The Movers and the Gentleman

The Movers and the Gentleman

From A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul

The Movers and the Gentleman

The day began like any other moving job in the city. The moving crew was on the job at the agreed upon time, 8:30 A. M.

After introducing themselves to the customer and a brief tour of the residence to assess that plan for loading, the old gentleman asked them if they would like some coffee. The men, being charged by the hour, declined his offer. He smiled at their honesty and gestured to them to continue.

The old house had a redolent fragrance of musty rose petals. The bereaved seventy-nine-year old husband merely watched and quietly chatted and quipped with the young-strong men as they went about their work. It was obvious he was lonely and welcomed the rather captive audience into his home. Even under the albeit necessary circumstances of having to move to the nursing care facility, their presence heartened him.

The young men were kind to the old gentleman, tolerating his rather one-sided conversation. Occasionally, they had to ask him to ‘move to one side’ while they removed furniture and memories all at one time right before him.

In a way he was as glad to be leaving the house which really had no relevant significance for him anymore since his partner of sixty-two-years had died two years ago. He found peace each day in prayer. The responsibilities for his care would be a welcomed solace.

The hours sped by and the house became but a shell of past occupancy. Upon near completion of the job one of the movers went through the house to check each room to make sure nothing had been left behind. In the upstairs bedroom under a small alcove there was a chest almost imperceptible because it was the same wood hue as the paneling on the wall behind it. When he started to remove it, the entire contents fell through the bottom of the chest. Papers were strewn all over the floor, along with photos. He began to collect everything into some semblance of order when a yellowed newspaper clipping caught his eye: TWIN BOYS DIE IN BOATING ACCIDENT. After quickly scanning the article, he learned that they were indeed the old gentleman’s sons, lost to him and his wife forever over three decades ago.

When the movers had completed the move, the man thanked them for their diligence and careful concern for his precious belongings. He told them that their kindness to him was more appreciated than they could ever realize.

Six months later, almost to the day of the move, the gentleman died. In his will, he left his entire fortune of one and a half million dollars to the “Two movers who were so kind and reminded me of my own sons.”

Barbara Chase-Pace

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