After Ethan Jenkins’s death, his widow, Myra, discovered that his entire estate would go to his newest business partner, Carl Ferguson, so she was forced to live in a dirty, old trailer. But their kids would not let the matter go, and they found out something shocking.
“My deepest condolences, Myra,” Carl Ferguson told Myra at her husband, Ethan Jenkins’ funeral.
His death was felt through the community in their town in Oregon. He was the founder of a major clothing store, although it started as a small business many decades ago.
He met Myra when she came looking for a job as a seamstress, and they got married shortly afterward. She continued working, and as the business grew, so did her role. Eventually, she helped Ethan run it.
Sadly, Ethan passed away at the age of 82 years old. He and Myra had been together for 55 years, and they had three children together — Marcus, Alexandra, and Johnny — who were all accompanying her at the funeral. Some of the executives were also in attendance, like Carl Ferguson.
“Yes, i have to. your father wanted this for some odd reason. he forced this on me. well, that ferguson guy is also kind of forcing me to live there. he was ‘surprised’ by this, but he didn’t reject it,” myra continued.
“Thank you, Carl,” she responded to the man’s words of comfort. She didn’t think much of him as other people came to offer their sympathies, but she should have noted the glint in Ferguson’s eyes.
Several weeks after the funeral, Myra was waiting with her children to see about the division of Ethan’s assets. She expected to get half of his estate, and the rest would be divided between the kids. But she hoped that they could arrange for them to get more of the business. At 79 years old, she was ready to let them handle it completely.
Unfortunately, they received the most surprising news. According to Ethan’s will, almost the entire estate, including Myra’s mansion, would go to Carl Ferguson, who was sitting quietly at one side of the room.
“That’s preposterous! That man isn’t family!” Johnny yelled at the lawyer, jumping out of his chair.
“Can you check again? My parents worked hard to get that house. It just doesn’t make any sense,” Alexandra chimed in, grabbing her brother’s shoulder to prevent him from causing a bigger scene.
Marcus was quiet but focused on his thoughts. He didn’t even look at Mr. Ferguson, but he knew something was off. Although neither of them wanted to be involved in the clothing business, they couldn’t imagine just handing it to a business partner. The other executives were not going to like this either. He was formulating a plan in his mind.
Meanwhile, Myra started crying quietly. She was mourning her husband’s death. She didn’t really care about that house anymore and had started thinking about selling it, mainly since she lived alone. But this didn’t seem right.
“I’m sorry that you’re upset. But this is the will Mr. Jenkins drafted with me, and there’s nothing else can I do,” Mr. Rothstein told them.
His siblings were still trying to argue, but Marcus spoke up. “Ok, Mr. Rothstein. Can you tell us what else is in the will?”
“Well, he left your mother his old trailer, and there are also a few things for all of you. He wanted you to have your old things from your rooms at the mansion. But that’s about it,” the attorney continued, reading several other things.
Marcus was thinking hard, and he turned toward Mr. Ferguson. “We’re going to respect our father’s wishes. But is there a way for you to let our mother have her house? The company is yours,” he asked, knowing the answer already.
“Ugh… I think if your father wanted me to have the house, we should respect that too. But I want you to know, son, that I’m just as surprised by this as anyone,” the older man responded, sitting straighter on his chair and raising his hands.
“Alright,” Marcus said, acting completely calm. “We’re going to help our mother move out and get the things Dad left us.”
“ARE YOU INSANE?” Johnny yelled at his brother, his hands in the air.
“Johnny, calm down. We’ll talk about this later,” Marcus said imperatively to his little brother. “Are we done here? Come on, Mom.” The three siblings grabbed their crying mother and left.
Over the next few days, they picked up their things from the mansion, but there was something that even calm Marcus couldn’t predict: their mother refused to move in with them.
“I’m moving to your father’s trailer,” she revealed, shocking all their children.
“Mom, be serious. You’re coming home with me,” Alexandra insisted. “You’ll help me with the kids, and we’ll build an in-law suite for you as soon as we can.”
“No, your father left me the trailer, and that’s where I’m going to live from now on,” Myra stated. “Now, drive me there.”
“Mom, no. We haven’t even seen that trailer in years. It’s probably dilapidated,” Johnny echoed her sister’s sentiment and tried to make her see reason. “You don’t have to live there just because you’ve been forced out of your house.”
“Yes, I have to. Your father wanted this for some odd reason. He forced this on me. Well, that Ferguson guy is also kind of forcing me to live there. He was ‘surprised’ by this, but he didn’t reject it,” Myra continued, and there was nothing her children could do about it.
Alexandra drove her to the trailer located in a rented lot near the sea where their dad used to fish. They opened the rusty door, which creaked loudly. Inside, they were assaulted by a cloud of dust. The air smelled stale and fishy, and although they had not used the place in years, there were dirty dishes in the sink.
“NO! Mom! NO! We’re going to my house! NOW!” Alexandra stated once again, trying to push her mother out of the house, but the older woman stayed planted, and even at her age, her daughter couldn’t move her.
“You can’t do that. I have to live here. I HAVE TO! YOUR FATHER WANTED ME TO!” Myra wailed and started crying again. Alexandra led her to the dirty old bed and sat down with her.
She had no idea why her mother was being this obstinate, but she couldn’t do anything but support her now. None of this made any sense. She couldn’t imagine why their father had given away everything they worked together to build.
“Please, Alexandra. I’m forced to live here now. This is in my name,” Myra stuttered through the tears, and Alexandra placated her.
