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Pickle Jar

Posted by ollierose 7, Atlanta, GA (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 3, 08 at 12:52

Such a nice story, I had to post it.

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor
beside the dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed,
Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins
made as they were dropped into the jar . They landed with a merry jingle
when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull
thud as the jar was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the
copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the
sun poured through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad
would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to
the bank.

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production.
Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between
Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at
me hopefully. 'Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile
mill, son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not
going to hold you back.'

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins
across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly
'These are for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all
his life like me.'

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice
cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the
clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me
the few coins nestled in his palm. 'When we get home, we'll start
filling the jar again.' He always let me drop the first coins into the
empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned
at each other. 'You'll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and
quarters,' he said. 'But you'll get there; I'll see to that.'
No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to
doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid
off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a
week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring
catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more
determined than ever to make a way out for me. 'When you finish
college, Son,' he told me, his eyes glistening, 'You'll never have to
eat beans again - unless you want to.'

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in
another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their
bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its
purpose and had been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the
dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words,
and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and
faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more
eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I
married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly
pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more
than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we
spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to
each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild.
Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms.
'She probably needs to be changed,' she said, carrying the baby into my
parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living
room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading
me into the room. 'Look,' she said softly, her eyes directing me to a
spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it
had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already
covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my
pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions
choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that
Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes
locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one
of us could speak.

This truly touched my heart. I know it has yours as well.
Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count
our blessings.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small
gesture you can change a person's life, for better or for worse.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pickle Jar

that should come with a tissue alert!


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RE: Pickle Jar

Made me cry too!


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RE: Pickle Jar

Sorry you two! I should have posted the tear alert!


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RE: Pickle Jar

great read.
gotta go get a tissue,
Bonnie


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RE: Pickle Jar

What a wonderful story. I just went and posted it on another forum that could use a good heart warming story.

There is so much gloom and doom so many places it seems any more.

Sue


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RE: Pickle Jar

Lucky thing that I keep tissue next to the computer.. *snif*


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RE: Pickle Jar

Will someone please pass me a tissue? -sniffle, sniffle-
-B


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RE: Pickle Jar

going to get a tissue, too.


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