Jack was a hard man. He everything he did was done with great determination, ambition, pride, and confidence (to the point of arrogance). It was hard to be Jack’s employee, it was, hard to be his friend, but, it was even harder to be his wife and daughter.
Jack was also a very successful man. He owned a very up scale trendy restaurant that was heading for franchising in numerous states across the country. He wore all the best designers in clothes, shoes, & jewelry (only the finest watches for him). He made certain that his very beautiful wife wore the best of the best (to complete the appearance of the perfect wife) and that his daughter was the most stylish of any child anywhere that they went. Yes, Jack was a successful man and that success meant the world to him. He wore it on his sleeve for the entire world to see.
If you were to ask Jack if he was a happy man, without a thought he would have said yes. But if he had truly stopped to think about the question I’m not sure he would have known the answer. For in truth with all of his pursuits all he truly felt was empty. This was not a feeling he acknowledged or even allowed himself to feel. But deep down in the deepest of his core that was all that was there a, hallow, lonely, empty, nothing. This did not bother Jack; he was a man of action not feeling, a man of accomplishments always making improvements to an already high end, high class and perfect model…or so he thought.
One day while opening up the restaurant for business he came across an odd man with a twinkle in his eye. The man questioned, “Are you grateful for all you have?” Jack replied, “I’ve done well for myself.” Not truly caring but something about the man made him feel compelled to ask, “Why do you ask?” The man replied, “Because gratitude is the blessing of a humble heart.” And the man proceeded to go his way. Likewise Jack continued on with his day, thinking nothing of the encounter.
Jack received a phone call from a policeman. He was calling to inform him that there had been a fire at his house. The policeman told him that he could see his wife and daughter at the hospital and that he should get there fast. The doctors had said that it didn’t look good.
When he arrived at the hospital Dr. Thomas Logan informed him that both his wife and daughter had received extensive burns over their bodies and that it would be touch and go for a while as to whether or not their systems could take the shock of the injuries. If their bodies could handle the next few days things would look hopeful. Thinking ahead, Jack ask Dr. Logan, “When would they be able to get constructive surgery and just where are their burns anyway?” The doctor went on to explain that his wife had been burned over 80% of her body and there was just so much that they could do. It would be a long, painful process and that her body particularly her face would never be the same. His daughter had been burned over 75% of her body and would most likely never have hair on her head again and the reconstructive surgery for face may fair better than his wife’s but not by much.
Because of a spark from an electric cord on their Christmas tree. Jack’s ideal life had been crushed in less than an hour’s time his perfect home and belongings lay burnt to the crisp with nothing but ashes to show for all his hard work and success. Worse of all his beautiful wife and adorable daughter where now horribly disfigured creatures, wrapped like cocoons never to be seen again as they had once graced is arms. Something inside him cracked. Could it be the impenetrable wall he’d worked so hard all his life to build was loosing its strength? Time alone would tell.