It was a good day for Grace Templeton.
It was a bad day for Jonas Bard.
Jonas managed to reach the bank just a few minutes before it
The teller frowned as she looked at the withdrawal amount. The
other tellers were starting to close their cash drawers, while she
was trying to garner up the large amount that was being
Jonas had carried a small wooden box with him to the bank. The
teller put the stack of bills in two envelopes. She gave the two
envelopes to Jonas. He placed them into his box and placed the
little lock on the box. No one would ever suspect that the little
locked box contained a large sum of money.
Jonas had saved up a part of each paycheck until he reached his
goal of $28,000. It had taken quite some time. He relished the
feeling of triumph as he started his walk to the train station.
Jonas looked at his watch. Time would be tight, but he would stop
at the street vendor to eat a hot dog. The train that would take him
to the car dealership ran every hour.
His pace quickened as he chomped on his hot dog. The imminent
train was the last train that would get him to the car dealership
before it closed.
As he approached the station, he could see the train as it entered
the station from the west.
Jonas broke into a run.
As he set foot on the platform, the doors of the train were still
Jonas smiled to himself.
As he ran toward the closest door, it started to close. He reached
with the box in his hand and pushed his arm into the train to try to
stop the door from closing completely. This should cause the door
But it didn’t!!
Grace, along with her mother, sat in a seat nearest to the train
“Mom, I think that man is trying to give me that box,” Grace said
Her mother continued to doze.
The train began to move.
Instant panic set in.
It was time for a quick, decisive decision. He had to try to pull his
arm back out through the door. His arm slid out easily enough, but
the box would not come through the door. He had no choice. He
dropped the box inside the train as he was running toward the end
of the platform.
Grace reached down and snatched up the small little box.
“Mom,” Grace said as she pointed to her box.
Mom was dozing during this short episode of the afternoon.
“Mom,” Grace pleaded in a louder voice. “Look at what a man just
Mom opened her eyes to see Grace holding the box.
“Where did that box come from?” Mom inquired.
“A man outside the train reached inside the door to give it to me,”
“Let me see it,” Mom requested with an extended hand.
It was a nice wooden box. It was actually quite handsome. But,
why a lock on it? She shook it and could feel contents rubbing
against the walls of the box. But, why a lock?
“I’m going to hold it for you,” Mom recommended. “We will be
getting off the train soon.”
Mom wondered about the story that she had heard.
Who was this man?
Why did he choose Grace to receive his box?
What might be in the box? Why is it locked?
Could it be drugs? Or something stolen?
When they arrived home, Mom put the box high up in a closet,
way at the back. Maybe one day . . .
Jonas sat on the platform bench, despondent. He would wait for
the next train. He had saved so hard to build up enough to buy his
first brand new car.
Easy come, easy go?
As the train approached the station, Jonas stood on the platform
to greet it.
Actually, he welcomed its arrival.
His jump onto the tracks shocked the few train riders preparing
to board. Three pulled out cell phones to call for help.
The train proceeded to leave the station. If there was any life in
Jonas, the train departure would finish the job.
The job had been finished as the train arrived.
Mom was busy getting Gracie ready for the Girl Scout meeting.
“Have you got your Girl Scout uniform on?” Mom begged.
“Gracie, we have got to leave now, or we will be late! It’s Girl Scout
cookie night once again. You’ll get your order forms, and you can
start selling cookies. I’m sure Grandma will buy at least two boxes!
She did last year.”
Gracie hemmed and hawed but did make an appearance within
“Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” Gracie would
say to many a person as time marched on.
Mom would help to pick up the cookies and deliver them.
Delivery was the hard part. The process was a long-term life
The leaves already had fallen from the trees. They blew over the
gravestones at the Mount Sinai Cemetery. They fell each year over
the grave site of Jonas for five years.
After six years of selling Girl Scout cookies, Gracie was hit by a
car as she was crossing a street on her way to school. She died
Utter tragedy had struck!
It was devastating!
If Jonas could welcome Gracie, he would.
He might get that chance!
Tangerine was now alone. Her husband left after two years of
marriage and now Gracie had left her! Her mother had passed away
just seven months earlier.
Tangerine decided to move and downsize. Too many memories
surrounded her and she was confident in making a move. As she
packed up things in the bedroom, she came across the long
“Joey, would you come over and help me open this old box,”
Tangerine asked? It needs the lock pried off. My daughter told me a
strange story about a man giving it to her on the train when she
was about eleven years old. It was when she was selling Girl scout
“Sure will. I’ll come over tomorrow evening if that’s alright,” Joey
replied. He was a high school sweetheart. Over all these years, they
had been close friends.
Now they were both alone.
Joey pried the box open carefully in an effort to preserve it.
What Mom saw made her jaw drop. There was $28,000 on top.
Below the cash was an additional amount of $12,000 that was rolled
up in a wad.
What was this man thinking?
Joey was excited and so was Tangerine!
Tangerine and Joey went on a cruise together and fully enjoyed
each other’s company.
They remained best friends until the end.
The time will come when each person arrives in the hereafter.
Tangerine had no living family relatives. She had named Joey the
sole recipient of her estate, which included the box and its
“Welcome,” Jonas said.
“Hi Mom,” Gracie screamed.
Tangerine was taken aback. Stunned.
“Welcome,” Jonas said again in a soft voice. “We have been
waiting for you.”
“Dad, Mom is finally here with us!” Gracie exclaimed.
“How could something like this happen?” Tangerine asked. “We
were only together for just a few months. So, you really are Gracie’s
father? I have always wondered.”
“Yes, I am,” Jonas smiled. “Let’s move forward.”
And so, they did.
Their lives had not been perfect.
But together they now moved forward.