Being HONEST Pays Into Generations

Where do I start with this amazing story. First of all it is true. Second of all I was an eye-witness to it. Third, there are others in our family who have heard this story from those who were directly involved (not me) even though the people who experienced this are now gone to the grave.

It started with my Dad, who quit school in the eighth grade to work on the farm after his Dad died just before the great depression. The farm was in great debt and it was in danger of being foreclosed on. My Dad, his brother, five sisters and his mother worked around the clock to make enough money to pay the bills. Dad could not have been more than thirteen years old at the time and was the youngest of the family. Dad was by no means perfect but he had certain rules that he lived by. The same with my Mother.

Dad worked along with the rest of his family on that farm with only a break during World War II when he was drafted. From the time of age 13 on to age 30, he saw no real money from his labors except to see the farm become solvent. It had a large affect on him for the rest of his life and how he viewed money.

Dad began to earn a salary from the farm when he married my Mother in 1950 (?) and they lived with Grandma for three years. He was given an acre of land (estimated) and my parents built their home on this land. It was land of clay (the worst for farming on the farm) but it was good for building a house on. My parents moved into that house with no running water, no front door, and no kitchen cupboards. I remember walking across our living room floor with no carpet and just floor boards. I was excited when our carpeting was installed. I still remember the colors of the carpet and the pattern.

Sometime during the time before my Dad married my Mother, my Grandmother promised my Dad that she would give him ten acres of that farm as his own someday. Now I loved my Grandmother so very very much because she was kind to me and my sisters when there was very little kindness in our lives. So this part of the story is hard to tell. In the early 1960s, my Grandmother sold that farm to a land developer because it was situated near Detroit and there were many houses being built in the area at the time. A land developer offered her a large amount of money (I don't know what it was but it was more than she ever dreamed of having) to purchase her farm. She sold the farm without consulting my Dad and surprised him with the news. Suddenly after so many years of working on that farm and caring for her, my dad was looking at not having a way to make a living.  My uncle had more money put aside and it was not hard for him to look for other land. Grandma told Dad that he would not be able to farm the land in a very short time.

In the meantime, my uncle, dad's brother had received his acreage (as far as I know) and could have also profited by this sale. Dad asked for his ten acres and my grandmother told him "to go to hell." Dad, who was well loved by his mother and very spoiled by her was crushed. It is the first time I ever saw him cry. He was so very hurt and angry. It was like a storm as I witnessed this as a little girl (just under 10 years old). I remember Dad wondering how in the world he would be able to make a living. He did not know how to do anything in his life but farm. His tears turned to anger and my mother spoke up at the kitchen/dining room table. She told my Dad that he had to get rid of his anger toward my grandmother (a feat in itself since my mother fought with my grandmother most of the time) and put his trust in God that God would make this right.

As a child I prayed that we would be taken care of. I know my parents were also praying. In the meantime, Dad continued to farm Grandma's land until one day (not a long time from the time that Dad received the news that the farm was sold) a man that my Dad knew in real estate came by our home. My parents spent time looking at farms all over Michigan as I was growing up. It was something they could do that did not cost money and helped them keep an eye on what land was worth. Well, back to the story. This man had just become aware of property for sale that he thought my Dad would love to farm. He was especially urgent to get in touch with Dad because the owner was a widow lady who could not keep up her farm any longer and wanted to sell as quickly as possible. Another buyer had offered this woman a very very low price for her farm and the real estate agent was greatly bothered by this buyer trying to rip off a widow for the sake of profit. This real estate agent knew that my parents were honest people.

Dad went with this real estate agent (yes, I remember his name but do not want to tell it here) and became so excited that it was a farm that seemed like the perfect farm for us. The farm had not been planted or tilled for many years (many times this makes the ground more fertile and productive). It was not that far from the Detroit Eastern Market where Dad sold produce and the house and buildings were in good shape also. There was only one problem, the farm was worth much more than Dad could afford to pay. Now my parents sat at the table and talked about what they could do. They figured out what they could afford (it was more than the other buyer had offered but not much more than that). Now here was a farm that they finally liked. They had to leave the farm they were on. Dad could be out of work with no way to continue farming and oh how he loved to farm and was very good at it. It was all he knew how to do.  How tempting it would be to take that farm from this widow to save their skins. They never entered their minds.

My parents came to the conclusion that they must be honest with this woman who owned the farm. I had never seen them so frightened but they stuck to honesty and sat down with this widow and explained to her that her farm was worth much more than she was asking and that she could make much more money on it if she were a bit patient. She boldly declared to my parents that if they did not want to buy the farm for a few dollars more than the other buyer, she would sell to the buyer that came in at such a low price. My parents then made the deal with her to buy her farm.

Out of what looked like a huge problem with no solution, a door was opened up for us to have our own farm. That farm later sold to another land developer and the money helped my parents to live even beyond farming. I believe that none of this would have taken place if my parents had reacted in a normal way toward my Grandmother and held anger against her. I do not think that the opportunity of even knowing about this farm would have presented itself. When my parents were truthful and honest with this widow, God opened a door for them to prosper His way instead of opening a door of greed that would eventually rob from my parents.

Moral of the story: When you lie or take things that are not yours, you will eventually be lied to and stolen from. When you rely on God and do it His way, He does just as the Bible says - He increases you and adds no sorrow to it.

There were many years of memories on that farm of Dad singing and whistling as he tilled and harvested the land. Oh how I miss those days of watching him enjoy the fruits of his labors.

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