|A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.|
It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.
Over the phone, his mother told him, 'Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.' Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
'Jack, did you hear me?'
'Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him.
I'm sorry to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture.... Jack stopped suddenly.
'What's wrong, Jack?' his Mom asked.
'The box is gone,' he said.
'What box? ' Mom asked.
'There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'' Jack said. It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
'Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him,' Jack said.
In a box in the bedroom Jack found the box with a letter, a key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.
Inside he found these words engraved; 'Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser.'
'The thing he valued most...was...my time.' Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.
'Why?' Janet, his assistant asked.
'I need some time to spend with my son,' he said.
'Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time!'
'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.' Have a great day-and thank you for your time.
Submitted By: Jack from TX on 2005-09-29