Daddy's Legacy

Copyright 2005
by Lin Stone

They sat around moping when Daddy died because he had not left them any legacy. They were so down in the mouth that I stood up and volunteered to pay Daddy back for that time he drove 350 miles to get me when my car blowed up and my whole family was stranded on the road. "I figure that kind of service call is worth a thousand dollars because he kind of done it on credit and I never paid the bill. I'll put that in the pot for yawl a legacy to divide up." 

That was only $200 each but they cheered up immensely anyway. Just the thought of having a legacy come to them was enough to do it. 

Then Wayne scowled. "I guess I'd better pay him back for that time he loaned me his truck and a hundred dollars to take Gail to the hospital with a broken wrist. That was about 15 years ago and I never paid him a penny back either. I guess I owe his legacy about a thousand dollars too with the way inflation is going." 

He sniffled a little bit, then added: "And now that I think on it, that was just one of the thousand times he helped me out with cash, equipment, his own time, and just the advice he gave me was worth a fortune. I'm going to put in another $2,000.00"

One by one the other family members added to the pot remembering times and places Daddy had done them good. Charles only kicked in with a couple hundred, but we sharply reminded him about all the times he had lost the roof over his head and he had just flat moved in with Daddy. Grudgingly he wrote out an I.O.U. for $5,000 and said he hoped that cleared up our estimation of him.

We looked at that potful of imaginary money and it made all of us feel better even though there wasn't a real nickel in the pot for we had spent it all. Then we kept on adding to it like Charles did, with our I.O.U.s and it wasn't long before Daddy had a legacy anyone on earth could be proud of. 

"You know," I said. "Daddy did give each one of us a legacy, only he didn't wait for it to pile up and not give it to us until he died. He gave us our legacy when we needed it, and maybe that is even more important than a legacy you get only when your daddy dies."

Then we went back and put more flowers on his grave -- paying for it out of our own pockets even though we had to stop and visit a pawn shop to do it!

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