by John Wayne “Jack” Schlatter

author of Gifts By The Side Of The Road

The man sat at his desk with a sigh of despair. He pulled the resignation 
form toward him and started to fill it out. His pen ran out of ink. He got 
up and headed to his cabinet to get a fresh one when suddenly he heard 
giggling behind him. He turned to see the back of a blond haired little 
girl whose face he could not see, wearing a light blue dress, running out of 
his office while tearing up the form and laughing.

It was too late to get a fresh form and so the man left his office and drove 
home after making one stop. He walked into his shabby apartment and reached 
in to the pocket of his wrinkled overcoat and withdrew a bottle. Despite the 
pain, despite the doctors’ warnings, even despite the blood, he still 
considered the contents of this bottle to be his best friend.

He went into his bedroom to deposit his overcoat when once again he heard 
giggling. He strode into the living room to see the back of a little boy
wearing a red “T” shirt and brown corduroy pants running out of the 
apartment holding a bottle over his head and dropping it on the sidewalk, 
smashing it into countless pieces.

Now, totally confused and angered, the man grabbed his car keys and stormed 
out of his apartment and started to drive out of town. He knew where the hills were and he knew where the sharp turn was. Soon it would all be over. No more rejections, no loneliness, no more broken dreams, no more blind alleys.

When the car reached 70 miles an hour, the motor suddenly died. He reached 
down to turn the ignition back on only to discover that the keys were no 
longer there. “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t let you do this, it would be too great a loss to too many people.”

He was shocked to see that the words just spoken were coming from a young 
man sitting in the passenger seat. This mysterious guest was wearing a dark 
blue suit, which framed a unique style red tie. His sandy brown hair was 
neatly combed and his blue eyes seemed to shine with an electric type of 
challenge. The car slowly rolled to a stop. The unexpected visitor opened 
the car door and got out, but not before he looked back with a glaring 
intensity and said,”Please Sir, rebuild. Don’t regret. Discover, don’t
despair. Reach for the sky, don’t die!” He then walked into the mist and 

Completely exhausted, the man threw his head back and fell into a deep 
sleep. He awoke just as the sun was making it’s first appearance of the 
day. The keys were back in the ignition and so he very carefully and very 
slowly drove home. Later he made one very important phone call. A few days 
later he arose for the first time to introduce himself at an Alcoholics 
Anonymous meeting. This step was followed by improved health habits, greater 
quality of performance on the job, eventual creation and ownership of his 
own company, an indefinably and most important of all love, marriage, 
children. family!

Years later, on a Friday afternoon, he was sitting at his desk contemplating the 
wonderful weekend he was about to enjoy when there was an unexpected 
interruption.” Sir, I ‘ve never met you before but I just had to take this 
opportunity to thank you for creating this wonderful company which 
encourages employees not only to work but to dream and to make those dreams 
realities. Thanks to you I have found the position where I can provide for my family and express my talents.”

 He turned and looked at his visitor in shocked amazement….Standing before him was a young man wearing a dark blue summer suit which framed a unique red tie …a young man with sandy brown hair and electric blue eyes…The man jumped out of his chair and hugged his shocked visitor….”Oh my dear friend, you may have never met me, but I most certainly have met you…A meeting for which I will be grateful my entire life.”

 He joyfully drove home and was not in the least surprised to see his young son wearing a red ‘T” shirt and brown corduroy pants…He jumped into the man’s arms, “Hi ya, Daddy” They walked into the house to be greeted by the man’s young blond haired daughter wearing a powder blue dress….”Daddy, where have you been? Mommy’s been waiting dinner…”

 With tears in his eyes, the man knelt and hugged his two treasures and thanked the God of All Time who sent his Love into the Past to Prepare him for the Future so he could enjoy this glorious Present….!!!!!