One We Missed

JC lived there when I arrived, he had moved from somewhere ‘up north’ purchased a small farm on the river, build a small house and retired. No one knew much about him the one time I paid him a visit he said very little, responded to questions with hesitation and never said he would visit us at church. The community people never showed any interest in him, they would see him at the post office about once a week, they knew he seldom received any mail, he would drive his six year old car out of the community once or twice a month and other than being seen doing these things he stayed on the river, kept to himself and grew old. The one community man who worked for him now and then said that he would phone, tell him what needed to be done and leave his money on the counter in the kitchen. The few times it was a two man task he would do his part, say as little as possible and leave to allow the hand to finish up the work. He wasn’t bad to work for he was just different the helper said, paid him a fair wage, never complained and asked for nothing but what he had employed him to do.

We took him a basket for Christmas a couple of times, he was nice, listened to us sing, and thanked us for the gift and visit and that was it. No sign of Christmas around his house, no visitors came, just JC, his dog and the farm.

It was not a surprise when the postmaster realized that he had not picked up his mail in a couple of weeks and asked the sheriff to check on him that the deputy who made the call found JC sitting in his chair, his dog on the floor beside him both dead for several days.

The Sheriff found an address when he went through his belongings and called the number, it was a lawyer in a town about an hour away.

The Lawyer came up, called some of the county officials and read the will; it turned out that JC had been in the Navy in the Second World War, won the Navy Cross, retired after thirty years and moved to this small community. He had no family, no friends except the lawyer, and had died like he lived alone.

He left the man who worked for him his farm, left the county more than a hundred thousand dollars in the bank, gave each church that had visited him 250 dollars and asked that the car be given to the senior in high school who had the worst grades. Strange but true. I always wondered what we missed, what we could have done, how we could have ‘adopted’ him into our community. JC was one I missed, in fact our whole community missed. Sad that a man could live so alone, so singled out as to almost be invisible to his community, sad that a life moved through our community and we did not touch him, embrace him and get to know him. Life is far too brief to be lived alone. Ivan

 

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Published in: on July 15, 2013 at 12:05 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on North County Lines and commented:
    To he worst student. Pleasant twist. Indicates Christ-like man.


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