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A Lesson from the Man Next Door


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

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?" his mother asked. "Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago", Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him. "I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.
"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life,: she said. "He's the one who taught me carpentry, " he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.
AS busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before Jack had 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. Lack 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 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. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note said. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and it's contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filled his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful 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!"

Thank you, spark friends for your time. Merry Christmas!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LITTLEWIND53 12/29/2012 8:48AM

    A beautiful story that touches the heart....

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CONNIER64 12/27/2012 12:15AM

    That will be one of my New Years resolutions- Spend more time with my loved ones

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/26/2012 8:17PM

    WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY!!!

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PMAY0313 12/26/2012 8:57AM

    More true thay you can imagine.
emoticon

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GREENGENES 12/26/2012 1:13AM

    Thank you for such an important reminder.

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SPARKYWATSON 12/25/2012 10:34PM

    It seems hard to prioritize properly when in the moment so many things seem like they are important. In the end, we'll regret the time we spent on the truly unimportant.

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PATRICIAAK 12/25/2012 8:16PM

    Time is an irreplaceable gift.
Thank-you.

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RUN4FOOD 12/25/2012 6:29PM

    Thanks for sharing this story. It's a good reminder of what should be in my goals for 2013.

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PICKIE98 12/25/2012 4:19PM

    I have read this before, very good. I lost a dear friend from church this past week, seh will be buried Friday morning,, same age as my mother, but oh, so different. We were in lots of things together at church, laughing, sharing, doing for others. She always smiled,, even when complaining..
I cherish the time I spent with her,,
Her time with me was what I wished my mother would have spent with me ,ever, but this woman loved it and me.
Joanne, another angel for heaven.

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CATLADY52 12/25/2012 4:18PM

    Very nice. I hope more of us can take the time to think about what is most precious to us over the next few weeks. emoticon

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