She was the richest woman in the United States.
In the last quarter of the 19th century, she lived in California. Her husband was a senator, and at that time he was also the governor of California.
Their residence was in San Francisco Bay in Palo Alto.
Madame Stanford, the first lady of California, was beautiful, rich and thin.
She had everything that made her happy.
And she also had an only child named Leland.
Leland was the poem of the happiness of Stanford´s family. Leland had two green eyes, which looked like two emeralds.
And sometimes Mom was with him, she’d tell him:
— “I’d like to take off to make a beautiful necklace and hang it on my chest.
The Stanford parents loved their son, but they loved it the way it’s fashionable today:
they loved him, but without living together.
Not knowing that love is coexistence.
But, Madame Stanford was the first lady. She had no time: she had social commitments, political obligations, her presence in meetings of frivolity kept her away from home.
However, she said to her friends:
For my son Leland, there’s nothing missing.
He has a French nanny! He has a German nanny and an American nanny.
Soon, in her vision, her son had everything.
After all, she loved him in her own way.
Leland always tried to make the most of his parents’ presence when it happened. He was dazzled.
Madame Stanford booked once a week to talk with her son. That was Leland’s happiness and life.
A while later, Madame Stanford’s aunt passed away. She was an aunt on the poor side of the family and lived in a poor neighborhood in San Francisco. That didn’t please Madame much.
A social journalist of the time discovered this kinship of the renowned Stanford family. So this same journalist decided to publish on the front page of the newspaper:
An aunt of Madame Stanford died. Madame is in mourning.
When Madame Stanford read the article in the newspaper, she ended up revolting. And she thought:
“What a miserable aunt.” She died in the spring when she could have died in the winter.
Just now, when she opens the San Francisco opera, that mishap comes up.
And Madame Stanford had to stay in mourning.
On the second day of her mourning, Madame Stanford went to see her husband, Mr. Stanford, and asked him:
What do I do? This house is a museum, how am I supposed to distract myself?
The husband who loved her, and he was a little older than her, told her:
“Honey, play with your son, Leland.
It really is. I’m going there right now.
And she headed for the left hall of the great palace where her son’s room was.
And when she entered his room, he was playing an instrument that is one of the predecessors of pianos.
He was playing a very sad tune.
Madame Stanford came in and sat on the carpet.
She looked at Leland and saw the brightness of her son’s green eyes.
Her son was very happy with this surprise visit.
Leland continued to play, but Madame spoke:
What beautiful, sad music. Do you know the words?
Yes, Mama! Leland answered.
My German nanny taught me to sing it.
Madame Stanford asked:
Sing it for me, my son!
Leland sang the song in the most beautiful French. When she finished playing, Madame was very emotional. She asked again:
Leland, what does this song mean?
Mama, it’s a story of a fisherman from NOrmandia. It’s like this. Every day a couple would take their little boy to the boat. The father would get on the boat in the morning and go fishing.
In the afternoon, the mother would take the boy to the beach to welcome the father.
But one day, the father didn’t return.
The mother watched the sea. She spent the whole night looking at the sea, and the next day the father didn’t come back either.
So, for a few days, until the mother told her son:
Son, I’ll get your father. And she added:
The mermaids stole him from me. Wait for me, son.
And so that mother went into the sea, and never came back either.
Her son would be there then until today waiting and watching the sea.
Leland — starts Madame Stanford — is really a sad story. Do you like that song?
Yes, Mama! Leland answered.
Why? My son? Madame questioned him.
It’s just that the boy looks like me, Mommy! Leland sentenced him.
Madame Stanford was frightened, she asked him:
How? You’re the son of the governor of California. You’re my son. And so you’re on a deserted beach?
Yes, Mama, that’s how I feel!! and Leland complements it:
Dad never has time for me.
And Mommy goes after him in the ocean of life.
and never comes back.
And then I’m always waiting here.
And Madame Stanford sentences:
Oh, my son. Forgive me!
I hadn’t realized that. Shall we play now?
And Madame Stanford ran off with her son and discovered what it is to love by living together.
That week was wonderful for both of us.
Leland was laughing, and even Madame Stanford was climbing the trees in the garden.
Suddenly, Leland asked his mother:
Mommy, why are you home this week?
Oh, my son — you started Madame — they’re social impositions. That’s because an aunt of ours died. And when a relative dies, we have to stay home.
And Leland questions his mother:
For how long, Mother?
For a week, Leland.
Leland astonished let go of the question:
Mama, how many aunts do we have left?
Meanwhile, one of Madame Stanford’s friends, who missed her at social events, went to get her so that Madame could practice charity.
