She was dedicated to her grandparents and sacrificed her future to look after them but all they left her was an old umbrella. But there was something hidden in it.
Lesley, George, and Wilson Farrel’s parents had died in a car crash when they were children, and their grandparents stepped forward to raise them. George had been eleven, Wilson nine, and Lesley just five.
Their grandparents had carefully stretched their parent’s insurance money to pay for the older boys’ education, but when it was time for Lesley to go to college, her grandmother became very ill.
There was no way Lesley was going to turn her back on her beloved grandparents, so she enrolled in the local community college and attended classes when she could.
Unfortunately, her grandmother passed away, but Wilson and George didn’t come to the funeral. They sent regrets and flowers, but they were clearly not interested in taking on responsibility for the man who’d raised them.
God’s justice moves slowly but it never fails
So Lesley took care of her grandfather, and when two years later she met William and decided to get married, she moved into a small house down the street. She continued to cook and care for her grandfather right up until his last days.
At no time did her brothers, now both wealthy successful men, ever ask if she or her grandfather needed help, financial or otherwise. “It’s not that we need them,” Lesley told her husband, “but it just shows such ingratitude!
“My grandparents were in their seventies and they took on three kids. Instead of enjoying their retirement, they took on the work and responsibility and my brothers don’t seem to care!”
“Hun,” William said tenderly, “what goes around comes around. God’s justice moves slowly but it never fails!”
Lesley shook her head. “I don’t believe that!” she said. “They are nasty ungrateful men and we are struggling, how is that justice?” But William just shook his head and told her to be patient.
Lesley’s grandfather became frailer and frailer, until the sad day when she came in to bring him breakfast and found that he’d passed away in his sleep. Lesley was devastated.
She called her brothers and distant family and made the arrangements for the funeral. She thought her brothers wouldn’t come to her grandfather’s funeral but they surprised her.
That afternoon, Lesley understood Wilson and George’s willingness to attend: they wanted their share of the inheritance. Their grandfather’s lawyer had asked them to meet him at the old house.
Wilson and George looked around appreciatively. “This house will be worth quite a bit on the market!” said George.
“Yes,” said Wilson. “Especially if we market it as a potential bed & breakfast!”
But the lawyer shook his head. “I’m afraid your grandfather has left the house and its contents to the Children’s Association,” he said. “As a shelter for at-risk children.”
“What?” cried Wilson angrily. “What about US?”
“Yes,” said George, “We’re his flesh and blood! Didn’t he care about our welfare?”
“Stop it!” cried Lesley. “Grandpa did everything he could for us, everything! It’s his house, and it was his right to dispose of it as he wished.”
The lawyer said, “Your grandfather did leave some tokens of his affection,” he said, and he placed an ornate silver pocket watch, a silver chain with an antique cross, and an old dark green umbrella on the table.
Wilson picked up the pocket watch greedily. “The old man was holding out on us!” he said. “This watch is from the time of the Civil War. It might be worth something!”
“As per your grandfather’s instructions, you will each choose an item according to your age: so George, you choose first, then Wilson, then Lesley,” the lawyer explained.
Wilson frowned crossly as George picked up the pocket watch, then he stepped forward and claimed the silver cross. “Looks like you get the umbrella, Lesley!” he said.
Lesley picked up the umbrella and touched the heavy wooden handle lovingly. “This was grandpa’s favorite, you know. He said it was the best for a rainy day!”
George laughed cruelly. “Let’s hope it still works,” he said. “It’s raining now!” Lesley peered outside. It was pouring!
“In that case, this umbrella is just perfect,” Lesley said and walked to the front door. She opened the door and unfurled the umbrella and something fluttered down and stuck in her hair, then something else…
Lesley stared in astonishment as dozens of bills fell out of the folds of the old umbrella. Geoge scoffed. “So that was the old man’s rainy day fund?”
Lesley picked up a note and gasped. “This is a $1000 bill! I’d never seen one before!”
“What?” Wilson stepped forward and bent to pick up a bill but the lawyer stopped him.
“The umbrella and its contents belong to your sister,” he said coldly. “You and your brother made your choices.”
George was furious. “But there are dozens of $1000 bills! That’s a lot of money!”
Lesley was looking at the bills closely. “They look brand new as if they’ve just been printed!” she said.
“Your grandfather and your great-grandfather collected those bills for decades, Lesley, up until they were withdrawn from circulation in the late 1960s,” the lawyer said. “These mint-condition bills are collector’s items. They are each worth between $10,000 and $12,000…”
Lesley was stunned! Her grandfather had left her a valuable legacy after all. With the money from the sale of the bills, she and William paid off their house, bought a new car, and started their own rainy day fund.
Meanwhile, Lesley’s grandfather’s old house became a shelter and helped many sad and lonely children find happiness. As for Wilson and George, they were outraged and declared that Lesley had cheated them out of their inheritance.
What can we learn from this story?
- Greed can lead to bad judgment. Wilson and George’s greed led them to mistakenly pick out the least valuable item.
- God’s justice moves slowly but it never fails. Wilson and George got what they deserved and Lesley was rewarded for her kindness.