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getting married and you know the receptions are not going to be held at the local
VFW hall. They’ll cost a bundle. That’s probably why he’s selling.”
He remembered all of it like it was yesterday. At the time it was like a faint,
distant clap of thunder warning of the approaching storm - an unheeded warning.
Jack’s memory fast-forwarded. The tide of lay offs did indeed rise and as it
rose, simultaneously, the stock price fell. Which moved more quickly, it was hard
At every round of lay off announcements, Jack anxiously awaited his notice.
It never arrived and each time he felt a sigh of relief.
Then, Tuesday morning, July 8th, eight A.M. Bam! Right between the eyes!
A team of security guards stood at the door as Mark exited the building. He
walked towards Jack’s car as it entered the parking lot. He was carrying two
large, plastic shopping bags, one in each hand. He nodded for Jack to pull over.
Jack stopped and rolled down the window.
“Go get your shit! The party’s over.”
“What’s going on?”
“Didn’t you listen to the radio this morning? Our stock fell by ninety percent in
over night trading and this morning we declared bankruptcy. They’re letting
people in one by one to clean their desks. The Feds are up stairs right now.
Better go get in line to get your stuff”, he then turned and continued walking
towards his car.
Jack’s thoughts continued to drift.
“I can’t tell you how sorry I am. She put up one hell of a fight.”
“Thanks Arnie, I appreciate your coming.”
“I’m sorry Jack. I don’t know what else to say.”
“I understand. Thanks Ann.”
The line stretched around the room and out into the hall of the funeral home.
Sally had lots of friends. She was the kind of person who was always there
for others and now it was their turn and they were all there for her.
Jack drew in a deep breath through his nose and swallowed hard as he
continued to greet the horde the well wishers.
Sally got sick about two months after he had lost his job at Tyron.
“It was a terrible time to get ill”, he thought to himself but then again it’s never
a good time to get cancer.
“That’s not what I meant!” he mentally chided himself.
No medical insurance, it disappeared with job. Then eight months of
operations and chemo. The cancer consumed her and all that they had, which
wasn't that much after the 401K collapsed with Tyron.
His memories rolled forward.
“Alright Dad. Do you think you have everything? Look around again just to be
sure. Check the basement again.”
“I’m sure. I can’t take much with me anyway. It’s only three rooms you know.”
“Okay, grab the box and let’s go.”
Jack reached down and picked a large cardboard carton packed with
pictures and a few books. Lying on the top was a large frame displaying military
medals and decorations.