The Key Ring

The Key Ring

as told to Rev. Dr. D. A. Kjono

during a counseling session and with permission from D.Y., originator

 

A young boy of only 6 suffered the tragic loss of his father due to a car accident. The night it happened all he knew for certain was “Daddy” didn’t come home from work at his regular time and whatever the men in police uniforms at the door told “Mom” upset her very much.

A short time later Mom took the little boy to the couch and sat quietly with him for a few moments before beginning to speak between sobs and tears.

“Oh, Junior” she began “I don’t know how to make you understand what has happened. You are so young and loved your Daddy so much.”

“What’s the matter Mommy?” he asked. “What did those policemen tell you about Daddy?”

“Junior,” she sobbed, “Daddy has been, well he’s not coming home any more.”

“Huh? You mean like Bobby’s dad when his mom and him got divorced not coming home?”

“Oh no! Not like that Junior, Daddy and I love each other, and you, very, very much! Daddy was in an accident in the car, and, well, ah, he didn’t make it Junior. Daddy died in the accident.” She mumbled and then began to weep uncontrollably holding her precious little man in her arms.

Over the next few days there was a heavy air in the home that the lady and young man now occupied alone. Every now and then “Mom” would just stop and break down in tears as she cooked dinner or fussed with the laundry. Everyday seemed to bring something to mind that made the man’s presence still very much real to her.

The young boy knew there was a big difference in how things felt around the house yet due to his youth he really didn’t understand it all. Every so often he just knew he heard his Dad’s sports car pull in the driveway and he would race to the window just knowing he’d be there waving to him from the driver’s seat as he often did when coming home from work.

The funeral passed and days turned into weeks that in turn faded into months and years. As the young boy grew up into an adult he grew ever closer to his mother who never felt the urge to have another man in her life. Over the years the house had become a shrine to the memory of his father and many pictures, flowers and framed sayings from different sources now cluttered all available space on shelves and fireplace mantle. The only effort the young man ever saw towards healing was out of necessity his mother had gone back to work to keep up with the house and feed them both.

“Dad’s” car keys hung on the hallway key rack and were shiny from the many times they both flicked them as the passed by. An arched groove marked the wall from all the swinging back and forth the small set of keys had etched into the surface. The “BMW” emblem that identified the key ring made both mother and son smile as the ignition key actually belonged to a ragged old Chevy that had been actually been Grandpa’s at one time.

As the young man prepared to go off to college he took the key ring down from it’s hook and asked Mom if he could take it with him as a memento for his dorm room. After a long conversation and much hesitation she gave in to his seemingly small request and even though Junior had proven his trustworthiness many times over the years she had to add “Please, please don’t let anything happen to this key ring!”

“I won’t Mom! You know it means as much to me as it does you!” the young man answered. “I just would like to have something of Dad’s with me while I’m away.”

At college, the ritual of flicking the key ring as he entered his dorm room continued and several times he had startled friends when they would take the ring down and ask about it. Carefully placing it back on its hook each time he would tell the story of his Dad’s key ring and the old Chevy he had been killed in. All too often he heard the same words; ”If it had been a Beamer, he might have survived.”

Graduation came and went and Junior fell into the routine of work and finally met a gal of his fancy. At the wedding Mom went through the paces but fell into distraught tears as she remembered the day Dad and her said their vows. As the grandchildren came along she would often reminisce about Junior when he was little and then compared the grand kids to his growing up years.

When the eldest granddaughter was accepted at a prestigious East Coast College she stood before Junior, key ring in hand and asked if she could take it to her dorm room as a memento of the Grandpa she never knew. Something inside her just told her it was the right thing to do. The ritual of flicking the keys became a part of her routine as she came and went from her room.

One cold winter day as she sat studying a quiet knock came at her door and as she opened it she was ever so surprised to see her old mechanical engineering professor standing at the door. As she swung the door wide open he held up a text book and said “I think you’ll need this if you want to pass tomorrow’s test young lady!” They both laughed and proceeded into small talk. As the professor turned to go on his way, something caught his eye.

“Hehe!” he snickered. “Your key chain reminds of someone in my past!”

“Oh those aren’t mine Professor, they belonged to my grandfather who I never knew,” she quipped, “just something to remind me of home while I’m here.”

“Hmm, interesting.” The professor remarked. “The man those keys remind of never actually had a BMW, rather, he drove an old domestic car. A Chevy if I remember right! I worked with him shortly after my college days, long before being offered my position here. We always laughed about the possibilities of willing things into reality. I never kept in contact with him much after he left for a better job.”

Upon further conversation it was determined that the Grandfather and co-worker where in fact the same person. Not only was this chance crossing of paths between professor and student and his coming to her dorm room something of curiosity but the legacy of an individual shared by both. Boy! Did she have something grand to tell “Dad” and “Grandma” her next visit home!

The point, or moral if you will to this story is we just never know what our future holds or how our past may reflect on someone else. It doesn’t have to be a sensational event that people share or experience to have meaning and add value to our future moments. It can be as mundane as key ring!

Make each moment in life, something of Life!

Blessings Be,

“Reverend Al”

 

 

 

 

 

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