“I’m proud of you, Maddy.” Her father said, squeezing her shoulder.
She smiled, “You probably never dreamed one of your privileged daughters would be cutting and styling
hair and doing manicures?”
“That doesn’t matter to me. You haven’t lost
yourself. Money is nothing to you, just a means.
You work hard to make time for me, your old dad, when you really don’t have to depend on me at all anymore.”
She beamed, “Dad, I spend time with you because I want to, not because I have to.”
Her father’s heart swelled. A nicer thing couldn’t
WHOMP! Her father lost his footing and fell head over feet. Maddy
rushed back. “Are you all right?”
“I think so,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck.
Maddy tried to help him up but the pain was a lot more severe than he let on.
She offered to take him to the clinic.
“I’ve been having a lot of pain back here; I hope it’s not a problem with the disc.”
Sadly, it was a much bigger problem than the disc. The clinic x-rayed
him and then sent him to emergency. They ran tests and then broke the news. He had a growth in his cervical spine that they wanted to test.
Days crawled by as they waited for the results. Sarah had either
turned her phone off or was unavailable. Angela (nor any of her friends) would
answer the door when Maddy came by. She left a note to call right away but didn’t
get her hopes up.
The tests came back positive for cancer. The tumor was inoperable
– they would risk damaging the spine and rendering him a quadriplegic.
Maddy begged her father to get the surgery and promised if anything bad happened she would take care of him. Although he didn’t doubt this for a minute he refused.
“That’s no life for me, or for you. I will give the
chemo a try.”
Maddy was at her father’s side every day, helping him when he was sick, taking him to appointments, holding
his hand as he waited. She’d given up trying to contact her sisters because
after weeks they still hadn’t attempted to call, email, even text.
The chemo didn’t take, and he took a turn for the worse. The
once powerful, wealthy man who grieved the loss of his wife was about to join her, and spending his last days with only one
of the three daughters he adored.
Maddy asked her dad to please hang on until she got back. She stormed
over to Angela’s and banged on the door.
“Angela, open the door – dad is dying.”
She waited what seemed an eternity, then heard foot steps. Angela
came to the door, looking as rough as before. “He’s dying?”
she asked with little emotion.
“Yes, that’s why I’ve been trying to contact you.”
“Where is he?”
Maddy could not hide her discouragement. “At the hospital.”
Maddy drove, while Angela attempted to call Sarah on her cell. She
kept receiving the message that the cellular customer was away from the phone.
The girls spent the last moments of the rich man’s life by his side.
Maddy looked down in awe at her father who she loved so much, that had done so much for her and that she felt
so indebted to. And now he was gone.
Angela feigned sadness. Maddy wasn’t sure if it was the drugs
or her cold heart.
They didn’t hear from Sarah until shortly before the funeral. She
breezed in, and shed a few tears at the service. Maddy was appalled. She was devastated after losing her wonderful father and all her sisters could do
was look impatient and eager to get out of there.
Sarah, of course, made time for the reading of the will.
The lawyer read: “I give my property - my home, vehicles, cottage, timeshares in Florida and Mexico, and entire fortune and estate to the following persons”:
Angela grinned like a cat about to pounce on a mouse.
My daughter, Madeline Banks.
Angela’s head spun towards Maddy with eyes full of hatred.
He continued, “If she does not survive me I give my property to be divided equally between my church,
the First Baptist Church of Norfolk and the Center for Cancer Research.
The silence was deafening as everyone left the lawyer’s office.
Angela stalked off in anger while Sarah bid her sister a curt good-bye and hug.
Maddy drove back to the beautiful mansion that was now hers. She
walked through the five-car garage filled with expensive cars that she would now be driving.
She toured through the mansion that she and her sister had grown up in and shared happier times.
She thought to herself, “I don’t need all of this, I don’t want all of this.” She only wanted her dad back.
But she knew that wasn’t possible, so she honored him by donating the profits from the properties and
cars to the designated charities. She kept only what she needed and made sure
others would be blessed by what her father had blessed her with.
Which Daughter are you? Are you Sarah, the self-sufficient person who everyone agrees is a good
person and should inherit the fortune even though you contribute nothing to the fortune holder? Are you Angela, who does whatever
you please despite the fact it grieves your father, yet still believe you are entitled to something? Or are you Maddy, who
loved her father so much she would rather share his riches with others than keep them to herself?
Does anyone have the right to say to God – I was a good person (even though I never cared
for you or served you) I deserve to go to Heaven.
Or, if God is a loving God and created me, why shouldn’t I go to Heaven even though I go
against his commands?
Like the daughters, we have access to the gift of eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. But so many of us would rather do our own thing, climb our own ladders, have our own fun. So should it be any surprise, in the end, if Jesus says he never knew us – if we spent our life pursuing
what we want and not what he wants, can we whine and cry that he is being unfair?
He lays it all out for us in the bible. If we don’t
read, listen and believe than what else can we expect?
Not everyone who
says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many
will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many
miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'