We just found this little story on the internet and it touched a cord — maybe it will also touch something in you:
A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door.
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 the ones I love”, 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.
To everyone who reads this “Thanks for your time!”
This Post Has 13 Comments
I love it, the most important, en dejlig historie.
Thank you for your comment Jenny!
Tears flowed freely, touching all those moments, countless ones, that others have given me their time, their life.
I deeply appreciate this story, it contains the “truth” of our jorney.
That is so beautiful to hear Dale! An open and grateful heart is the greatest gift we can give back to those who have touched our lives. Thank you for your comment. Tristan
Fantastic story that really struck a chord with me. I was very close to my Mother, we were such good friends, did many fun things together, I was devastated when she fell ill and only lived for three weeks after her diagnosis. As I was going through her things, cleaning out her home, I came upon some papers she had filled out during a workshop through her work. When asked what some of her dreams were, her answer was “To have my children visit more and spend more time with me.” My heart sunk. The lesson I took from that was the importance of spending TIME with those you love and if that’s not possible because of distance, send them a heartfelt card telling them exactly how much you appreciate them and why. Ironically, I was presented with a business that entails doing just that! I send at least two heartfelt cards per day and the gratitude I feel for those in my life is magnified by their heartfelt responses. Connect with those you love and give them as much TIME as possible, your life will be fuller for it and you will make a difference in their life as well. It was a hard lesson for me but changed my life in such a profound way.
Wow Valerie, thank you for sharing such a powerful lesson. We recently read a wonderful book published by Hay House called “Dying to Be Me” by Anita Moorjani. The message of her experience was so uplifting and really shows you how we are always connected to the consciousness of those we love – in the physical and non-physical form. I bet your mom has felt the love of every thought you have ever sent her 🙂 Much love to you. Tristan & Sabrina
You know that you have lived a good life if at its end you have no regrets.
Thanks for the story! Very inspiring.
Thank you so much Tristan and Sabrina, for taking the time to share this story with us! I cried after the first paragraph! Yes I am just a very sensitive person and will cry at almost anything. But, this story rings true for me as I am here sitting in front of my sister-in-law while she’s breast feeding her first baby boy with the help of a lactation nurse. I am very emotional right now because we are in the neonatal intensive care unit as I am writing this on my I-pad…thank God for free wifi!
My very first nephew was born early last Tuesday at only 35 weeks and two days gestation, which would have been fine because he was probably one of the biggest documented premature baby weighing 6lbs, 7ozs at birth! But there were complications that weren’t caught in time so he came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he was breeched sunny side up! (Proper delivery position for babies is head down, face down.) Early intervention was delayed, baby Tyree was not breathing, he was pale and limp, CPR was started, he was intubated and it wasn’t until six or seven minutes later that he would take his first breath on his own. According to doctors, it looked like he would be in the NICU for at least a month or more. As the hours and days passed after his birth, more complications were discovered such as clotting, seizures and poor functionally liver and kidneys but we all prayed and kept positive. After making sure that my family was taken care off, I called in to work on Saturday night for a family emergency and would have to miss work in the morning, and my husband took me to the airport early Sunday morning to fly from San Jose, California to Portland, Oregon. It was heart breaking to leave my three children crying in the back seat of our car as my husband dropped me of at the airport’s departure curbside, but I knew that I had to take the time to be with my brother and his new family in their time of need. I am so glad I did! Not that I am taking credit for his quick recovery but since my arrival, he has been pulling through! Each day one by one tubes were coming out because he did not need it any more. He’s down to one IV line for additional nutrition but they started bottle feeding him with my sister-in-law’s expressed breastmilk on Monday. On Tuesday (yesterday) one week after he was born the nurses helped my sister breastfeed him directly and the doctor said if he feeds well and can tolerate it, he might be able to go home on Thursday or Friday!
I really believe that it was the love, prayers and support that little Tyree received and especially the time that we all devoted to him that allowed for his quick and miraculous recovery! We all yearn for love and attention…if we take the time to do just that with our loved ones and also with others, we would have a more peaceful and loving world. A kind gesture goes a long way so thank you again Tristan and Sabrina for taking the time to remind us of this very simple good deed that often gets overlooked in our fast paced society!
We really appreciate your amazing story and send our deep love and positive intentions for little Tyree. What a ride that little Soul has already been on! Your willingness to drop everything and be there for your brother, sister-in-law and their newborn is a pure testament to the power of what love can do through us. We believe that your action from that place of unconditional love played a big part in Tyree’s rapid transformation. We hope everyone is home now and enjoying the gift of life! Much love ~ Tristan & Sabrina
great inspiring story. so true, so true.
This is a wonderful reminder. Thank you guys so much for posting this and letting us know how precious our time is.
Thank you for your comment Pam!