When Lesley Farrel’s husband George died, she was left all alone. They used to have a huge family, 5 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, but now they were living their own lives, forgetting to visit their own grandmother. And even on holidays, after she would send out the invitations, she would wound up alone, the response would be “Sorry, Gran! We can’t make it this year.”
As a result, Lesley, who now lived alone, often pondered, “George and I nurtured our kids with love, not to see this day when our grandchildren would merely cut me off and turn to me when it came to the inheritance! It’s time that they realize they are wrong.” And so, Lesley decided to pay her granddaughter a visit the following day, formulating a plan at the back of her head.
Susan Matthews was a divorcée with two children who worked three jobs, 12 hours a week, including weekends, to support her family. When she saw the older woman at her doorstep on a Sunday morning, she was baffled. “Gran? What brings you here so early in the morning?”
“Oh, darling!” Lesley cracked a grin. “I just wanted to see my grandchildren and talk about something. If it hadn’t been the weekend, I wouldn’t have troubled you. I hope it’s okay if I come in.”
“Ugh, Gran,” Susan paused. “Could you please come on another day? I’ll be leaving for work in an hour, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to make time for you.”
“Oh! I had no idea you’d be so busy today. I just wanted to talk about the will, but it’s fine. I can come later,” she said, preparing to leave. But Susan abruptly stopped her.
“Oh, it’s not such a big deal!” Lesley blushed as she turned around slowly with her cane. “You see, I’m already 90 years old, sweetheart, and I told Mr. Clark that I’d prefer to do it sooner because God can call me home at any time.”
“Oh, Gran! You should have said that before! Come on in!” Susan chirped, showing her the way inside. “I’m sure my boss won’t mind if I’m a few minutes late.”
Lesley smiled as she strolled slowly inside Susan’s old, dilapidated house. She could tell it hadn’t been repaired in years and noticed Susan’s children were sleeping in another room on an old, filthy mattress.
“So Gran…What did you want to talk about?” Susan inquired, pouring tea into an old ceramic teacup for the elderly lady.
“Hun,” Lesley remarked. “I simply need a little help from you. You see, it’s been a long time since any of you paid me a visit after George left. I understand you have a lot on your plate, but a quick check on our grandmother shouldn’t be too difficult, right? That’s all I ask of you.” Lesley said with a smile.
“I don’t mind, Gran, but…”
“And in exchange, I promise you’ll be the single heir to my $2 million estate! But if you agree to that, there is another condition you must follow.”
Susan would have helped Lesley even if she hadn’t been offered the inheritance, but after thinking about it, she couldn’t hesitate or say no.
“Of course, Gran,” she agreed, smiling. And so, Lesley asked her to pay a visit to her every Sunday once a week with the condition that none of her siblings know about it. “Don’t create unnecessary envies for you, darling. Your four brothers shouldn’t know what I promised you.”
Susan warmly nodded at Lesley’s condition, and since that day, the woman visited her grandmother every weekend. Her schedule became more chaotic, and her expenses skyrocketed as she had to travel across town to Lesley’s place. Furthermore, her budget shrank significantly as her grandma regularly required expensive vitamins and health check-ups.
There were many times when Susan wanted to give up, but the prospect of a brighter future pushed her, and she looked after Lesley for the upcoming months, taking care of the cleaning, washing, cooking, and even shopping.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, Lesley did not let her grandsons slip away so easily. Like a sly fox, she paid a visit to each of them at their respective workplaces and proposed the same idea she had presented to Susan. And like lambs to the slaughter, they all consented readily, allowing Lesley to spend her golden years surrounded by her beloved grandchildren, who, while primarily motivated by her considerable bequest, dutifully looked after her and spent time with her on the designated days.
Mrs. Carter, Lesley’s neighbor and friend for the last two decades, paid her a visit one day, having noticed the frequent presence of Lesley’s grandchildren – a sight that had not been seen in years.
“Lesley!” she exclaimed in surprise. “How on earth did you manage to convince them? These young people today… they just don’t care about their elders anymore.”
Lesley gave a sly smile as she sipped her tea. “You see, all I had to do was set a trap, and these kids just walked right into it. They must have assumed they would inherit everything I own after my death, but they overlooked the fact that their grandmother isn’t going to let them get away that easily. Someone had to teach them a lesson!”
“But Lesley… I still feel…”
“I did the right thing, Edith. My grandsons are well off, but they have never bothered to look after me. Did you know they recently contacted my lawyer? They were curious if George had left them anything. And, although my lone granddaughter agreed to look after me in exchange for money, she did way more than those lazy boys! So, in the end, they will all receive what they deserve.” And Lesley, of course, was not wrong in her assertion.
The will she drafted contained specific clauses that no one was supposed to know – at least not until she passed away. So, when she passed away peacefully in her sleep six years later, the lawyer called all of her grandkids and asked them to meet at his office after the funeral.
A wave of joy washed over Susan as she received the call. She requested a leave of absence at work and rushed to the lawyer’s office. But when she arrived, she was bewildered by what she saw. Her four brothers were at the lawyer’s office, arguing over who was the rightful inheritor of Lesley’s money.
“That old hag deceived us all these years by making us care for her,” Sam, the eldest, sneered. “How can she give away her home to charity?”
“And the money… even that isn’t ours!” Harry, the youngest, raged. “She was way too clever for all of us, and we didn’t even realize it. She duped all of us!”
“Well, children,” Mr. Clark, the lawyer, interjected. “Your grandmother made it very clear that all of her money belongs to your children, which they only receive when they reach the age of 18. Thus, the total sum of $2M she left behind will be divided evenly into 11 parts. Now, everyone, please make some room for the folks who are waiting outside because I don’t have the entire day for all of you.”
Susan returned home soon after, disappointed to learn that she would not inherit anything from Lesley. She was incensed and slammed the flower vase Lesley had given her once against a wall.
The vase certainly shattered into pieces, but on the floor amongst its fragments lay little bundles worth thousands of dollars. When she added them all up, she couldn’t believe it was $300K! Along with the last bundle, Lesley had also left a note for her. “One day, everyone gets what they deserve. I hope this will help you with the house repairs. With love, Grandma Lesley.”
As Susan picked up the pieces of the shattered vase, she couldn’t help but feel a wave of emotions wash over her. Lesley had always been a clever woman, and even in death, she had managed to teach her grandchildren a valuable lesson. The money was not just a reward for their care, but a reminder that in life, nothing is ever truly ours. It was a reminder to always appreciate and cherish the time spent with loved ones, for in the end, that is all that truly matters. And Susan couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude towards her grandmother for showing her the true meaning of love and family.