The Writer's Cramp. 8/6/20. W/C 659
John held the letter up to the light. “I can’t tell what it says. It came this morning. It’s from Lincoln, Montana. Some lawyer.”
“Where? We don’t know anybody in Lincoln, Montana, do we?” I grabbed the letter, held it to the light as well.
“It’s addressed to you, Mrs. John Dragee, 515 First Street, Hamilton, Ohio. So someone knows you’re here.” John pointed to the address on the front of the envelope.
“Hmmm. Lincoln, in Montana, nope. I don’t know anyone there.” I threw the letter on the table.
John picked up the letter, put it back in my hand. “Satisfy my curiosity, open it.”
I looked at him. “What if it’s bad news?” The letter went back on the table.
“What if it’s good?”
The envelope sat on the table for the better part of an hour. Finally I grabbed it and tore it in two.
“Why’d you do that? Don’t you want to know what it says?” John yelled at me.
“I know it’s a trap. A government trap.” I folded my arms, stared at John.
Now two halves of the envelope lay on the table for the better part of an hour.
“You’re nuts.” John got up and grabbed the halves. He found the tape and taped the papers together. Then he sat back down, reading as he sat. “Yep, you’re nuts for not reading this, really babe, you gotta read this.” He handed me the letter.
“I can’t right now. Time to fix dinner.” I stood and started puttering, throwing pans around, rooting around in the refrigerator.
“What if I told you someone left you a million dollars? Would that get your attention?”
Eggs and bread and bacon were on the counter. Breakfast for dinner. Where was the butter?
“Mary! Stop! Did you hear me?”
“Yes, and it’s evidently a mistake. I don’t know anyone in Lincoln, Montana that would leave me a million dollars. No one does that. It’s a scam. Do you want scrambled or fried?”
John came to me and grabbed my shoulders. “I’m gonna scramble you! For goodness sake, we can buy a restaurant. Stop! Call the lawyer in the letter. Check it out. Someone died and left you money.”
“Okay, fine, if it will stop you from nagging me! Give it here.”
So I called the number, a lawyer in Lincoln told me my Aunt Harriet, my mother’s sister, had just died and left me all this money. I never knew my mother had a sister. She never talked about her family. She never talked about anything, now that I think about it. Never any pictures of her family around. But somehow they found me, the only living relative.
This Aunt Harriet also left a letter. When we went to Montana to sign the papers, the lawyer gave me this letter.
You don’t know me, but I was your mother’s sister. We were close until our parents both died in a car accident when I was ten and she was eight. At that time, no one was able to take care of us, so we were separated and put into foster care. Soon I lost track of where she went.
But as I got older, I started to search for her again. I finally found her address a few years ago. But by the time I was able to visit, she had passed away. Then I did some more investigating and found that she had a child. That child is you.
So my last wishes to my lawyer were that he was to find you and make sure my estate went to the niece I never knew. I was lucky in life and wish to share my wealth with you.
Enjoy the money. May it bring you happiness.
Enclosed in the letter was a picture of two young girls, all dressed up, with their mom and dad. I started to cry. I never knew.