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Judge Has to Reposses Debt-Ridden Woman’s House, Learns She Was Her Favorite Teacher in School – Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
May 26, 2022
10:20 P.M.
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A judge is shocked when she discovers that a woman she is forced to rule against for debt is someone she loves and admires.

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Linda Wallace was a successful woman with a full and rewarding life. After a brilliant legal career, she had been appointed to the bar at age 35 as one of the youngest judges in the state.

She was happily married to an English literature professor, a wonderful man with whom she shared two lovely children. But what most people didn't know was that Linda had grown up dirt poor.

As the youngest child in a dysfunctional family, Linda's present life was a miracle, and one she never stopped thanking God for.

Linda was one of the youngest judges ever appointed by the state. | Source: Pexels

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It was a Friday afternoon, and after a hectic day in which every lawyer who stood before her seemed intent on wasting her time, Linda was exhausted.

Her clerk placed yet another file before her and stepped back. Linda saw that it was a motion to sell a house belonging to a Mrs. Edith Halloren for seven years of property taxes.

Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions despite what our hearts may tell us to do.

Linda sighed. She hated these cases. They were basically decisions ordained by the law with little or no leeway -- and the defendants were usually people on their last legs, heading for homelessness.

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She looked up and asked the assistant D.A. who'd placed the motion before her, "Where is Mrs. Halloren?" That was when a faint bell rang in the back of Linda's head.

Linda had to rule on an eviction for property tax debt. | Source: Unsplash

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She knew that name...Where did she know that name from? A small elderly woman stepped forward, and Linda shook her head to dispel the nagging non-memory.

"Mrs. Halloren?" Linda asked.

"Yes, your Honor," the woman said, and at the sound of her crisp, lively voice, Linda recognized her.

"Mrs. Halloren!" Linda gasped. "It's you!"

"Yes, dear," the woman said, smiling up at Linda. "It's so good to see you! It's been how long? Twenty years?"

"Twenty-three!" Linda said. "I was fifteen..."

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Linda was shocked when she recognized the defendant. | Source: Pexels

"You were the brightest student I ever had, and I cant tell you how proud I am of all you've achieved."

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Linda felt her eyes fill with tears. "You're the reason I am where I am, who I am."

Linda looked down at the document before her, waiting for her signature. She knew that there was no way around it. According to the document, Mrs. Halloren admitted her debt and was not contesting it.

Linda's hands were shaking as she reached for the pen. She was about to make the woman who had first believed in her, made her believe in herself, homeless. She cleared her throat and read out her sentence.

Twenty-three years ago, Mrs. Halloren had been Linda's favorite teacher. | Source: Pexels

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"Consequently," she said. "The defendant has seven days to vacate the premises." She raised her eyes to Mrs. Halloren and whispered, "I'm so sorry..."

But Mrs. Halloren shook her head. "You have no reason to be sorry," she said. "You followed the law, and that is what it's there for, to give our society structure -- even when we don't like the consequences."

That night, Linda went home and cried bitterly. She went to the bookcase and took down a very special book. She turned to her husband and showed him the book.

"'To Kill a Mocking Bird,'" she said. "Mrs. Halloren gave it to me to read when I was fifteen. The book made me angry and I told her I hated injustice. So she said: 'If you hate injustice, change the world.' So I told her, 'Look at me! I'm nothing!' and she said...'You're the most talented, brightest girl in my class - and your colleagues are very clever...You can do ANYTHING you want, anything. I believe in you and I'm never wrong.'"

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Linda was saddened by the decision she had to make. | Source: Unsplash

Linda covered her face with her hands. "And I took her home from her..."

Linda's husband put his arms around her. "Remember what Mrs. Halloren said? There is NOTHING you can't do. I think she's right, and you'll find a way to help her."

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Seven days after the hearing, Mrs. Halloren was standing at her door with her belongings around her, the memories of a lifetime, when someone knocked on the door.

She opened the door, thinking it was the Marshals coming to evict her, and found herself face to face with Linda. "Linda," she gasped. "What are you doing here?"

"Well, Mrs. Halloren," Linda said with a big smile. "We've come to take you home."

Linda contacted all of Mrs. Halloren's old students. | Source: Unsplash

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Mrs. Halloren frowned. "We?" she asked. "What do you mean, Linda?"

"You know, every single kid you taught made something of their lives," Linda said. "So I called them and told them we finally have a chance to give something back."

Mrs. Halloren stood bewildered as dozens of her old students trooped in to carry her boxes out and load them in a U-Haul truck. "Where are you taking my things?" she asked.

They bought Mrs. Halloren a pretty little cottage. | Source: Unsplash

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Linda and the other students took Mrs. Halloren to a lovely little cottage in a tranquil part of town. "This is your house now, free and clear," Linda explained. "And we've set up a trust fund to pay the property taxes."

"But the house..." gasped Mrs. Halloren.

"We all contributed," Linda explained. "You motivated us all to make something of our lives and we did. We owe you our success, and this is our thank you."

What can we learn from this story?

  • Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions despite what our hearts may tell us to do. Not all decisions are cut and dried and easy to make, and Linda was forced to make it to uphold the law.
  • We need to remember the people who made us who we are. Mrs. Halloren had a huge influence on Linda's life and she never forgot her.
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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about two men quarreling over the division of an inheritance who are taught a lesson in justice, selflessness, and brotherly love by two poor young boys who have nothing.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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