A man is shocked to find out his grandmother kept deeds to a million-dollar mansion away from him while she lived. He was even more astounded when it came out that a strange man was inheriting it.
Sally Bradley had always been modest. She didn’t think herself superior to anyone, nor did she think anyone beneath her. How could she?
She had grown up the daughter of a popular neighborhood farmer and had been able to afford good enough schools that helped groom Sally properly.
Thanks to her hard work, she got into university through a scholarship and sailed through college without many incidences — like she was special.
Some people even went out of their way to tell her she was born lucky, and she even started to believe them. After all, life did seem to be going a little too easy for her.
As soon as she finished college, she moved out of her parents’ home and got a job as a data analyst. She worked hard and attended various conferences to build her portfolio.
It was like her life had been pre-programmed in such a way that she just knew exactly what to do and when to do it. It was in a similar fashion that she met her man, Kelvin.
They matched gazes during a bonfire hosted at one of the conferences they had both attended. It had been an eventful night that saw the two get paired up for a couple of drinking games.
They made a good team, and by the end of the whole affair, they were drunk as sailors and thick as thieves. As expected, he did not let her go that night without exchanging contacts, and the following day — as soon as he was revived from his hangover — he called her.
Kelvin was a good man, and he fell deeply in love with Sally’s personality and looks so they started their courtship — all without incidence. It was a fairytale and Sally became convinced she was indeed special.
They dated for a few years then Kelvin proposed to her during a romantic dinner and she said, “Yes, most definitely.”
Two years after the marriage, they welcomed a child — he was healthy, and they loved him. Sally was totally convinced she had things easy … then the tragedy happened.
Her husband was k**led in a mauling, and the killer could not be located. It cleared her daydreams — she wasn’t so special after all.
Some decades later, her son also lost his life in an accident, and it convinced Sally she was just another person anything terrible could happen to. She wasn’t special.
If she was, her son and husband would not have died when they did and the tragedy would have happened to someone else. That’s not the extent of how botched her life had become, though.
For some reason, her daughter-in-law didn’t have a lot of love for her. They just never saw eye to eye, and that venom gradually seeped into Sally’s relationship with her grandson Jack.
He loved to visit her in her California home while he was a child, but as he grew older, he started declining her invitations and even became rude to her.
Jack felt embarrassed that his grandma was poor and was living in a small shack on the outskirts of a large farm. She also sent him crappy presents that were basically useless.
On one of his birthdays, Sally gave him a huge dated album filled with stamps, but rather than appreciate it, Jack bristled — he’d been expecting an iPhone.
“What will I use these stamps for?” he had asked her when she had called him later to ask how he felt about his gift.
“Honey those are rare stamps I’ve been collecting for a lifetime!” she said, offended. “I didn’t know it would disgust you so much.”
“It’s not that way at all granny; I was just, yunno, expecting maybe an iPhone? Or maybe one of those new headsets Sony has out…” he trailed off.
“So you’re saying you don’t like them?” Sally asked after a pause.
“It’s old-fashioned is all I’m saying,” he said. “Maybe next time before you get me a gift, ask!”
Sally would have defended herself, but the line went dead after that final statement. Things didn’t change as Jack grew older, but at some point, Sally, whose time was quickly running out, tried to bridge the gap again.
Jack had been in the middle of checking his mails one morning when Sally called. “How are you, Jack? It’s been quite some time no?” Sally said, trying to sound upbeat even though she had gloomy news.
He tucked the landline between his head and shoulders and continued sifting through his mails as he replied. “Indeed it has granny. Is there any problem? This call is rather unexpected.”
“Is it? I wonder why,” she said, then held her breath. She was not usually so stewy, but she couldn’t help it.
With an effort, she abandoned those thoughts and focused on the task at hand. “I called to ask you a favor,” Sally began.
“Okay… let’s hear it,” he said.
“It’s getting harder for me to get around these days and I’ve decided I need some sort of aide and I thought you were a great option.”
“Is that right?” he asked, thinking of the possibilities.
“Yes, of course, you won’t regret it too, I’ll make that certain,” Sally said.
“Alright, I’ll come spend some time with you,” Jack said
Sally was glad to see her grandson a few days later, and they even got along well for the next couple of days. However, just a week into his stay, Jack got tired.
Eventually, he begged off and found a way to leave, much to the horror of Sally, who had come to rely on him and had to find a replacement at short notice.
