Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spend time with someone special outside.

Take your kids, grand kids, a niece or nephew, or neighbor kid. Or become a Big Brother or Big Sister, Teammate, or Mentor, a little of your time and good influence is all they need to develop a love of the outdoors. It's up to you to insure the future of the sports you love.

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.

"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.

"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," Jack said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. So Jack came back for the funeral, which was uneventful as 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, then....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. "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."

After returning home from his trip, Jack discovered a package in his mailbox. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago but the return address caught his attention. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took 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 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.

Remember, time is one of your greatest assets. Please don't waste it.

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