The widowed mother of two grown-up daughters decides to divide her assets before she dies and calls them to her house telling them it is an emergency.
Brenda Rafferty was a widow, and as she grew older and her health frailer she started thinking about a conversation she and her husband had shortly before his death.
Sam Rafferty's main concern was his wife's well-being. He was afraid that she would be lonely without him, and that their two daughters might not be as supportive as he hoped. "Brenda," he'd said. "You leave the money to whoever deserves it the most!"
Brenda and her husband Sam had been very happy together. | Source: Unsplash
Ten years after his death, Brenda sat in her room and stared at a photo of her beloved husband. "Oh, Sam!" she sighed. "I miss you so much! I'm so alone... I know the girls love me, but..."
But both Lucy and Eliza had their own families and they lived in different states. Brenda missed them and her grandchildren, but her health didn't permit her to travel as often as she might want to.
Lucy always came out for Thanksgiving and Christmas and Brenda's birthdays, but Eliza often chose to be with her husband's wealthy family who lived close to them in Wisconsin.
There is nothing more precious than the health of our loved ones.
"They are both our girls, Sam!" Brenda told the portrait. "How can I decide who gets what? I know I promised, but how can I know who really cares about me and my well-being?"
After Sam passed away, Brenda felt very alone. | Source: Unsplash
Then Brenda had a brilliant idea. First, she did a little research on the internet, then she made two phone calls. "Honey!" she cried to each daughter in turn. "I'm afraid Doctor Vance had very bad news for me.
"He says I have a very rare metabolic disorder and the only thing that can help me is a new medication made exclusively by a European pharma and that's hard to find in the States.
"He says that unless I start the meds within the next few days, I will die. He has contacted the FDA and they say they have no record of the medication being in stock anywhere in the state.
"I have scheduled a meeting with a notary here in the house tomorrow morning, and I want you and your sister to be here. In fact, whoever isn't here will get nothing. This was your father's wish."
Brenda started thinking about a promise she'd made to Sam. | Source: Pexels
Both women had reacted with shock to their mother's revelation. Eliza sobbed while Lucy sounded distracted, nervous, and eager to get off the phone. Brenda hung up and tapped her nails on her phone.
"Now we will see, Sam!" she said to her husband's portrait. The next morning, Brenda woke up early and got dressed, ready to greet her two daughters. The notary was scheduled for 10:00 am, but by 9:00, Eliza was knocking on her door.
"Oh, mom," Eliza said. "I drove all night! I couldn't think of you being here on your own with such a terrible diagnosis hanging over you!"
Brenda welcomed her oldest daughter with open arms and hugged her. "Come in, honey, we'll have some tea while we wait for your sister and the notary."
Brenda called her daughters Lucy and Eliza. | Source: Unsplash
At 10:00, the notary was there but Lucy wasn't. "Maybe she didn't take it seriously, mom!" said Eliza. "You know Lucy..." Brenda frowned. She DID know Lucy and that was why she immediately called her son-in-law.
"Hello, Jack," she said. "It's Brenda. Is Lucy there?"
"No!" Jack said. "I arrived home from the late shift at 1:00 am and she wasn't here. I'm worried... I've been calling her phone but she must have forgotten to charge it and none of her friends have heard from her."
Brenda hung up the phone and frowned. "I wonder where Lucy is!" she said worriedly.
Lucy and Eliza had very different reactions. | Source: Unsplash
"Well, she's obviously not very keen on the inheritance..." Eliza said slyly. She was already imagining herself the sole beneficiary of her mother's very respectable estate.
"Would you mind waiting a little longer?" Brenda asked the notary. "I will, of course, pay for your time!" the man agreed to wait until lunchtime, but still, Lucy didn't show up.
The notary had packed up his briefcase and was on the way to the door when there was a screech of tires in the driveway. "Mom!" cried an anxious voice. "Mom it's OK! I found a way..."
Brenda opened the front door. Lucy was standing there looking disheveled and exhausted as if she hadn't slept all night. "Mom, I went to the European pharma's head office in Alabama and I spoke to their director.
Eliza was there before the notary even arrived. | Source: Pexels
"As soon as they receive a prescription from Doctor Vance and the OK from your insurance they will fly in the medication you need within 24 hours. It's OK mom, you're not going to die!" And Lucy burst into tears.
"OH!" cried Eliza. "That's... That's just wonderful!" But she sounded anything but pleased. It was obvious to Brenda that she had already been thinking about how she would be spending her mother's money.
Brenda smiled at the notary. "Thank you so much," she said. "But fortunately, I won't be needing you as soon as I thought!"
"But mom," cried Eliza. "I think it's important that you follow through with daddy's wishes -- and Lucy wasn't here..."
Lucy was very late. | Source: Unsplash
Brenda threw Eliza a sharp look. "Yes, you may be right, Eliza!" she said. Brenda turned to the notary and said: "In accordance with my husband's wishes I hereby bestow my house and my savings account in the amount of $450,000..."
Eliza smiled triumphantly and caught her breath greedily. It was so much more than she'd imagined and it would be all hers! But then Brenda said: "...on my younger daughter Lucy, who has shown that her concern for me is greater than any wish for my wealth!"
"What?" screamed Eliza. "You said..."
"Your father wanted me to leave the money to whoever was most concerned with ME, not with being here FIRST in order to inherit," Brenda explained. Eliza jumped up and rushed out of the door.
Lucy found the medication she thought Brenda needed. | Source: Unsplash
"Mom!" gasped Lucy. "Please don't do that! Poor Eliza is so hurt..."
Brenda smiled. "Don't worry, Lucy!" she said. "Eliza will get over it, and maybe it will teach her a valuable lesson about love. And by the way... There was no illness, but I'm grateful for your kindness all the same!"
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