Take The Money Or Run?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Take The Money Or Run?Accepting a financial gift vs. making your own.
When I was in my late twenties my Auntie Sylvia, who’d been a second mother to me, was dying. Her son Stephen had died of cancer when he was only a boy and she’d sort of adopted me afterwards. I hadn’t seen much of her in my twenties because I had been too caught up in my marriage, sons and then separation, but when she was very ill I borrowed some money from Jim to fly down and see her in London. We were pretty broke at the time and wondering how we were going to shift our bills.
Sylvia, who was a very practical, down-to-earth woman, was busy setting her life to rights before she died and as I sat by her bed she told me that she’d decided she wanted me to be sole heir for her and her husband Michael. Now they’d done very well for themselves and it would have been a matter of several hundred thousand pounds, money which would have altered my life beyond recognition.
Sitting there, knowing I’d needed Jim’s last pay packet for the journey, my instinct was to say, “No, I don’t want the money.” And even as I said it, my brain was thinking, “What the hell’s coming out of my mouth? Shut up!”
“You can’t say that,” Sylvia said. “You need that cash. Think what you can set up for your sons.”
And I still said no, even though I didn’t know why.
I was with Sylvia for several days and she kept trying to bring the matter up, but I stayed firm. At the time I didn’t have much cash of my own, but I was reckless with what I had. I’d just started my development as a medium and was getting a bird’s-eye view of my own character for the first time and I thought that if I inherited that money at some unknown point in the future when Michael died, I would probably go out on the town and party or give it all away.
When Sylvia died, I went back to Glasgow and found Jim very upset. His own mother was very sick, even though she was only in her early sixties, and when I confided to him my regret that I hadn’t spent more time with Sylvia, he admitted that the only thing he wanted now was to take his mum on a last holiday. We only had 15 quid between us at the time.
In Stories from the Other Side I gave an account of what happened next. As we were sitting in front of the telly I saw a roulette wheel in my mind’s eye and the little white ball dropping, click, into the zero. It happened again, click. That was enough. I took the cash we had and drove to Chevalier Casino, hoping I wouldn’t have trouble finding a parking space, as there was barely any fuel in the tank.
From there it all went like clockwork: a parking slot by the door, an empty roulette table just opposite the entrance and our £15 turning into £3,500 in the space of a half-hour. I hardly knew what I was doing, but the numbers kept coming up and I was soon stuffing my blazer pockets with chips.
When I got home I made Jim try to guess how much I’d won and he’d got as far as £500 when I took all the bills out of my pockets and threw them up in the air. That £3,500 was enough – and no more – for a wonderful holiday for Jim and his mum and to shift our debts. Every single penny from heaven had a purpose – it wasn’t pure luck, but something deeper than that.
Now in case you think I’m making myself out to be some kind of saint for turning down Sylvia’s money and using the casino winnings for a noble purpose, I should tell you that later I found another £800 in chips in the pockets of my blazer and of course Jim and I thought we’d got it made. This would be our new way of making money – till we got banned from the casino. So back to the Chevalier we went and in five minutes we’d lost the lot. Talk about a lesson learned! We never returned to the casino after that.
Years later, when my Uncle Michael died in an accident, the family was shocked to discover that he and Sylvia had divided their money between everyone in the family apart from me. Because my uncle and aunt were extremely close to me, it seemed strange, but I knew it was what I’d talked over with Sylvia. She did have the last laugh, though. The lawyers handed over an envelope with my name on it that contained a cheque for £5,000 and a note from Sylvia saying, “Have a bit of fun.”