Remembering Jack

It was more than a couple of decades ago now. A couple, young but thought they were old, they thought they had seen enough of life to know what they wanted and how to get it. 

They had just returned from their first wedding anniversary trip to get the news that his job, their only means of income, had been eliminated. The airline he worked for was pulling out of their town and he was without a job, they were without income. 

But hope sprung in their hearts as they scoured the airline computer looking for places to transfer, when a co-worker informed them the headquarters was looking to fill a couple of spots. He immediately picked up the phone and scheduled an interview. 

One of the questions this man asked in the interview was about the possibility of the airline shutting down completely in 3 months. 

“Not a chance!” was the immediate response. “We have investors lined up, everything is good to go. Nothing will stop us, nothing will shut us down.

Two weeks later they had packed up their 2-bedroom apartment and moved across the state.  She, ever in love with change and new, was thrilled. They spent six-weeks living in his parent’s basement, she learned how to make an angel food cake, his favorite, from scratch. And he learned how to schedule flights. 

It was Labor Day weekend and they had planned on flying to Denver to visit a sister for the long weekend. As soon as she arrived, she knew something was amiss. The building was way too quiet. He took her out for supper and broke the news. 

The very question he had asked at his interview, three months before, that was met with a “not a chance” answer had been answered again. This time in the opposite way. The “not a chance” became a definite chance and a definite thing. He told her of his boss breaking down in sobbing tears as he told of having to close his airline. 

And they wondered what on earth God was doing. 

He found odd farm jobs to get them through that fall season. They told their landlord, the sweet couple with teenage kids that owned the farmhouse they’d made their home of the loss of the job. They promised the rent would still be paid just like before. 

The landlord, Jack, was over one day fixing the kitchen sink. What the issue with it was, has escaped from memory like this morning’s frost. It was in late November though, this much is remembered. 

“You’ve always been good with the rent and I have no complaints about you as renters. In fact, you’re the best we’ve ever had. I know you’ve haven’t found a permanent job yet, and it’s Christmas. I want you to know you can skip the rent this month. We want you kids to have a good Christmas. So don’t worry about paying rent.”

The rent was paid that month, and every month they lived in that little farm house.  His kindness was never forgotten. 

He’s been gone a number of years now. But every year we remember his kindness. 

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