The parents of a woman didn’t like their second husband so they gave their home to her son in the hope that it would be safe. Sometimes, life can change dramatically.
Marianne Harding Jones was her only child and she loved her. Unfortunately, her husband didn’t share her taste with men. The first was a ne’er-do well who had abandoned Lance when Lance was three years old.
Marianne married Ralph ten years later. Although he was a hardworking, nice man, there was something that Mrs. Harding didn’t like about him. They took steps to protect their daughter.
Although the Hardings were financially secure, the crown jewel of their estate was their 12-bedroom family home. It had a large garden and a swimming pool at one of the most sought-after addresses in the city.
After Mr. Harding fell ill, he and his wife decided that they needed to get their affairs in order. They put the house in Lance’s name and explained to Marianne, the boy, and Ralph, that the intention was to protect it from Ralph’s divorce.
He died just a few short months later. His wife, however, quickly followed him to his grave. They were right not two years later in their assessment about Ralph’s character.
Marianne found out that Ralph was cheating on her over years with a friend of hers. The divorce was very costly. Ralph took half of Marianne’s wealth, even the money she had been left by her parents.
He couldn’t touch the house, which belonged to Lance. Marianne expressed gratitude to her parents for their provident planning. Marianne and Lance eventually moved into the grand old house after the divorce.
Lance was 15 years old. Marianne’s lawyer suggested that she put the house in her name before Lance turned 18. But Marianne refused. “I trust my son!”She told the lawyer indignantly. “I don’t want him to think I don’t!”
“Marianne, “The lawyer spoke gently. “You know the boy Lance is today, not the man he’ll be in the future.”Marianne, however, was determined. Marianne trusted her son would abide by her parent’s wishes.
Lance went off to college after graduating from high school. Marianne supported him through his studies, paying his tuition and covering his living expenses.
Marianne didn’t want Lance to end up in debt after he completed his studies. Therefore, the majority of her inheritance was spent on Lance. At first glance, it appeared that her faith was justified.
Lance began working as a psychology assistant and soon had his own successful small practice. A girlfriend was also available and he planned to marry. Marianne was delighted. Jane was like Lance’s therapist and she liked Jane.
Then, suddenly, everything fell apart. Lance called her one a night crying. “She’s leaving me, mom, I love her and she’s leaving me!”Marianne was shocked to hear Lance’s side. Jane had suddenly decided not to marry him.
While we might think we know who someone really is, we don’t necessarily know what they could become.
With a broken heart, she was moving back home to Wisconsin. Marianne was angry at the pain of her son and got into her car to drive to Jane’s apartment.
Marianne was able to see her crying as she opened the door. “Mrs. Harding, I’m so sorry you’ve been dragged into this…”
“Jane, what is going on? A week ago we were planning a wedding and now you’re leaving?”
Jane nodded and cried. “Mrs. Harding, I gave Lance a choice. He knew what was at stake.”
“What are you talking about, Jane? What is this? A lover’s quarrel?”Marianne was exasperated.
“No, Mrs. Harding, “Jane was sad. “Lance started doing drugs a few months ago, and I asked him to stop. He hasn’t and I don’t think he wants to. I’m not sticking around to watch him self-destruct.”
“Drugs!”Marianne gasped. “That’s impossible!”
Marianne drove straight to the apartment of her son and confronted them. Lance wept in Marianne’s arms, confessing that he was using drugs. He would stop, he promised Marianne and he’d win Jane.
Marianne believed in her son, and after much heart-to-heart, Marianne enrolled him in a rehabilitation program that was regarded as one of the most effective in the country.
Lance made an impressive recovery over the next six months. But then, slowing down, troubling signs began to emerge. Mariane soon realized Lance was back on drugs.
Lance was able to turn to his father after Marianne had cut off the money. He moved in with him, but within a year he was kicked out after his dad caught him boosting his flat-screen TV.
Lance returned home and one week later, a real estate agent had put up a FOR SALE sign. “Lance!” Marianne gasped. “What’s going on?”
“I’m selling the house, mom, “He told her. “I need the money.”
“But it’s MY house! You heard what your grandparents said..:” Marianne protested.
“The house is in my name, so it’s legally mine to do with as I please,” Lance said coldly to her. “So please move out by the end of the week.”
Marianne, devastated, moved out. Later, he learned that Lance had sold his house for $500,000 less than the market value. He was able to keep the huge amount he made from the sale of his house for a full year.
Marianne had just moved into a cottage in Maryland, which she’d bought with her remaining inheritance and savings. Lance was the last person she hoped to see at her door.
“Mom,” He said it, his eyes welling up with tears. “Please mom, help me!”
Marianne noticed that Lance was skinny, poorly dressed, and filthy. “How can I help you, Lance?”Marianne asked Marianne, her heart hurt to see her boy in such dire circumstances.
“Please mom,” Lance groaned. “Can I come live with you? Just until I get myself together… I’m clean mom, I swear!”
Marianne shook her head slowly. “No my son,” She said, “Sadly.” “I’ve given you all I had all my life, and you cheated and robbed me. I can’t give you the opportunity to do it all again.”
“But mom, I swear…”Lance cried but Marianne was already closing the door. She knew Lance was going to have to change his life, no matter how hard she tried.
What can we take away from this story?
- Be cautious about who you trust. We think we know who someone is, but we don’t know who they may become. Marianne discovered the hard way that drugs changed her son.
- After you lose your good name, nobody will believe you. Lance stole his father’s inheritance from his mother, cheating him out of it. So when he asked for help, neither of them was willing to give up on him.
Tell your friends about this story. This story might inspire and brighten their day.