Tuesday, 20 January 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #111: Uncle Jim

Zues2u's Challenge

In Honor of my upcoming birthday write a story about ...
An uncle, friend or father who is turning 50 he has everything material he could want. Like most men his age if he ever wants something he just goes and buys it. But this is a special birthday for him. Even though the invitation says no presents tell me what you would do for his Birthday.

Uncle Jim will be 50 years old on Saturday and he is giving a party. What do you buy a man that has everything? His life has been one success. You could say he has the Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to gold. Although to be quite honest at the beginning he really had nothing. He was born in a poorer part of the city and both his parents had to work to make ends meet. Uncle Jim was clever, he had a sort of mathematical mind and was one of the best in the school class. It was then that the parents of one of the children in his class, from a better situated family, wanted their son to be as good as Jim and asked if he would help their son with his mathematical homework. He was offered money for the job and Jim willingly accepted. That was the first money he brought home. His reputation soon spread and other families from the school were soon paying Jim for his after school help. That was Jim’s first success. After he left school he worked in a local factory as mechanic. He soon found a way to save money with a work process and was promoted to a job in the office.

Now things started happening and Uncle Jim noticed how tax money could be saved by certain processes in the accounts, so Uncle Jim was employed in the accounts department. He was an enthusiastic accountant and it was soon suggested by his company that he took a course in accountancy. He did and passed his examinations with flying colours. Uncle Jim was earning well, but then came the day when he was summoned into the company owner’s office and told that the company would be closing down as the parts being made in the factory were no longer needed by one of their biggest customers. Uncle Jim was very disappointed at being out of work, but instead of applying for work in another field, he decided to see what could be done with his company. Uncle Jim asked the company owners what would happen to the machinery no longer required and he was told it would be disposed of. It was at the time when industry was making its first steps in other countries situated in the far east. With his savings uncle Jim bought a flight ticket to Hong Kong, as he was sure that his machines might find a place in that country. It was not long before he had made contact and found not only an interest in the machines, but in the parts they were making. He had soon returned to his old company and told the owners that they could continue manufacture and now export to Hong Kong. This was a success and the company was saved – Uncle Jim and his Midas touch.

Today Uncle Jim owns the company and it has expanded, exporting their products all over the world. My Uncle Jim is a phenomenon. What he touches just turns to success, so what do you buy such a man and then I had an idea. One thing I knew about Uncle Jim was that he had never forgotten the people that were not so well off or as lucky as he was. As a child he had to learn that life could be hard. His mother had always made sure that there was enough food at home, but he knew that she had to go without herself and perhaps not buy a certain dress or coat that she would have liked. His father came home from the factory in the evening and would fall asleep in the armchair, tired from a day’s work. I then knew what to give him for his birthday, although I was not sure how he would react.

On that day we all arrived at his house. It was sunny weather and the meal was served in the garden. Uncle Jim’s parents were also invited. They were now both older and lived in a residential home for the elderly. Uncle Jim found his parents deserved this after what they had done for him in his younger years. All my other aunts and uncles were invited, as well as Uncle Jim’s children and grandchildren. He was a perfect father and grandfather and was loved by all. He had received all sorts of wonderful presents. Although the invitation said no presents, this was mostly ignored. Everyone came with the same explanation “just something small”. I, of course, was no exception, although my present was perhaps a little bit different.

I then gave him my present. He was a little bit bewildered when he saw it was an envelope and probably thought I was giving him money or a book token. He opened the envelope and looked at me with perhaps a little water in his eye. You have given me something that has made me happy. Uncle Jim was now the godfather of a ten year old boy in Indonesia, a victim of the Tsunami disaster, who had lost his parents in the catastrophe.

With the years I learnt that Uncle Jim had even visited his godson in Indonesia and given money to the village where he lived. I knew my Uncle Jim would use his Midas touch to influence someone else’s life.

United Friends Challenge #111: Uncle Jim

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