A rich man’s spoiled daughter gets into trouble over drugs and bad men, so her father kicks her out, but a year later she leaves a baby on his doorstep.
Felicity Lancer was used to getting her way, and her father knew that it was all his fault. Felicity was his only child, and when her mother had died young, John Lanver had become even more attached to his daughter.
So as the years went by, wealthy John indulged his little Felicity. She had everything she wanted, from toys, to clothes, ponies, and puppies — but nothing pleased her for very long. What John didn’t realize was that it wasn’t a passing phase at all, and Felicity didn’t outgrow it. It got worse.
By the time she was fifteen, Felicity was running with a wild crowd, drinking a lot, and dating grown-up men, and some of them were very unsavory characters. John thought that Felicity was wild because she had grown up without a mother.
She needed help, he thought, so he took her to a therapist. Felicity went to therapy, but it didn’t seem to do her any good, and a while later John noticed that valuable items were vanishing from their house.
Then one day, Felicity was arrested for shoplifting, and John was horrified. The judge was sympathetic and ordered Felicity to do community service and (more) therapy.
Felicity didn’t get better, she got worse. Not long after that, John realized that his daughter had started taking drugs. “Felicity,” he said gently. “You know I love you and I’d do anything for you. I’ve found a place in Arizona…”
“Arizona?” cried Felicity mockingly. “That weather frizzed out my hair, daddy-oh! Forget it!”
“You need help, Felicity,” John said. “You’re getting closer and closer to the edge and you’re so young — if you don’t pull back it will become a way of life.”
“What are you now?” screamed Felicity. “A shrink? Just do what you do best, and write out a check so I can get what I need!”
John was deadly pale. “No my dear, there will be no more money,” he said. “I have had every piece of art and electronic equipment you could pawn removed from the house. You’ll have food and drink, but no money for drink or drugs.”
“You can’t do this to me. I HATE YOU!” Felicity shrieked and tried to strike out at her dad. John held her wrists gently.
“If you want to live in this house, there will be no drink and no drugs,” he explained. “If you don’t want that, you can leave now.”
She forgot that what you give is what you get.
“I’m leaving,” Felicity shouted. “And you’ll be sorry, you pathetic old man! You’ll be sorry!” And with those words, Felicity walked out of John’s life and he never saw her again, although she did leave him a ‘souvenier’ later on.
About 18 months after Felicity left, John’s housekeeper ran into his study. “Sir? Mr. Lancer, come quick!” she gasped. Worried, John followed her to the front door where an astonishing sight greeted him.
There was a basket on the front step, and inside it was a baby, a newborn wrapped in a hospital blanket. Pinned to the blanket was a note:
“Daddy, if you hadn’t kicked me out, I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant. I don’t want this brat, so take her in, if you want, or put her in an orphanage, I don’t care.”
John was stunned. He’d always told himself that Felicity’s problems were because of her drinking and her drugs, but now he saw that this was who she really was. He looked down at the tiny baby and smiled.
“Maybe you’re my second chance, and this time, I’m going to get it right,” he said. John named his grandaughter Hope and he loved her dearly. Hope grew up loving and kind and gentle and devoted to her grandfather.
She was a bright girl who did well in school and went to college, after which she started to work with her grandfather and joined his company as VP. Sadly, John passed away when Hope was just 26.
When his will was read, Hope learned that he’d left her everything he had, his money, properties, and companies — and nothing to her mother.
Hope was shattered by the loss of her only relative, and that was when Felicity made her move. She phoned Hope and asked to see her. “Please,” she said sweetly, “It’s been so long…Surely I’ve been punished enough?”
“Punished?” asked Hope. “I don’t understand.”
“Well, daddy wouldn’t let me see you,” Felicity said tearfully. “He said I was a bad influence — and I admit, I was into a crazy life, but I’ve changed…”
Hesitantly, Hope agreed to meet Felicity the next day. When she got home, she walked into her grandfather’s study and started going through some of the old family albums. There was her mother as a little girl!
She looked so happy, and a lot like Hope. Could she have been as bad as that? Had her kindly, loving grandfather really forbidden Felicity to see her only daughter? That just didn’t sound like him at all.
Then a slip of paper fell out of one of the albums. Hope picked it up and unfolded it and read the note Felicity had left pinned to her baby blanket. “So,” she whispered, “that’s who you are!”
The next morning, when Felicity walked into Hope’s office, she was smiling. “My baby!” she cried stretching out her arms, but Hope stepped back and smiled just as charmingly.
“Hello, Felicity,” she said. “So nice to meet you!”
Felicity was a bit confused but she kept her cool. “You’re so pretty!” she cried and sat down without being asked. She looked around. “The company looks like it’s doing really well…”
“Yes,” said Hope. “We keep making a profit, which in this current economy is a bit of a miracle.”
“Oh honey,” sighed Felicity. “My life has been hard, I can tell you! I can hardly make ends meet…” Felicity dabbed at a few tears. “I hope you’ll be kind to your momma…”
“Of course,” said Hope coolly. “Grandpa left everything to me, but I think that by rights THIS belongs to you.” And she handed Felicity an envelope.
Felicity opened it eagerly, expecting to find a generous check inside. Instead, she found a much folded old note. She opened it and read: ‘I don’t want this brat, so take her in if you want…’
She raised her head and met her daughter’s eyes. “You’re not my mother,” Hope said. “You never were, so take what you gave me and get out.” Felicity never tried to contact her daughter again.
What can we learn from this story?
You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. John tried to help Felicity again and again, but all she wanted was for him to enable her to live how she wanted.
Being a mother is more than just giving birth. Felicity wanted to claim Hope’s love and loyalty for profit, but she forgot that what you give is what you get.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.