Ok, this isn’t actually mine. It was written in our local Parish magazine, the sort of one that drops through your door every few months and lets you know that the church is still falling down and that the £2.34 and 3 buttons raised so far aren’t going to be sufficient to fix it. Anyway I thought it was pretty poignant as these kind of things go. But then and again, I’m an emotional, hormonal woman at the best of times and an emotional, hormonal woman with BPD the rest of the time so my judgement doesn’t necessarily count for much and you may well think it’s cloying, meaningless rubbish.
Can I borrow £10?
A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door.
Son: ‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’
Dad: ‘Yeah, sure what is it?’
Son: ‘Daddy, how much do you make an hour?’
Dad: ‘That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?’
Son: ‘I just want to know. Please tell me how much do you make an hour?’
Dad: ‘If you must know I make £25 an hour.’
Son: ‘Oh,’ the little boy replied with his head down.
Son: ‘Daddy, may I please borrow £10?’
The father was furious. ‘If the only reason you asked is so that you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I don’t have time for such childish frivolities.’
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After an hour or so, the man had calmed down and started to think: maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that £10 and he didn’t ask for money that often. The man went to his son’s room and opened the door.
‘Are you asleep son?’ he asked.
‘No Daddy, I’m awake,’ replied the little boy.
‘I’ve been thinking maybe I was too hard on you earlier,’ said the man, ‘it’s been a long day and I took out my aggression on you. Here’s the £10 you asked for.
The little boy sat straight up, smiling ‘Oh thank you Daddy!’ he yelled. Then reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some crumpled up notes. Seeing he already had money, the father started to get angry again. The little boy counted out his money and then looked at his father.
‘Why do you want more money if you already have some?’ the father grumbled.
‘Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,’ the little boy replied. ‘Daddy, I have £25 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home an hour early tomorrow, I would like to have dinner with you.’
The father was crushed. He put his arm around his little son and begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers, without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that £25 of your time with someone you love.
If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.