There was an orphanage in San Francisco. And perhaps with that opportunity, the newspapers could report it:
Madame Stanford is so sad, and she went to charity with the orphans.
So her friend said to Madame:
Prepare the sweets and tomorrow, which is Sunday, go to the orphanage. There the reporters and photographers will be waiting for you. Everyone will be able to see your greatness. And so it was. On Sunday morning, Madame Stanford prepared herself and had the best to take to the orphanage.
She stood in front of her luxury carriage and sat down with two employees, but looked down the stairs Leland had arrived.
He’d never taken a carriage ride before.
Leland was beautiful and wearing blue velvet. And madame asks him:
Would you like to go with me?
Leland ran and got into the carriage. As he sat down beside his mother, he asked her:
Where will we go, Mama?
We’re going to an orphanage.
Leland was still in doubt:
Mama, what is an orphanage?
Don’t you know what an orphanage is, Leland?
No, Mama! He answers affectionately.
And she starts:
Leland, an orphanage is a place for orphans.
Mommy, but what are orphans? Leland's questions were unbeatable.
But you really don’t know, Leland?
No, Mommy! Leland says.
Orphan! Orphan? Let me think a little Leland — Madame Stanford tries to remember the concept.
I reminded Leland, orphans are those boys who live on the streets of the city.
They’re the miserable ones who have no fathers and no mothers.
At that moment, in a frightening way, Leland interrupts his mother:
But, Mama, here in San Francisco there are children who have no father and no mother? And no bread?
Yes, my son, there are many of them,” replied madame.
But Mama, isn’t Papa the governor?
Leland, this is a political thing.
But, Mama — Leland continued — don’t you have any bread? There’s bread left at home every day.
Leland — Madam begins — this is God’s problem.
Soon after, the carriage arrives at the orphanage door.
The orphans left. They were all thin, badly treated, teeth out of their mouths, disheveled, malnourished, dirty, just like those presented in Charles Dickens’ story.
And then when Leland saw them he shouted smiling at Madame Stanford:
Mama! But they’re children!
Leland then took a tray out of the hands of one of the servants and started feeding the orphans.
Leland was frightened of how the orphans ate.
And Leland kept talking and asking each orphan’s name.
Suddenly, Madame Stanford calls her son into the corner and says:
Leland, my son, those are the lowest level of our society. I don’t want you involved with them.
But, Mama — Leland sentences — they’re children like me. I never play with children.
Madame Stanford resolutely speaks:
Leland, we have finished our charity work. She smiled at everyone and thanked them. She took her son and the carriage, slammed the door and everyone went back to the palace in Palo Alto.
While the carriage was leaving, Leland shouted out the window to the orphans:
I’ll be back!
At the same moment, Madame Stanford told her son with a stiff finger:
You will never come back here again, Leland!
But, Mama? They’re orphans — Leland asked Mama.
You’re the only son of the governor of California. As if you hadn’t paid attention to what your mother had said, Leland continued:
Mama, did you notice the walls at the orphanage? Damaged and dirty walls.
Did I want to give the orphans a present?
Do you remember the $1,000 that my sponsor gave me for Christmas?
Of course, I remember, Leland. Madame says.
So, Mama, I wanted to give my $1,000 to the orphans.
Madame tries to convince her son:
Leland, that money is yours. Your father put it in a savings account so that you can earn an interest in the future. But, Mama, what’s $1,000? — Leland asked and already looking at his mother’s necklace — that necklace of yours cost $600,000. Madame insists:
That’s not the point, Leland. Your money is on deposit, and I won’t give it to you.
As they reached the Stanford family palace, Leland ran to his room, pulling his mother by the hand.
At the bedroom window, Leland asked euphorically:
Mom, what’s the direction of the orphanage?
There, my son, in that direction — answer madam.
So that’s where it is then — begins Leland — that my brothers, the orphans, are?
Scared, madam answers:
Don’t say that, my son. You’re an only child! You have no brother.
The next day, Leland talks to his mother:
Mama, I wish I could ask you to go to the orphanage. Clearly, she answers:
Never again, Leland! I regret taking you there. On the third day, Leland talks to mother:
Mommy, take me to the orphanage!
No, Leland! — Madame answers decisively.
On the fourth day, Leland got sick. He had a fever. The family doctor was called.
The doctor realized it was some kind of disorder of an emotional nature. And Madame Stanford said:
There are only two possible solutions, madam!
Take him to the orphanage or get him out of the United States!
I choose the second option! Madame says without thinking for a moment.
And it complements:
Since I take a trip around the world every year, I’ll anticipate it and already take Leland.
