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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Reward (09/27/04)

TITLE: A Return on Your Investment
By Karen Treharne


Bill wasn’t always this way. Up until about two years ago, no one would ever have nominated him for the “Father of the Year” award.

Skipping important family events, like a school function or a family reunion, forgetting birthdays and anniversaries, coming home late for dinner because of work was the way Bill exercised his duties of fatherhood and of being a mate. The brokerage firm and all it entailed was the number one priority in his life. That is until September 11, 2001, when his life style of missed opportunities to spend time with his family hit home.

We watched the television screen in silence that day as the horrors unfolded before us. At one point, the camera panned the streets around the World Trade Center. There were parents searching for their children, and children holding photos of parents wondering if anyone knew of their whereabouts. Susan couldn’t imagine what she would have done in such a situation, and prayed silently to God that she would never have to face such a moment.

Both of them had tears in their eyes as they watched, and although Susan had no way of knowing it at the time, the Holy Spirit was about to change Bill’s outlook on life forever.

Weeks after the initial shock, she remembered him telling her, “You know, I used to think of myself as a pretty good dad and husband. I have three kids and we’ve been married for 15 years…” She held her breath as he continued. “But I sure learned a lesson after 9-11...”

Three years later, Bill is a different person. He has not only been trying to earn the title of “World’s Best Dad and Husband”, according to Susan, he‘s succeeding.

At a recent business conference in San Francisco, it was Bill’s speech on capital return that actually opened Susan’s eyes. And, according to the comments from fellow co-workers and friends, they were favorably impressed as well. He was speaking about what he regarded as the predictable outcome of choosing a sound venture as an investment vehicle.

Within the context of his speech, Bill stated the following: “…with that being said… I would like to recommend that we invest much more time in our families.” He paused and made eye contact throughout the room.

“If we should be involved in another terrorist catastrophe in our country, and if it should cause us in our home town to suffer the loss of loved ones like it did in New York, then let us pray that our investments are in a reliable earning stratagem...our family.

If our treasures are properly protected and managed daily, we will earn great dividends. Rewards from investing in what matters most in life.” He closed with, “I would like to end with a quote from Thomas Jefferson. “It is in the love of one’s family only, that heartfelt happiness is known.”

Susan’s heart burst with pride and affection, and tears fell onto her folded hands as she thanked God for all the blessings He had placed in her life. Particularly for a husband who understood what the true values in life were, and the advantages of handling them with wisdom, love and concern.

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 10/04/04
Wonderful story - well crafted, and definitely thinking out of the box.

Definitely a vote getter
Lynda Lee Schab 10/04/04
Great job, Karen! Thanks for making me stop and think about what's truly important. Great entry, completely on topic.
Blessings, Lynda
Phyllis Inniss10/04/04
Sometimes it takes a disaster to bring home to people what is really imporant - love. It is what God asks us all to do.
Teresa Lee Rainey10/05/04
Sounds like Susan and Bill were both rewarded with a better family life. Great story.
L.M. Lee10/08/04
what a great story of learning the real rewards of life.