his belongings, but tell him I don’t put up with any sass. Daisy’s granddaughter Anne, on the other hand, lacked sass. He didn’t even communicate. He did nothing but stand there.

He did so when Charlotte believed it was time for him to eat. When she believed it was time to pee, he did so. When she believed it was time for bed, he slept. And he didn’t say a word. Charlotte grew enraged by his silence and began humming to him.

He started singing along to “Moonriver,” which seemed to be his favorite song of all time. He was a sweet kid, but he had a terrible appearance. Charlotte observed that his clothes were worn.

Then she recalled that she had kept a box of Lil’Orson’s old belongings from when he was younger, and she requested that Orson retrieve the box from the attic. Charlotte somehow became aware she was crying as she put Lil’Orson’s pajamas on the child.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The small boy reached out with his fingertips and gently rubbed her cheek. He then placed his arms around her and began to sob as well. He was never a talker, but he and Charlotte became silent companions, even after Daisy-Anne returned when the few days had turned six months.

Oh my goodness, those years passed by so quickly! Orson soon gave up and began stomping around the house, complaining about everything. Even so, Orson did have a few healthy years under his belt before he fell ill.

After that, he placed a call to Charlotte.  “Listen, I won’t be around long, so you must take care of yourself.” He figured, in his meticulous accountant way, that she could live comfortably with her pension and their savings. “Why,” Orson said, “you can live until you’re 90, and you’ll still be alright!”

But Orson didn’t figure on Charlotte living past 90, let alone 100. Charlotte had reached the age of 90 with no sign that she would die, and now she was 102 years old, and all of the money she had stored up had been gone.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Charlotte was at a loss for what to do as the bills continued to arrive on time. There was no one else that could be turned to for help. Both friends and foes had passed away. Charlotte was the eldest woman in the community, but she had no close relatives.

She received a letter from the government stating that she owed taxes on her property, even though she did not even have enough money to pay for the water and the lights, let alone the taxes. Mr. Greyson, who had been delivering Charlotte’s groceries for many years, was the first person Charlotte told.

“Mr. Greyson, you’d best not put in my weekly order anymore,” she said.

Mr. Greyson set the groceries on Charlotte’s kitchen table and stared.

“Why not, Miss Charlotte? Are you ordering in from that big supermarket now?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

“No, sir,” said Charlotte. “But I don’t order goods; I don’t have money to pay.”

“But…How will you…” When Mr. Greyson saw Charlotte’s resolute expression, he gave up. He was going to begin working on his plan, which he had come up with.

After three days, Charlotte wore her best hat and headed to the bank. She withdrew the last few dollars from her account and then went to settle her debts to the best of her ability. After taking a look at her electricity bill and then her computer, the woman remarked,

“There must be a mistake, ma’am; this is fully paid.”

“But…” Charlotte said. “But I didn’t pay for it!”

The same thing occurred at the water company. “Ma’am, your account is settled,” the man said to Charlotte. Even more surprisingly, the Internal Revenue Service stated that all land taxes had been settled for Charlotte.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

“That’s just not possible!” Charlotte cried. “I want to know who paid!”

“It was your grandson, Mrs. Davis,” the man said. “A Mr. T. Karling. I believe he works for the city. He’s an engineer.”

“I don’t HAVE a grandson, young man!” Charlotte cried. “My only son died in Vietnam in 1969!”

Charlotte didn’t waste any time and went directly to City Hall, where she made an appointment with Mr. T. Karling. After much running around and commotion, a tall guy in his 50s with white hair finally appeared.

Charlotte fixed her eyes on him. He grinned when he saw her because of his kind features and long, green eyes.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Who are you?” Charlotte enquired. “And why are you paying my bills?” Instead of responding, the guy began to hum “Moon River,” and Charlotte immediately recognized it. It was Daisy-Anne’s grandson, all grown up and looking quite mature.

Tim stepped forward and put his arms around her. “It’s OK, Charlotte; Mr. Greyson told me everything,” he said. “You’re not alone, and I’m going to help you just like you helped me.”

And Charlotte immediately returned the hug. Tim was never much of a talker, but when he did, he always said exactly what needed to be said. When the town’s oldest woman learned she didn’t have enough money to pay her expenses, they started a GoFundMe page in her honor. As a result, Charlotte’s depleted savings account was quickly filled.

Charlotte has developed into quite a celebrity. She has been hanging out with Tim and his grandchildren, and she is excited that she will be able to celebrate her 103rd birthday without any stress.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

What lessons can we take away from this tale?

  • A kind act is never forgotten. 50 years later, Charlotte regained the sense of safety she believed she had lost thanks to the compassion she showed to a child war orphan.
  • Protecting the elderly is important because they hold the collective consciousness of our society. Charlotte found herself isolated, and the support of her community was the only thing that kept her alive.

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