Grandma Grace, a 49 year-old woman from Belfast, was living alone in her small apartment in the centre. When her husband suddenly passed away in 2015 her daughter had suggested she went to live with her and her husband but Grace preferred having her space.

“I felt that I would be a burden for my daughter and her new husband. I knew how exciting the newlywed period could be for a couple and I didn’t want to spoil that with my bad mood. I just had to learn how to live alone again”, explains Grace.

But when her daughter, Sophie, announced she was pregnant, Grace realized how much joy this would bring into her life.

“I was too young to become a grandmother but I was really looking forward to it and thought that it would be a great distraction for me! So when little Danny came into our lives I offered to take care of him in the mornings while my daughter was at work. I thought that it would be so fun for the both of us. Truth is, I had forgotten how hard it is to take care of a baby”, she says.

Grace thought that she would be taking care of little Danny until 3, when her daughter came home from work. But then Sophie announced that she would have to work longer hours if she wanted to get promoted. Grandma Grace didn’t want to make a fuss about it and accepted to stay with the baby until 5. She felt tired but she knew that her daughter needed her. Until Sophie decided that her mother could babysit on weekends too so that she could have some alone time with her husband.

“I’m not gonna lie! I didn’t really like that! I loved my daughter and wanted to help her out but I felt like she was taking advantage of me! Plus I wasn’t able to see my friends anymore! I wasn’t young, but I wasn’t dead either! So I tried telling her that maybe she could find a babysitter for the weekends but she got so upset that I felt bad and finally caved in!”.

Just when grandma Grace thought that she could finally live her life, since Danny would soon start kindergarten, Sophie announced that she was expecting baby number two!

“I should’ve been more excited when she told me, but I wasn’t! I knew what this meant! Babysitting for another two years! I honestly wasn’t up for it!”.

Just when she thought matters couldn’t get any worse, Grace received an eviction notice from her landlord.

“My retirement pension was very low and I found it hard to keep up with the payments. So I had to turn to my daughter for help who suggested, once again, that I move in with them. Only this time I really couldn’t deny. What I also wouldn’t be able to deny was taking care of baby Conor since I would now be living with them! It was just so convenient for my daughter. However, I was pissed off, to say the least, when she thought it would also be a good idea to postpone Danny’s kindergarten issue for another year! I would be taking care of both of them!”.

Since her daughter had given her a place to live in, Grace felt bad about refusing to help her. She didn’t have a choice anyway!

Until this happened!

I had moved in with them and felt like a full-time help around there. Taking care of the babies, babysitting when they wanted to go out, cooking, and even cleaning most of the times. Nights out with my friends were long gone and I was feeling so lonely!

One day, on my way to the park with the kids I bumped into a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for over two years! We got to talking and she told me that she was now working on a cruise ship and was really happy because she was always going places for free and the work was very fun!

“I meet people every day, I’m having so much fun and the pay is so good! It’s like getting paid to be on holidays all the time! You know what? They are actually looking for someone for the reception on board! Would you be interested??”, she asked.

Grace was thrilled! This could be the break she was looking for! She could travel the world and make money on her own again!

“Are you kidding?? Of course I’m interested! Will you talk to them about me? Tell them I can start as soon as possible!”, she said.

A few days later she got a call from the cruise line offering her the job and asking if she could start next week. She accepted without even thinking about it.

The next morning she got up early, made breakfast for everyone and waited.. While everyone was eating their pancakes she said “So Sophie, honey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m moving out! I’m going on a cruise on the Caribbean with a friend!”

“What?? What are you talking about? What about the kids?! And you can’t possibly afford that!”, Sophie yelled.

“Well dear, I just got a job on a cruise ship so there you go! As for the kids, I already called a full-time babysitter, you’ll be meeting her tomorrow, she sounds lovely! And I’ll be paying for that, don’t worry!”, Grace smiled while her daughter was looking at her in shock trying to comprehend what had just happened.

Grandma Grace is currently travelling the world with her friend and has no regrets about it!

“It’s never too late to live your life! Age is just a number!”, she says.

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