So, madame has scheduled a trip to Europe. Taking your son Leland.
On the day they were on the luxury liner leaving San Francisco towards Barcelona, Leland being on the deck of the ship asks his mother:
Mama, which side is the orphanage on?
In that direction, my son! Madame answers by pointing in the direction of San Francisco.
So that’s it — Leland says in a whisper — so that’s where they are, isn’t it, Mama? My orphan brothers, isn’t it?
Leland, remove this absurd thought from your mind.
Already settled in the city of Catalonia in Spain, Leland asks his mother:
Mama, which side is the United States?
In that direction, my son — madame answers.
Then it’s there! Leland says in a low voice.
Madame and her son went for a walk in Madrid and Barcelona. They passed through the Swiss Alps and went to Paris.
No matter what the place, Leland always asks: in which direction was the orphanage?
And the mother always answered promptly:
It’s there! It’s that way! Or it’s on the other side, and so on.
It was August, they passed through Rome, but Leland ended up with yellow fever. Which at the time was a pandemic.
The doctors looked at that pale, trembling child. After the tests, they told Madame Stanford:
Madame, your son will die!
Madame already crying says:
That can’t happen! He is my son.
He is Senator Stanford’s son!
Suddenly, she screams at the doctors:
Who is the person who can save my son?
The greatest authority in the world today is Queen Victoria’s doctor.
She, without wasting any time, asked the doctors:
Send it to him! If necessary, bring it the own Queen Victoria. I can pay anything. My son cannot die.
During that wait, Leland was sweating and suffering from the fever.
Suddenly, Leland speaks to his mother:
Mama, take me to the window!
The windows were opened. The wind was strong, and yet Leland asked his mother:
Mommy, whose side is San Francisco on?
Oh, my son! Madame said: San Francisco is that way.
The lady already knew the urgency, so she added to her son’s words:
Take care, my son, so you can visit your brothers there.
Leland, however, answered:
Mama, I’m so tired.
Mommy, take me to bed.
Already in his bed, Leland seemed to be delirious. But he looked firmly at his mother and asked:
Mommy, when I die.
Suddenly, madame interrupted him:
Leland, but you won’t die!
Mama, when I die, you’ll be a mother who has no children. Am I right?
Then, Mama, I want to ask you something!
Mama, be the mother of children who have no children!
Madame Stanford interrupts you: Leland, you don’t have to die, I can be your mother and theirs too.
Suddenly, as if delirious, Leland speaks:
Look, Mama. Look! They’re coming!
Leland starts saying the exact names of some of the orphans he met there at the orphanage in San Francisco. They’re all calling me. I’ll be right there, Mama.
No, don’t go, Leland! — madam screams scared and faints.
Leland takes one last breath and silences dead.
When madam woke up, Leland was already dead and had his beautiful green eyes open.
Her son was prepared to return to be buried in San Francisco.
When they arrived in San Francisco, the whole town was waiting for her to mourn. At last, she had understood the love of living with her son.
Leland was then put in the carriage, madame says without a doubt:
Go straight to the orphanage!
Upon arriving at the Orphanage, with much crying and sadness, Madame Stanford opens the door of the carriage and shouts looking at the coffin that was carrying her son:
Here are your brothers, the orphans, Leland!
Forgive me, Leland.
Forgive me, my son.
On Leland’s headstone it was written: here sleep my son’s green eyes.
That same year, Madame Stanford gave $20,000 to the orphanage.
The following year, she built two orphanages.
The following year, Senator Stanford died of anguish. Then Madame Stanford realized that her orphans needed bread and mothers, but not only that, but they needed education.
What decision did she make?
Madame Stanford sold everything she had: carpets, gold pieces, collections, silverware, etc. and had Stanford University building. Which is ranked among the top 10 in the world today.
And, what did Madame Stanford do with the $1,000 of her son Leland’s savings?
That $1,000 she didn’t give because it wasn’t hers, it was your son’s. She set aside it for the creation of a foundation to educate every orphan child who has green eyes like those of Leland.
The CRM Guy
author of books:
- 30 Advice from 30 Greatest Professionals in CRM and Customer Service in the world, foreword by Don Peppers.
- The Book of all 20 Methodologies to improve and profit from Customer Experience and Service — Why, when and how to use each one
— The Official Dictionary for Internet, Computer, ERP, CRM, UX, Analytics, Big Data, Customer Experience, Call Center, Digital Marketing and Telecommunication: The Vocabulary of One New Digital World
Text-based on research by Divaldo Franco.
Publish Date: May 3, 2020 10:49 AM