A billionaire’s greedy children were stunned when their father announced that he was cutting them out of the will and leaving all his money to strangers.
Donald Farrow was a man who loved his family and it had been for them that he’d amassed a huge fortune so they never imagined he’d be picking his heirs from the phone book, but that is exactly what happened.
What none of Donald’s three children had realized was that they had very different values from their father. He had indulged them all their lives, patiently waiting for them to mature into people he could respect as well as love. It was their greed that lost them everything.
Donald Farrow never thought he’d be picking his heirs out of a phone book | Source: Shutterstock.com
While Donald had grown up very poor — he hadn’t even had shoes to wear to school — his oldest daughter Merle spent fortunes on handcrafted designer footwear which she wore for only one season.
Donald had walked to work even as a young man starting a family, but his son Jordan had a whole collection of vintage automobiles worth millions and was now wanting to buy yet more.
As for Donald’s youngest daughter, Leonora, she was the one he had the most difficulties with. Merle and Jordan worked for Donald, even though they did very little worth mentioning, but Leonora did absolutely nothing.
She spent her days and nights streaming her doings live on social media and was something of a celebrity. Her entire luxurious and spendthrift life was at the expense of her father’s considerable fortune.
Donald was dedicated to his family, until he discovered what they really thought of him | Source: Unsplash
If Donald’s beloved wife Hannah hadn’t passed away, she would have been the peacemaker, soothing her husband’s anger, and moderating her children’s greed. Unfortunately for them, Hannah had succumbed to cancer and left Donald all alone with their spoiled, selfish offspring.
One thing that Donald insisted on was that his three children (none of whom were married) have Sunday lunch with him every week. Some of Donald’s fondest memories were of his own Sunday lunches with his parents and his siblings.
For Donald, Sunday lunch was family, and more importantly, a way to keep Hannah’s memory alive. But Merle, Jordan, and Leonora saw it as an imposition on their precious time, and they hated it.
They would all rather be off doing something else with their friends, but they were too dependant on Donald to break the cherished tradition. Sunday lanch was also usually when they asked their father for money, a lot of money…
It all started at Sunday lunch when Merle refused to eat | Source: Unsplash
Merle dabbed delicately at her lips with her linen napkin and gestured to the housekeeper to take her plate away. Donald frowned. “Merle, you’ve hardly touched your food, and good food too!”
“I’m sorry daddy,” Merle said in a voice that revealed she wasn’t sorry at all. “I had a late breakfast, and besides, meat and gluten are things I avoid.”
The greatest gift we can give our children is the ability to fend for themselves.
Donald stared at her. “This is good food, healthy food. I wish…” And that was when Leonora foolishly interrupted and started the argument that would see them all disinherited.
“Yes, yes, we know!” she cried. “You had a single bread roll for five children, and you sucked on a chicken bone as a treat!”
Leonora mocked Donald’s poverty when he was a child | Source: Pexels
Donald turned and looked at her. Merle and Jordan who had worked with Donald trembled. They knew that look and what it signified, but Leonora, who had been Hannah’s pet, didn’t.
Leonora carried on crossly. “Honestly, daddy, if you only knew how SICK I am of your hard-luck stories! They are just not relevant to OUR reality, can’t you see that?”
“Not relevant to your reality…” Donald said slowly. “I see…”
Merle tried to divert her father’s attention. “Daddy, I was going to ask you if you could help me out,” she said. “This friend of mine wants to invest in a new designer and I told her I wanted in. So do you think you could give me $2 million or so?”
Donald couldn’t believe his lovely children had grown into such selfish adults | Source: Unsplash
Donald looked at his three children. “You want $2 million to invest in a designer…Jordan wants to buy a new car, and Leonora thinks I’m not relevant to your reality. The answer, Merle and Jordan, is NO.
“As for you, Leonora, as of now your allowance is cut. I will expect you to find a job as befits the expensive education I paid for,” Donald stood up from the table and said to the housekeeper, “Mrs. Deevers, I will have my coffee in my study.”
The three Farrows sat in silence, then Leonora burst out, “This is all your fault Merle, you and your stupid diet fads!”
“Mine?” asked Merle angrily. “I didn’t insult daddy and tell him he was irrelevant!”
After their father left, the three children started discussing what they would do with his money | Source: Unsplash
Jordan leaned back. “It’s not your fault girls,” he said. “Let’s give credit where credit is due…The old man IS irrelevant, Leonora is right, and he is keeping us shamefully short on cash!
“He has BILLIONS yet he gives us crumbs, but never fear — he is getting old, and one of these days it will all be ours to dispose of as we see fit.”
“Oh God bless the day!” Merle cried. “Can you imagine us being able to do as we see fit without having to beg him for everything?”
“How long do you think he might live?” asked Leonora. “I mean, he’s not sick or anything…”
They were horrified when they realized their father had heard everything | Source: Unsplash
A cold voice intruded on their conversation. “I can reassure you all that I’m in very good health,” Donald said. “My doctor tells me I can expect to live another twenty years, sorry to disappoint you all.”
Jordan jumped to his feet and upset his chair which fell with a crash. “Dad, it’s not what you think…”
Donald looked at his three children who stared back at him frozen. “Oh, unfortunately for you all, I left my cell phone here and imagine my surprise when I came back to fetch it and heard you all anticipating my death and your inheritance.”
“Please, daddy,” Merle said. “Don’t be so sensitive! We were just upset…”
Donald vowed that he’d pick his heirs out of an old phone directory | Source: Pixabay
“Upset because you don’t get what you want?” asked Donald. “Well you three don’t need to worry about your inheritance anymore, because I’m cutting you off without a dime.”
“Oh please,” cried Leonora. “Don’t be so dramatic! Who are you going to leave it to? The dog shelter?”
Donald shook his head. “Actually, no! I’m going to get myself a phone list of my old neighborhood, and I’m just going to pick out 15 names at random. They will get equal shares of my estate. I’m sure they will make better use of it and be more grateful than the three of you!”
The three spoiled brats were forced to go out and get real jobs | Source: Unsplash
Merle, Jordan, and Leonora started screaming and crying but Donald wouldn’t be dissuaded. The next day, he sat down with his lawyer and drafted a new will in the exact terms he’d explained to his children.
Donald also fired Merle and Jordan from their cushy jobs at his company, and they had to go out looking for work to support themselves, just like Leonora. Donald continued hosting Sunday lunches, and the three children continued attending in the vain hope that their father would change his mind.
What can we learn from this story?
- Don’t take your good fortune for granted. Merle, Jordan, and Leonora believed they would get their father’s billions and forgot that they owed him love and respect.
- The greatest gift we can give our children is the ability to fend for themselves. Donald finally pushed his children out into the world and forced them to become hard-working people.
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