She couldn’t get one, and none of her neighbors were willing to help babysit her. They all had their own issues, and she couldn’t impose on them.
“I think you should consider moving to a nursing home, for now, Sally, until you can sort out everything. Or maybe solicit for your daughter-in-law to come around?” her neighbor Maggie told her one afternoon when she brought it up.
“Maggie won’t come here no matter how much I try to convince her to. She would much sooner laugh in my face than help me,” Sally said bitterly. “She blames me for my son’s death.”
This was because her son had been on his way to visit her when he had an accident that claimed his life and left Maggie a single parent.
After her son’s death, the lady had become estranged from Sally, choosing to treat her like she did not exist. She knew no help would come from there.
Eventually, after Sally had held out as long as she could on her own, she moved to a nursing home where she was assigned a caretaker who was passionate about what he did.
He was tall and gentle and was in his late 20s — just like her grandson was. He nursed her well and kept her healthy for as long as he could by holding vigils by her bedside every day.
Sadly, Sally passed on anyways; however, in her last moments, the man was by her side, and it made her happy.
“I am lucky after all,” she thought as she breathed her last.
Some days later, Sally was buried, and Jack paid her lawyer a visit. He was shocked by what he was told.
“Your granny did, in fact, own one notable asset and that’s the mansion in the farm she lives on and the surrounding lands.”
“But – but – she lived in a shack,” Jack stuttered.
“That was her decision to make.”
“Your granny avoided the house because it reminded her too much of her old life,” the lawyer said.
“Her old life? What do you mean?” Jack asked.
“You didn’t know who your granny was before the tragedy? A shame, but it’s not your fault, she changed before you were born.”
“Explain better will you?”
“Sally is from a long line of rich farmers and that land has been handed from generation to generation. It’s worth a lot too, if I’m not wrong, about 1.3 million dollars.”
Jack had to fight to keep his mouth closed. “And she kept this secret? Why?”
“You’ve not exactly been around to hear her confess, and I bet she tried,” the lawyer said with a shake of his head.
“So why didn’t we know about it to begin with?” Jack asked.
“Because her husband, John, died inside it.”
“Yes, it was just after the birth of their first son; they had a big fight that led to John moving to the shack for some time. Thieves had gotten in and her husband had died protecting himself.
“It broke her heart and she blamed herself for causing the fight that drove him out of their more secured home. Since then, she moved her things to the shack and started living there. She also kept knowledge of it secret and for some time, you were to inherit the place upon her death.”
“So what happened?” Jack asked.
“Well, that changed some time ago. You’re no longer the heir apparent to that mansion, another man is,” the lawyer said.
“What?” Jack couldn’t believe it. “Who is he?” he asked after a few minutes.
“The nurse who was assigned to her in the final months of her life.”
The statement infuriated Jack and hurt him at the same time. It felt like his granny had deliberately chosen to give out the mansion to a stranger just to spite him.
For days, Jack couldn’t help his anger each time he thought about it. He tried to forget it, but he couldn’t put it behind him either.
One day, he decided to clean up her things at the shack where she lived, hoping to find peace. He got his hands on old photos of her and burst into tears after staring at them for a long time.
He remembered the gift of stamps she had given him — he had found a way to return it, but she had kept it. When he picked it up again, he felt sad about how he had spoken to her about it.
He examined it for the first time since then and noticed some of the stamps had inscriptions on them. Now that he was older, he realized the stamps were very costly.
If he sold them, he would get a lot of money, but Jack chose to keep them. They were memorabilia from his grandma, and he wouldn’t part ways with them.
As time went on, Jack was able to forgive himself for the way he treated his grandma. He had concluded that she was right to have given the mansion to the nurse; after all, he had been nowhere to be found.
He wished he could turn back the hands of time, but that was no longer possible. His granny had passed on, and that was the end. All he could do was honor the life she lived and be thankful he had known such a person.
What did we gain from this story?
Do not inherit enemies. Jack started declining his granny’s calls or attempts at friendship because her toxic relationship with his mother disturbed him. He had no idea what had caused the dissent, but he chose to join his mom in her ill-treatment of Sally before she died. He came to regret it after.
Be passionate about what you do. The nurse was blessed with the mansion because he took his job very seriously. He genuinely cared about what happened to Sally, and his sincerity touched the woman.
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