Monday, December 01, 2014

I LET A DYING MAN TAKE MY GUILT TO HIS GRAVE

This is the 6th in a series of 19 things I've done in my "thrown away" life that you may find hard to believe.

NOT MY PROUDEST MOMENT-----BUT MY BEST OPTION
The statute of limitations is long past---so I can now confess with impunity.

Truth be told---I'm not really ashamed.  I was battling a clever and intransigent enemy---who had all the legal legs to stand on.  Unless I could topple him---I would lose my inheritance.

Here's the story in a nutshell:  My father---ever fearful of lawsuits---put nearly all his assets in someone else's name.  Someone he trusted---who then up and died---trapping his assets in a vulnerable limbo.  A near relative seemed poised to steal my rightful inheritance.  Negotiations failed! (my enemy actually said to me: "I think I've got it all)

My mind whirled some sleepless nights till I hatched a plan of recovery.  Soon, I had the money in hand.


Supoenas came from an outraged enemy----I would have to answer in court for my Machiavellian machinations.  I will tell the rest of the story in rhyme.

Daddy Took the Hit for Me

"Daddy I'm in trouble," I said
As he lay ill in a nursing bed.
"I was morally right but legally wrong.
They'll come and get me before too long.”

"I'll take the hit," he said to me.
Send the cops. I've a plan; you'll see.
I'm old and sick; my death's at hand.
What can they do to a dying man?"

I sent the cops and he explained;
He'd done the deed; was alone to blame.
It made him happy to save my bun;
One last gift to his youngest son.




RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I'd rather do an illegal thing for the right reason than a legal thing for the wrong reason.

I share the sentiments of William Loyd Garrison: With honorable people I will be honorable ---but when I'm dealing with the dishonorable---I will do whatever it takes. (paraphrased)

And while I'm talking about my father--I'll take this opportunity to share two more short poems that illustrate his thinking.

Daddy Dropped the Charges

Our store was robbed;
The thieves quickly caught.
Two neighborhood boys we knew,
In jail just two days,
When my father dropped the charges.
Puzzled and hot for vengeance,
I asked him why.
He said, “Our damage was slight,
A hundred dollars or so.
And if they are convicted of a felony,
They’ll stay in jail awhile and return,
Shamed and bitter—enemies,
Likewise their families.
Seizing opportunities to do us harm.
But if we let them go, they will feel gratitude,
And not likely repeat the offense.
We’ll have made friends with the family.
They will likely repay the damages,
And things will work out better.”
It was the right thing to do.
He never lectured the boys,

Simply told the sheriff to release them;
Let the sheriff explain.
I marvel now at his farsightedness.
The boys grew up to work for him.
The incident was never mentioned.


The Belt Punch

Daddy sent me to town for a belt punch
When our sawmill stopped dead cold.
The drive belt broke and needed relacing,
But first it needed new holes.

I asked at the store, and of several folks;
I checked with sawyer Bill.
No one had a belt punch and so
I returned straightway to the mill.

Daddy seemed dumbstruck with my tale.
In clearest oratory,
Said, “I sent you to town for a belt punch.
What you brought me back was a story.

Now son, I really need that tool.
You can see we’re in a crunch.
Go back to town and this time, please
Bring me back a belt punch.”

It was as though God spoke to me,
And I’ve made it a lifelong rule
To bring results and not excuses.
(I quickly returned with the tool.)

3 comments:

VtChris said...

I can hear your voice while I am reading these poems!

Ed Helvey - The Professional Nomad said...

How revealing and insightful, Randy.

I dare say that there is not one among us (not just your blog readers, but all human kind) who, if honest with ourselves, can't recall a variety of life incidents that relate, in some way, to all three of your poems.

We all can recall things we are not proud of or even ashamed of. But, what is done is done, it can't be changed. It's carved forever in our history. It may haunt us until our dying day or at least until the day we man up to ourselves.

One step of just about every 12 step program is to make "amends." I guess there are a variety of ways to do that. But, they all start with facing whatever it is, owning it and then forgiving ourselves for being vulnerable to err as humans.

I'm enjoying your revelations and relate to some of the pain you've coped with. Thanks for your courage in revealing your humanity.

Thoughtfully,
Ed

Nancy1340 said...

Good for you.