Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)
TITLE: The Richest Man In the World
By Ada Nett
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The mortician had tried but couldn't entirely clean away the grease that years of hard dirty work had tattooed beneath her father's nails. She was glad the grease remained. It was so much a part of the kind of man he'd been. He'd possessed the heart of an inventor and he had an innate ability to repair things that were broken, even hearts. His words could heal and his wise advice prevent more heartbreak if one cared to heed it. She'd watched those hands take apart pieces of machinery into a multitude pieces and put them all back together again. If the machine still didn't start he'd take it all back apart and start all over, never losing his patience, studying each piece intently to figure out what the problem was. That's how he looked as the life as well and how he could get to the heart of an issue pulling it apart piece by piece until he found the root of the problem then he'd help her figure out how to solve it.
His final project had been an old riding lawn mower. Even though the cancer was raging and ravaging through his body he didn't give up, piece by tedious piece, he put the mower back together in working order. He was tough. Most men in his condition would have been in the hospital. Not him. Refusing expensive medical treatment that he knew would only prolong the inevitable, he saved what little money and property he had for those he loved. He self-medicated the pain of cancer with over-the-counter ibuprofen and continued working and sacrificing up until the very end. The mower was the last gift he'd ever given her. It was more precious to her than a brand new piece of equipment could ever be and mowing her property became an act of remembrance, a tribute to the man who taught her to never give up.
She reached down and lay her hand on her father's shoulder. The touch took her back to her earliest awareness of life, a deep memory of the sensation of being completely helpless yet protected as she was carried across this shoulder. It was her first tasted of trust and it settled deep in her soul.. The years passed, and as life would have it, there came people and circumstances that seriously threatened to destroy her ability to trust. They didn't destroy it, they couldn't for trust rooted itself much too deeply to be destroyed, as her father carried her across his strong shoulders.
Life has its lighter moments, lived out in sunshine and laughter but the genuine union of hearts , most often happens with hot tears in the valleys where storms rain pain. It was more than true in her life. And as the rain came down in deathly showers some of their loved ones left one by one and as they left the ones left behind became more open and transparent about the deep abiding love that graced them to the core. A sister, her mother and a nephew all left within a few short months of one another. Christmas became a time of revealing the deep emotions of the ones left behind.. When her daddy spoke all hearts were open, receiving his offering as the healing for their souls that it was. He would look around the room at his family say” This is what's important this is what really matters.” We are so fortunate to have what we have had in this life. The love we have shared is something no one can ever take away from us. We have each other and by golly, I'm the richest man in the world.”
As the sweet memories eased through the pain of loss , she reached down and opened the shirt pocket that lay over her daddy's heart. She slipped the necklace inside .
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