By Ralph Hood
This is a true story about some nice people, Bob, Nell, Ralph (not the author), and Mindy, the daughter of Nell and Ralph.
When Nell was a young girl she went to work for the company that Bob owned. From the very first, Bob had more faith in Nell than she had in herself. He gave her jobs that she couldn’t do, and she studied at night and did them anyway.
Nell was one of those people who could do most anything she set out to do. If she didn’t know how to do it, she would find someone who did and ask them to teach her. She overhauled her own pickup truck once. She once offered to whip a 220-pound salesman. Everyone who knew her said it would have been a great fight.
Over the years, Nell became Bob’s right-hand woman, the comptroller of his company. They were good at what they did, so Bob’s company grew and prospered. They worked happily ever after for a long time.
While working for Bob, Nell met, fell in love with, and married Ralph. They had a daughter named Mindy, had a home with a pony in the back yard, and all lived happily ever after for a long, long time.
Then, after decades of living and working happily ever after, Nell developed cancer—one of those insidious cancers that spreads throughout the body and pops up in a new place every time you think it is finally whipped.
Nell kept trying to work, and this tells us a lot about Nell.
But Nell was not the person she had been. In fact, others in the office sincerely believed that she was doing herself more harm than good, that Bob should retire her for her own benefit. Bob listened, then told them quietly that he didn’t feel qualified to make that decision for Nell. Work had always been important to Nell, and he wasn’t going to tell her that she was no longer capable of working. He said they would just have to adjust—that regardless of the cost, Nell was the company comptroller as long as she wanted the job.
This tells us a lot about Bob.
Finally, Nell died. After the funeral, Ralph showed up in Bob’s office with a handful of Nell’s uncashed paychecks. He said he knew Nell hadn’t really earned her pay during the final months, so he had never cashed the checks. He gave the checks back to Bob, and this tells us a lot about Ralph.
Bob took the checks and gave them to Mindy to help with her college education. This confirms what we already know about Bob. Mindy did well in college. This tells us a lot about Mindy.
Isn’t it a shame that there aren’t more people in the world like Bob and Nell and Ralph and Mindy?
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