Poor Childless Woman Inherits $2.3M from Man Who Claims to Be Her Son — Story of the Day
A poor homeless woman who never married and had no children is stunned when she is left a fortune by a man she never met and who claims he is her son.
You've probably walked past a woman just like Diana Osmond a thousand times in your own city. Diana is the woman huddled in the park bench, or in the doorway, scrounging for scraps in a dumpster, and sleeping in the alleys.
Diana had been homeless for most of her life. As a young woman, she'd been hospitalized for mental health issues, and her illness had led her by slow degrees to the streets. Diana was alone in the world, but when she saw one even more unfortunate than herself, her heart was touched.
Diana was just twenty when she started living on the streets. | Source: Shutterstock.com
It was one of the coldest winters in Boston memory, and Diana was sleeping in a shelter -- she'd been lucky enough to find a bed -- when her rest was disturbed. A gentle hand on her shoulder awoke her. It was Daniele, a volunteer at the shelter.
"Diana," she said softly, "there's someone here to speak to you." Diana followed Daniele to the shelter director's office where a well-dressed man waited.
Those who wander the streets are lost to themselves, but not to love.
"Miss. Osmond?" he asked. "I'm Bart Farring, Mr. Carlton Hanson's lawyer."
"I haven't done anything wrong," Diana cried. "Not a thing!"
Daniele laid a calming hand on Diana's arm. "We know that, Diana. We know you haven't done anything wrong."
A man in a suit came to the shelter to look for Diana. | Source: Unsplash
Diana pushed her hair back from her face nervously and started to plait one long segment. "I haven't done anything wrong, and no lawyer can say I have..." she mumbled.
"Miss Osmond," the lawyer said. "You're not in any trouble, in fact, this may be good news for you. You are one of the beneficiaries named in Mr. Hanson's will."
"He's dead?" asked Diana anxiously. "If he's dead, how's that good news?"
The lawyer flushed. "Of course, you're right, Miss. Osmond. Mr. Hanson's death was a tragedy, but maybe some good could come out of it. Mr. Hanson's left you $2.3 million -- half of his estate."
"Why?" asked Diana suspiciously. "Why would he do that?"
The lawyer told Diana she'd received an inheritance. | Source: Unsplash
"According to Mr. Hanson," Farring said, "you are his mother..."
"But I never had any children, no I didn't. Not one!" Diana cried.
"Mr. Hanson said that if you hadn't saved his mother Georgina's life, he would never have been born," the lawyer explained. "And that made you his second mother."
Diana gasped. "Georgina?" she asked. "It was Georgina's boy? But that was...so long ago!"
Thirty-two years before, Diana had found a young girl cowering in the corner where she usually slept. Her first reaction was to run off the interloper, but then she saw how young the girl was, and she noticed her rounded belly.
Georgina was robbed at the bus station. | Source: Unsplash
"What are you doing here?" she asked the girl gruffly. "This is my place! Mine! Do you hear? It's all mine!"
"I'm sorry," the girl whispered. "But I was so cold..."
Diana sat down next to the girl. "It's okay. It's okay," she pressed her palms together. "I'm okay, you're okay, so it's okay. Are you hungry?"
The girl nodded and tears filled her eyes. "Yes. I had some money, but this guy stole my backpack at the bus station, and another one wanted me to go with him...."
Diana was alarmed. "No, no, you must never go!" she cried. "Those are the bad, bad boys. Here, have a hot dog." Diana handed over the hot dog she'd gotten for her own dinner and watched as the girl devoured it hungrily.
Despite her own problems, Diana took Georgina under her wing. | Source: Unsplash
Diana was upset. The streets were no place for a pregnant girl, and hot dogs weren't exactly food for an expectant mom. "What's your name?" she asked the girl. "I'm Diana."
"I'm Georgina," the girl said. "Georgina West. I guess you can tell I'm pregnant. I don't know what I'm going to do. I thought it would be easy to find a job in the city, and that my mom wouldn't find me here."
"You ran away?" asked Diana. "Why did you do that?"
Georgina looked away. "I was ashamed. And frightened. My mom warned me about Dylan... When I found out I was pregnant it was too late and I ran."
"She'll be worried," Diana said. "You should go home. No bad, bad boys at home."
Diana called Georgina's mother. | Source: Unsplash
Georgina started crying. "I can't," she whispered. "I just can't!"
Over the next three months, Diana looked after Georgina night and day. She cadged fresh fruit from vendors and panhandled for money to buy her milk and nutritious food. But winter was coming, and Diana didn't think Georgina could make it through winter on the streets.
She decided she had to fix things somehow, or the baby and Georgina would die. She searched through Georgina's few belongings and found her home address, and her home phone number.
She took a handful of dimes and headed for a phone booth. "Hello?" she whispered. "Are you Georgina's mom? She needs you, so please don't be mad at her."
The woman on the other side started crying. "Please, I'm not mad! I just want her to come home!"
Georgina was reconciled with her mother. | Source: Unsplash
Two days later, Diana brought Mrs. West to Georgina. "Don't be angry, Georgina," she said. "I just want you to be okay and the baby too, and your mom is not mad, she loves you and she says she'll love the baby too."
Diana watched as Georgina and her mother hugged each other. Her friend was safe now, she'd be okay and so would the baby. "It's okay," Diana said to herself after Georgina had gone, "I'm okay, it's okay to be alone." But it would be a long time before Diana got used to Georgina's absence.
Now, decades later, a lawyer was here telling her the baby she'd never seen had died a man and left her a fortune. "Why?" she asked again. "I don't understand why!"
The lawyer said gently, "My client told me that his mother always said he was lucky because he had TWO mothers — the one who carried him in her belly and the one who carried him in her heart, and that is you. Mr. Hanson would never have been born if it wasn't for you."
Diana and Georgina were reunited. | Source: Unsplash
The lawyer set up a trust fund for Diana and reunited her with Georgina. With her old friend's loving help, Diana started taking her medication again, and slowly got used to living in an apartment.
Diana's long-ago kindness had resulted in the inheritance that got her off the streets and on her way to recovery.
What can we learn from this story?
- We all have a lot to give to each other, even if it is only a gesture of kindness. Diana's kindness saved Georgina from dying on the streets and reconciled her with her mother.
- Those who wander the streets are lost to themselves, but not to love. No matter how desperate and unhappy Diana was, she was still able to give Georgina the love and support she needed.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an aspiring young actress who is astounded to discover she is an exact double of a TV star, so they decide to do a DNA test.
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