7.06.2012

Money Matters

Bob was a farmer in a small Utah town.  Farming didn't always pay the bills, so he also worked two other jobs over the years.  Whenever there was a little extra money, he began to buy some tracts of land way out of town; the land wasn't fantastic farming land as it was hard packed clay, but it was land, and that was Bob's goal.  Additionally, it was far from town, so few people had any interest in the land.  But, Bob kept some horses and cows and put in crops every year.

Bob and his wife had two children: a son, Fred, who loved farming and the land; and a daughter, Stella,  who loved shopping and spending.

As the two children married, they lived next door to one another.  Fred's wife, Marva, became fast friends with her sister-in-law, Stella.  They confided in each other and were each other's best confidantes.  The grandchildren grew up being close and also very good friends.

At some point, Bob and his wife gave Fred and Stella an early inheritance; something fitting for each child.  To the daughter, Stella, they gave a large piece of valuable property in the center of town.  After all, she had no interest in the land so far away from town - she scorned the land.  And, she did just what her father thought she would do - she sold the land and family homestead immediately.  (Several years later, the man who purchased her property sold it to a large bank and made much more money than she had...this made her furious!)

And, to the dutiful son who loved farming like his father, he gave the land far from town.

As happens in lots of towns, the community spread; it grew at an amazing pace.  People flocked to the little desert town; the town spread in all directions, including to the south where Fred owned a large section of ground.  There was a selling frenzy.  Farmers who had struggled to make a go for years began selling their land.  Subdivisions grew up around Fred's property  But he kept his precious land and continued to use a large portion of it as home to his livestock.

As the property rose in value, Fred's sister, Stella, came to him and demanded some of the land. Fred reminded Stella that their father had not been willing to give her any of the land because he knew she would sell.  He also told her that for him, the land was a working farm.  Every night after his salaried job, he and his sons went out to feed the horses and cattle, and work the land which was growing hay for his livestock.  Would she be interested in doing that?  And, of course, she would not.  The land itself meant nothing to her; the money did.

And, then TRAGEDY.  Fred was killed in an horrific car crash.  Fred's wife, Marva, survived, but would be in a wheelchair and require care the remainder of her life.  She was so frail that she was actually unable to attend the funeral of her husband.

Stella came to Marva and told Marva that the land now belonged to her, Stella.  Marva was in shock over the death of her husband....she was suffering and her life was a blur.  But Stella was insisting that Marva hand over the land.  A will was found.  It gave all the land to Fred's wife, Marva.

Stella was hurt, angry, offended, bitter.  She poisoned her children against Marva and Marva's children.  Stella's children made mean remarks to people in the town about their own cousins, whom previously they had been such good friends with.  Stella refused to have anything to do with her sister-in-law.  She became a bitter, angry, unhappy person.

Because of financial concerns facing Marva and her health, Marva was forced to sell a portion of the land for development, however, she kept over 60 acres, hopefully to never be sold.  It continues to house horses and cows and Marva's son goes to the small farm every night to care for the animals.

Several times, Stella has demanded the land and money belong to her...

Stella has made Marva feel like all the animosity is Marva's fault.  Finally, in an effort to salvage the family relationships, Marva generously gave Stella a large piece of land, which Stella did just as her father and brother predicted she would do - she sold it just days after the land was deeded to her.

The feuding continues to this day; there is heartache all around.  There is anger, bitterness, blame, hurtful words, and family relationships destroyed.

Marva made an overture of peace, she tried to appease her embittered sister-in-law.  Marva cries over the situation as it pains her to see what has happened to the once wonderful sister/friendship.

MONEY and FAMILY; a sometimes poisonous mixture.



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