Teresa’s sons never visited their mother and barely ever called, so she took in a single mother and her daughter as tenants to avoid being so lonely. They became her real family, so she left them everything she owned, except for one thing she reserved for her sons, and they were shocked to discover it.
Who are you?” Thomas said with a frown after entering the lawyer’s office. Mr. Goldberg was about to read Teresa Finkle’s will, and her sons, Thomas and Walter, were there to get their share. The late Mr. Finkle had been relatively wealthy, and his family grew up in privilege — perhaps too much privilege, considering the boys’ behavior.
They left home at 18 and never looked back. When their father died years later, Thomas and Walter didn’t want anything to do with their mother. They claimed to be busy with their own families and affairs, but Teresa was lonely. She only wanted her sons to visit every once in a while or for them to invite her over. But they never did.
Eventually, Teresa took in a single mother, Grace, and her teen daughter, Katherine, as tenants. They stayed in the spare rooms on the first floor while Teresa was upstairs.
She never told her children about them, and they never asked. They didn’t even come when Teresa got sick. She died a few months later without seeing her sons again, but at least she was surrounded by two people who really loved her.
As Thomas and Walter walked into Mr. Goldberg’s office, they saw Grace with Katherine there.
“Thomas, that’s Grace Harris and her daughter, Katherine. They were renting a part of your mother’s house for many years,” the lawyer explained.
“What? Mother never said anything,” Walter scoffed.
“As if you ever called,” Katherine muttered under her breath, but Grace scolded her gently.
“Whatever. Let’s sit down and get this over with. You two are going to have to move out soon enough because we’re going to sell that house pretty quick,” Thomas said, sitting down on one of the chairs and smiling knowingly at his brother.
Mr. Goldberg revealed something shocking to the boys. | Source: Pexels
The house wasn’t a mansion, but values in their snowy town in Montana had gone up. They could get half a million dollars if they played it smart with buyers. Although they certainly wouldn’t need it because they were getting their mother’s extensive amount of savings.
“Thomas, calm down. Grace and Katherine are also part of the will, and you need to respect them because your mother valued them,” Mr. Goldberg said, almost shaking his head at the greed of two grown men who had treated their mother with such neglect.
The brothers stopped smiling when Mr. Goldberg finished reading Teresa’s will. She had left them one dollar each, so they wouldn’t be able to contest her decision. But everything else went to Grace and Katherine. The lawyer also revealed that Teresa had secretly deposited all the money Grace paid in rent. She had not spent a dime and wanted Katherine to use it for college.
Walter yelled at everyone and left with Thomas. | Source: Pexels
The single mother cried with happiness along with her daughter. But the brothers stood up, screaming in anger.
“This is your mother’s will. You will respect it, and boy, one dollar is way more than you d
eserve because she told us EVERYTHING about you. And if I may get a bit personal, you two didn’t attend the funeral. I was there. Grace and Kath were there. You should have been there!” the lawyer said.
Walter yelled, “You will hear from our OWN lawyer soon, you quack! We’re getting our money!” Thomas looked at them with disdain and exited behind his brother.
“Don’t worry about them. If they get close to you, call me and the police immediately,” Mr. Goldberg comforted Grace, and they both went home after.
Grace was so happy that she wouldn’t have to move out because there was no way she would find a place where they charged so low rent. But now, they were essentially rich. Katherine’s future was set, and they might never have to worry about money. They only had to worry about Walter and Thomas, who appeared on her doorstep one day.
I’m not afraid of calling the police on you two. Go away. This is our home now, and actually, it has been for years because we were more family to Teresa than you!” Grace warned the men.
Thomas took a long breath. “Listen, we’re not here to fight. I understand that Mom never changed our rooms, and we were hoping to get a few of our things. Will you let us do that?”
Grace frowned at his pleasant demeanor but didn’t see a problem. “Ok, but be quick,” she replied.
Walter scowled at the comment, but Thomas pushed him into the house, and they went upstairs.
Ok, so what can we do?” Walter asked Thomas when they reached his old bedroom and closed the door.
“We have to find some kind of evidence that that woman lied to our mother and convinced her to change her will. We’ll have to talk to her and record it,” Thomas explained and looked around his bedroom.
They noticed a letter addressed to them on Thomas’ childhood bed. | Source: Unsplash
Suddenly, he noticed an envelope on his bed. It was addressed to both of them, and Walter opened it.
Don’t you dare try to take anything from Grace and Katherine! You don’t deserve a penny of my money since you were too good to spend time with me in the past decades. You already have your father’s inheritance. That’s more than enough. That woman and her daughter were my only family. They cared for me when I was ill. They celebrated Christmas with me. They had dinner with me every night, and they loved me just as I loved them.
Now, you two are my sons. I’m your mother. I love you dearly, and I always will. But I hope you never have to live with the pain I did. I hope my grandkids never treat you like you treated me. And finally, I hope you learn from this. Be better.
All my love,
Walter looked up at his brother after reading, and Thomas said, “Let’s go.”
The brothers visited their mother’s grave every year. | Source: Pexels
They waved goodbye to Grace and never approached her again. She only caught a glimpse of the boys every year on Teresa’s death anniversary when they would visit her grave. She didn’t know why they changed their demeanor or why they visited her now, but maybe, they learned from this hard lesson.
What can we learn from this story?
Don’t neglect your parents in their old age. Your life might get busy but visit your parents as much as possible. Invite them over for the holidays. Don’t neglect them.
Some people don’t learn until it’s too late. Thomas and Walter didn’t learn their lesson until their mother died. Don’t let that happen to you.
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