My grandfather did everything he could to be a part of the family, but my grandmother held it against him because he was of European decent. My grandmother is African-American. None of the family members ever got the full details of how my grandmother and grandfather got together. Regardless, grandma wasn’t happy about Grandpa’s interest in the black side of the family.
My grandfather would attend the family reunions no matter how deep in the south my grandmother held the reunions. One year the family reunion was on a cruise ship. Of course my grandfather couldn’t cruise with us for the entire seven days. My grandmother thought she had figured out a way to leave my grandfather out. Wrong. Grandpa landed on the cruise ship in a helicopter!
It didn’t matter, Grandpa never stayed at a family reunion more than a couple hours. We always knew when my grandfather was about to arrive. There would be a sudden influx of plain clothes security officers who made sure the environment was safe for my grandfather.
Within an hour or two, Grandpa Will’s limo or helicopter, appeared and he’d step out in grand style. By the time he had both feet on the ground, I would run to greet him.
My grandfather was always a welcomed guest in my mind. He’d place a $100 bill in an envelope for every member of the family. He said at the end of ten years, he’d determine who invested their money prudently. Who ever won would receive one million dollars. There was no doubt that I would win the contest. My cousins weren’t interested, and from what the tabloids said, neither was my grandfather’s “other” side of the family. My grandmother insisted that grandpa was trying to buy loyalty.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that I needed to invest my $100 each year. My grandfather wrote a book entitled, “Making Your First Million.” The book didn’t sell well in the book stores, but my grandfather didn’t care. He sold over 90,000 copies in Amazon’s Kindle Store.
High-tech investors were more into what my grandfather had to say than blue chip stock holders, and with good reason. My grandfather was the co-founder of Secure-Alert. Grandpa’s software program could be downloaded onto a computer, and record everything that happens in a room, even when the computer was idle.
American corporations, housewives, single-moms and financial institutions purchased my grandfather’s software program. Anyone who wanted to spy on the people purchased the software. My grandfather’s biggest client, which a few people realized, was governments from around the world, including our own.
Big Brother was officially online, and only an experienced computer technician could tell you if the software was on the computer. It software doesn’t show up in the control panel.
Corporation in America couldn’t get enough downloads. Grandpa was popular and disliked all at the same time. People protested in front of his New York City office because of privacy issues. There were YouTube videos calling for the death of his company because they believed his software to be an invasion of privacy.
More than anything, I wanted to be successful like my grandfather. I pondered on what to do with my $100 each year. I thought of buying stock in my grandfather’s company, which I fully intended to control, one day. I didn’t care what the rest of the family said, just because Grandpa Will was white didn’t mean I would be left out of the estate. Grandpa made it clear that he would not support family members who didn’t believe in creating goals and following through on their goals. This meant I was the only grandchild in the running for his inheritance!
Most of the family misunderstood my grandfather. Grandpa didn’t believe in hand-outs or buying people’s loyalty. He believed in people controlling their own future and using whatever tools that were available to them.
One day, my mother asked me why I was so supportive of my grandfather?
I never shall forget that day. My mother’s mouth dropped open when I answered her question.
“Mama, grandpa believes that all people in America have the same opportunities. It’s just that some have to attain their goals differently than others because of education and different background.”
My mother was standing up when she asked, but then she sat down, and said, “That’s interesting. How does he suggest that the uneducated and low income people accomplish their goals?”
“Grandpa believes that you set your goals based on your knowledge and belief of what you can achieve. And how you commit to your goals, determines the person you’ll become.”
“How do you know this?” my mother asked.
“Because I read his books and he wrote a chapter on his personal beliefs and how his beliefs helped him to become the man he is!”
My mother who is bi-racial, replied, “Go get me the book.”
I rushed into my bedroom to find the book. When I returned my mother was making a cup of coffee. She was preparing to read. After giving me instructions on what and how to prepare our dinner, she put on her reading glasses and began reading her father’s book.
I was seventeen, but my mother taught me to cook almost ever African-American meal known in the black community. That night I prepared B-B-Q chicken, which I boiled in the oven and then glazed the chicken with honey sweet B-B-Q sauce. I prepared macaroni and cheese from the box, before boiling a pot of seasoned water for two cans of French green-beans. I heated the left-over cornbread from the night before, and prepared a plate for my mom.
“Thank you Gina,” she said without ever looking up from her book.
I prepared my plate and went into my room to talk to friends, online.
It was around 10:30 PM, five hours later when I returned my plate to the kitchen sink. My mother was still sitting at the kitchen table reading. I knew better than todistrube her. I said nothing and went back to my room.
The next morning was Saturday, no school for me, and no work for my mother. Saturday morning is when we would do major cleaning, and would go shopping or to a movie on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night was for boyfriends. My mother had several, I had none. The only boy I liked, Stuart, had just moved from Seattle to San Francisco. His father got a promotion and relocated his entire family. On Saturday nights, Stuart and I skyped or synchronize a Netflix movie, while texting each other.
I got up early and went into the kitchen. I found out why my mother wasn’t yelling for me to wake up and clean the house. She was asleep at the kitchen table right where I left her the night-before. Her laptop was on, and half closed..
“Mama, mama,” I gently shook her. “Why don’t you go to bed?”
It took my mother a few moments to come to herself. “Gina, we’re going into business.” my mother said half-asleep.
“How’s that mama?” I asked.
“Your grandfather, he laid out the formula. All we have to do is follow the plan. And the best part is we only need $100 to get started.”
The tone in my mother’s voice made me realize that she was serious. She read her father’s book and was excited by what she had learned. I was ready to listen, but no matter what she said, I was still going to college in San Francisco.
My mother laid out a business plan for us to follow. We became affiliates for my grandfather’s software company. We received payment when people signed up for the software when using one of our links, online. We were paid again, each year, when the clients renewed their license. My mother had it all figured out. I watched her as she enjoyed being the boss and giving me assignments. For some strange reason this made me smile. My mother was now my boss!
Mom had already set up the free affiliate account with her father’s company. Now all we had to do was to set up our blog and market our site. There was a lot to learn, but it was fun working with my mom. She stopped nagging me and started treating me more like an adult.
We started doing house-hold chores during the week. We stop going to the movies on Saturday afternoons. We would do door to door sales to small business owners on Saturday morning and early Saturday afternoon. We would each share in the online task to generate web visitors during the week, and we would shared in the profits 50-50.
Once we started earning a profit we started advertising for our own affiliates. We were able to earn a commission from their sales as well. My grandfather’s company used a residual income platform. Affiliates received pay for the life of the clients they referred into the company. Built in bonus made our job exciting, My mother was excited yet she was calm and meticulous. I could tell she was serious and happy.
Grandpa was proud that his daughter from another woman was involved with his company. I was happy for my mother. While reading her father’s book, she read the hidden messages which were especially for her. Her father spoke to her through a book, and for that she was a happier person.
Our business is doing great. We have over 800 active affiliates who help us to sell my grandfather’s software each month. My mother quite her job at the factory and I’m now in my junior year of college. I’m still dating Stuart. For now, I just want to graduate from college, and travel around the world.
My mother and I have a substantial monthly income. My mother is excited about traveling with me for three months after I graduate from college. Stuart and his family will meet up with us in Rome and will spend two weeks with us in Europe.
The online business saved my relationship with my mother. Before she became my boss, we were fighting and arguing most of the time. I’m glad we have a common interest. And there is no doubt that I will run my grandfather’s corporation one day.
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