Yesterday I had several sad moments at school. I knew they would come.....I was glad they had not reared their ugly heads yet....but it seemed like every where I looked I found a reminder of my mom or dad and then the reality that they are not here with me hit me like a ton of bricks. I struggled all day. When I got home I told Frank I had to go and get my picture for Project 365 and I knew just were I wanted to go.....Mrs. Betty Jean's house. Her yard is just lovely with flowers of all kinds. We ate supper and went to capture the flowers. Of course when we got there....taking a picture was not all we did....Mrs. Betty jean has been sick and we visited with her and Mr. Larry for a bit before going out into her garden. It turned out....she was a bit down too....this very active woman is struggling with regaining her strength after a terrible illness. The visit did us both good. I felt much better after sitting beside her and I think she did too. Out in her yard I spent another 30+ minutes snappig roses, clematis, et al. Each pot was begging me to take their picture and I did not want to leave any one out. I felt so good after the photo shoot/visit. When I got home I checked my emails and found this one. My cousin Donna sent it to me and it could not come at a more perfect time. You see....yesterday, I needed someone to give me a little time....and the Houzes did just that. "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, 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 he 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....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. "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 at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read. 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 its 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 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!" There are a lot of people out there in the world who need a little time.....they might even be your next door neighbor. I think I am going to let some of my busyness go.....and have a cup of coffee with a few. How about you? Look at some of the beauty I got from the time I invested in someone. Beautiful aren't they?
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.