now “owned” by her son. She controlled nothing. To make a long story short I will bypass the months spent with her attorney trying to reestablish her independence by proving she was lucid and of sound mind. It was no easy matter. She never did get all of her money and saving back, for her son had spent a goodly sum. She would discover that the jewelry that was in a safe deposit box now only had a few pieces, and he had cancelled all of her pledges to several benevolent groups telling them she was not in her right mind.
All of this was such a terrible burden on her and had debilitating effects on her health. Still she was determined to regain control, and she did and never regretted the effort it took. What she regretted was the decisions to turn all of her affairs over to him in the first place. It was very clear during the course of the hearings that it was all about his selfish desires. He fought her all the way, but the court found in her favor and forced her son to return all that he could, but much of the money was gone for good. Thankfully, the jewelry was found in the possession of his mistress, and when the verdict was handed down by the judge, he asked her if there was anything else, she answered, “Yes, your honor, I want to disinherit my son.”
It is very easy to look back over those agonizing years and see that she was mistaken to take into her confidence her larcenous son. He never intended to take care of her, there was never a hint that he would ever do the right thing concerning his mother’s well being. Even her home was only days away from going into escrow with some developer.
Celeste admitted that having her son assuming the role of administrator seemed like a good idea at the time, free of such burdens. She would hate herself for trusting him and not asking pertinent questions or doing things legally. Thankfully her son had the IQ of an asparagus, otherwise Celeste would have had a much more difficult time in court. The character that aided her son was not what one would consider brilliant, and his efforts to disguise what they were doing revealed their malfeasance his firm was involved in! Three cheers for mal-administration!!
Celeste would take that cruise to the Hawaiian Islands eventually with her lady friends. She needed that to rejuvenate her. “I have learned quite the lesson”, she would exclaim. Her wounds would heal with God’s grace, and she became quite the advocate for having all of one’s affairs in order and well laid out. She couldn’t stress enough the need to be prepared for the future to the point of not having to depend on anyone else for assistance, and that no one blindly allow someone else to handle personal business. One thing she was most adamant about was learning to think things out and listen to that wee small voice that may be trying to alert you.
This should be a lesson to everyone to be cautious, especially where your future is concerned. Trust is a delicate matter and having complete assurance can give you peace of mind that you are in good hands and that the person will not betray you. Again there are times in your life that you have an important decision to make, so give it thought and pray for guidance, and keep alert. Best of all you will have no regrets!
I have another story where common sense was not exercised, nor was good judgment. It is the story of a woman who was years ago a dear friend of my mother’s. I saw her as a charming, witty and sophisticated lady and it was always a delight to see her. She was tall, stately always looked chic in her basically western style of clothing, with a sense of glamour. She raised thoroughbred horses and lived on a wonderful California ranch. And was always willing to extend a hand to anyone in need. I say this to set the stage for what will happen to this exceptional woman.
Margot had never wed, saying she was married to the ranch, which she ran with aplomb. She had several hands for the horses and to keep the place positively immaculate. The main house was quite large and very Spanish in architecture, with grounds that were so inviting. I loved visits there, for Margot’s warmth made everyone feel welcomed and special. I cannot impress who she was enough, for what happened to Margot was …..(Continued next month)