Jake was in the second grade when his parents told him his grandpa would be retiring after working at the same company for forty years. With a look of amazement on his face, Jake said, "I'm only seven, so that means Grandpa has been there . . ." He thought for a second and finally exclaimed, "A really long time!"
His parents chuckled and said, "Yes, Grandpa has worked there a long time, and that's why we are throwing him a surprise party."
Jake loved his grandpa very much and wanted to do something special for the occasion. He offered to help with the party plans but was told that all the arrangements had been made. Undaunted, Jake knew there must be some way he could show his grandpa how much he was appreciated and congratulate him on his retirement.
Jake remembered the business card his grandpa had given him a couple of years earlier. It was wedged within the mirror's wooden frame in his bedroom, between a two-dollar bill and a picture of him and his dad on the Ferris wheel at the church carnival. He scrambled up the stairs and into his room. Taking the tattered card in his hand, he realized that his grandpa would no longer have that position. Positions are good, he thought, so he decided to create a new one for his grandpa. Jake told his parents about the idea, and they said it was wonderful.
When the big day came, Jake was ready.
He watched his grandpa open the other gifts, "oohing" and "aahing" at each one. He wanted his gift to be the last one Grandpa opened, so as the evening drew to a close, he took his grandpa's hand and ushered him over to a chair in the corner, away from the crowd.
"I've got something for you, Grandpa," Jake stated with pride, offering up the gift.
With that, his grandpa propped Jake up on his left knee and declared, "Well, this sure is a beautifully wrapped present. Did you do this all by yourself?"
"Kind of," Jake replied, shrugging his shoulders. "Mom helped me a little." Grandpa smiled. "Well, it looks wonderful. May I open it now?"
Jake enthusiastically nodded his head.
As Grandpa unwrapped the package, his cheeks grew moist with tears. Jake had given him the greatest gift he could have ever asked for: official business cards with his new title: FULL-TIME GRANDPA. There were no phone or fax numbers because now his time was his own. There was no business address because his new position didn't require one. Jake gazed lovingly into his grandpa's eyes and said, "Congratulations on your retirement. Now your full-time job is just being my grandpa!"
Holding one of the cards between his right thumb and index finger and wiping his tears with the back of his hand, Grandpa asked jokingly, "Well, how much do I get paid?"
With his bright blue eyes expressing total devotion, Jake responded, "As many hugs as you want each day."
Beaming with joy, Grandpa gave Jake an affectionate hug and buoyantly replied, "Well, I guess that means I'm a rich man."
--Inspired by Ben Stewart