“Ok, fine. But we’re going to clean this place up immediately and make it pretty. Will you let me do that?” her daughter said kindly. She hugged her mother tightly, and Myra nodded into her shoulder.
Meanwhile, Johnny and Marcus were back at the mansion, and they were waiting for a moving truck to take their things from their old rooms. Carl Ferguson was there, trying to act like the kindest man to them.
And finally, Marcus got his chance to try something. “Oh!” he snapped his fingers. “I left something in my room. I’ll go get it quickly.”
“I’ll go with you,” Carl stated, but Marcus gave Johnny a look. They had previously talked about what he was planning to do.
“Mr. Ferguson, what’s going to happen to our parents’ company. Are you expanding it? I believe Dad told us those were your plans?” he interjected, and Carl turned with his eyebrows raised.
He loved that topic and seemed pleased that Johnny had apparently accepted that he was the new owner. “Oh, well. Yes. We have plans for a European expansion….”
Meanwhile, Marcus went into the house, and instead of going to his room, he went into his father’s office, hoping that Ferguson had no idea about the floor safe. It was his father’s secret, and only Marcus, as the firstborn, knew about it.
He opened it and had little to no time at all, so he grabbed all the papers he could find, closed the safe, and went to his room for a final box he had left there on purpose.
“Ok, we’re ready,” Marcus said, maintaining a poker face as he walked outside and saw the moving truck finally arrive.
They helped get all the stuff into the truck, said goodbye to Ferguson, who looked cheerful, and left. Soon after, they gathered at Marcus’ house and sifted through the documents, finding exactly what they had been looking for.
“We’ve got them,” Johnny cheered, pumping his fist.
“Well, we don’t know that yet,” Marcus stated and called his lawyer. They had meetings with some of the other executives at their father’s business, who were just as baffled to discover who the new owner was. And finally, they called the police after a few days.
Alexandra, her children, and Myra cleaned the trailers for days. They changed the wallpaper, bought new things, including a new mattress, added flowers, and arranged everything. No one would let Myra’s stubbornness force her to live in squalor. In the end, the place wasn’t half bad, although it was an insane downgrade from the mansion.
They bought a nice outdoor furniture set and watched as Alexandra’s kids played in the ocean. It was peaceful.
“See, it’s not so bad,” Myra told her daughter. “You know, honey. I was actually thinking that maybe living in that house was too much. I wanted to sell it, give you guys most of the money and get myself something smaller. Maybe this is why he only gave me this.”
“But all the kids love that place, Mom. It’s our house, Mom,” Alexandra said. “But I can see what you’re saying. Still, I can’t really understand Dad’s actions. You both worked so hard. I know we all have different careers, but I think we could’ve all handled keeping the business running.”
“We’ll never know now, dear,” Myra replied, breathing in the cold sea air. “Do you want some more tea?”
After a few minutes, they were still enjoying their time outside the trailer when Alexandra’s phone rang.
“Hey Johnny,” she answered. “What?”
Myra looked at her daughter with a frown. She had straightened in her seat, listening intently at her brother on the phone.
“What’s going on?” the older woman whispered. “Can you ask Johnny to come spend time here?”
Alexandra shushed her mother and kept listening to her brother, then she finally laughed and jumped up. “Oh my god! Are you serious? Are you serious?” she yelled and started jumping around.
Eventually, she hung up the phone and grabbed her mother, making her stand up. “Mom, you can get your house back!”
“It was all a big con!” Alexandra revealed and cheered. She hugged her mother again.
“Honey, I’m glad you’re happy, but can you explain better?” Myra laughed with her daughter, but she had no idea what was happening.
“Mom, Carl Ferguson was in cahoots with the lawyer, and they made a fake will. Dad never left him anything!” she revealed. “Marcus and Johnny found the real will, and he said something about the other executives vowing that Dad didn’t trust Ferguson that much. There’s going to be a police investigation! Those people are going to jail!!”
“Oh, my. But why would Mr. Rothstein do something like that? He’s going to get disbarred,” Myra wondered, her hand on her mouth.
It took a few months, but the police finally found enough evidence to arrest Carl and Mr. Rothstein. It was a harrowing experience, but the truth of their actions came out, and finally, Myra could return to her house.
The original will stated that Ethan wanted half of his estate to go to Myra and the rest to the children. But the older woman didn’t want to return to her mansion. So her kids decided to sell the house and buy her the land where the trailer was located.
They managed to build her a beautiful tiny home in that lot, and Myra kept the trailer. She realized that though her husband never wanted her to live there, she still fell in love with it. Her grandchildren loved visiting and being by the sea.
Johnny decided to change career paths and manage the clothing business with the executives who had been loyal to them. Everything seemed perfect, and Myra did not regret what happened.
“Maybe this was meant to be, Alexandra,” Myra told her daughter one day during a family barbecue at her house.
“Eehh…. Don’t be silly, Mom. That man wanted to steal everything you created after years of work,” her daughter scoffed.
“Sure, but maybe fate had no other way of showing me that I needed to live by the sea,” Myra continued, smiling at her daughter.
“Fate is weird, then,” the younger woman said, grabbing the plates to finish setting the outdoor table. Myra wholeheartedly agreed.
What can we learn from this story?
Trust your children with your will and let them know your plans. Ethan Jenkins should’ve discussed the will with his kids so they wouldn’t be caught by surprise by a fake will. It’s always best to be open about these matters.
Some things happen for a reason. Despite being lied to and feeling forced to move to the old trailer, Myra didn’t regret it. She believed it was fate that brought her to the home she eventually loved.