View Full Version : OT- What Do You Value Most? (Long)

Mark Hulette
07-30-2003, 10:55 AM
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

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

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

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!"

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take
but by the moments that take our breath away."
~Author Unknown~

Time is the one thing that is not recyclable... this reminds me to use mine more wisely, especially with my children and loved ones. Have a great day!

Lee Schierer
07-30-2003, 11:28 AM
Thanks, Mark, I'll work on that too!

Kevin Gerstenecker
07-30-2003, 7:50 PM
That is awesome and inspiring Mark. Thank You so much for sharing that.............kinda opens your eyes, doesn't it? :)

Bruce Page
07-30-2003, 10:54 PM
Great story Mark. I think many of us have a Mr. Belser in our past. Mine was a Mr. Artran who was a great old guy, sniff sniff.