Gazing out the window of the cruise ship, looking at the setting sun, I could feel my Grandma gazing down at me. My mind wandered back to a time sitting on our porch when my Grandma used to tell me a true story about my Aunt Dorothy who slipped and fell on a wet floor in a bank. Yes, she was hurt, but she was not hurt as badly as she let on. Clutching her back, she immediately declared the fall in the bank had permanently damaged her back. After many doctor appointments, therapy, and a year of playing like she was in pain Aunt Dorothy was finally paid a lump sum of $10,000 from the bank’s insurance company. Grandma told me for over a year the insurance company watched Aunt Dorothy to see what she was doing. Aunt Dorothy was not able to hang clothes or live her normal, active life. She played the hurt, disabled, victim well to receive the much needed money to buy her house. This life changing event took place a few years following the depression, this $10,000 settlement was worth equivalent to what a $100,000 would be today!
As the moral of the story goes, karma, after all the misconception poor Aunt Dorothy was diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis several years later. Myastenia Gravis is considered a serious muscle weakness that affects the skeletal muscle and a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease with no cure. The small lump settlement she received for the fall was long gone as she used it to buy her house. With her autoimmune disease she now faced lifelong doctor appointments and expensive medicine. If she did not take the medicine her heart muscles would stop working, her eyelids would droop and other severe medical conditions would crop up.
This was a true story my Grandma would tell me as a small child to impress upon me to always tell the truth. While I’m not perfect, this true family story was imprinted into my brain, so I will always try to do the right thing, cause Karma can be a bitch…
It’s odd how gazing off into the sunset brings back memories of things said in the past and reminds me to be in the present cause life can change in an instant!
What family stories have shaped your life? Comments below please.