The Wealth of the Land

Wealth provided by the mineral rich soil of the land doesn't cross Jimmy's mind as he works in his mother's garden. It was her health that furrowed his brow. She had fallen ill months ago, becoming bed ridden shortly thereafter. She was a very closed off person, an introvert one might say; Jimmy had only known her to be stern and reclusive, even in his own upbringing. Jimmy had not seen his mother past his 18th birthday, shortly after his father's passing. Jimmy went on to become an entrepreneur, trying his hand at one business venture after another. He failed at every avenue, stocks yielding low and Covid laying him lower. However, he lived his life his way, without the yoke laid upon him by the hands of others. Life was hard, but he was still breathing. He had not heard from his mother since reaching adulthood, and his immediate exodus from her domicile; although he had not sought her out either. It came as a surprise to him when a man claiming to be her physician called him and said Jimmy's mother had fallen ill, that she wanted him to come tend to her garden until she got better. Jimmy's mother was very protective of "HER" garden. It was the one thing she truly cared for… "more than me even," he mused. She did not deserve respect, but Jimmy's father instilled a very strong ethical will within Jimmy. He did as he was asked. Jimmy went to his mother's home every day to tend to her garden. He would garden for over an hour then leave. He never went into her home. She never called on him or asked to see him, nor did he to her. This carried on for months, Jimmy a man of his word and a good son… for his "father's sake" Jimmy would tell himself. One afternoon, Jimmy pulled into the driveway of his mother's home to see an ambulance outside along the street. It was beginning to pull away… no flashing lights… no sirens. An old man in a black suit with greying black hair approached Jimmy with a solemn expression. "Jimmy, I take it?" The voice of his mother's physician. "I regret to inform you, but your mother has passed away." Jimmy stared at the man for a moment then turned coldly to walk to the garden. As he went to where he usually begins his tending, he noticed a mound of freshly turned soil. Jimmy kneeled down and shifted the soil to find a metal box. He looked at the physician who smiled and walked away. Jimmy opened the box to find an envelope inside. Within the envelope were two sheets of paper. Lettering upon the first read: "I'm sorry, I love you." A Deed to the home was signed over to Jimmy. Pictures were in there too, pictures of Jimmy throughout his life…past to present. His mother was always there, loving him the only way she knew how… from afar. (Image courtesy of Chris Yang

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Bernard Jan

Award-winning, multi-genre author, novelist,...

Zagreb, Croatia