The Index Cards
The gift that kept on giving...
Please note: After March 31, 2023, I will not be updating this substack. I will still be writing stories, but I will be posting them on http://dailyshortstories.com. I own the site and for now will be the only author posting on it.
Two full weeks after his father had passed on, Seth was still sorting through boxes of odds and ends, mostly pictures and memorabilia. Much of it he tossed, but was able to examine each item personally. With the examination came the memories of the event.
As estate executor, it was Seth’s responsibility to report the state of the estate to the law firm within a month of the father’s passing. It was taking him this long because none of it was pure junk, and most had meaning and memories attached.
The last two boxes were the most intriguing to Seth. They were filled with index cards with prayers by year and a name with a rubber band around them, the names of Seth and all three of his siblings. Seth knew his mother and father to be church-going people so that wasn’t a puzzle.
He unwrapped the index card stack with his birth year on it. He read the prayers one by one, prayers for health and strength, prayers for wisdom in raising him, general prayers for guidance. Three months into this life, Seth had to be hospitalized for pneumonia, he recalled his mother telling him. Sure enough, the dates matched for those prayers as well, much more hurried and illegible and smeared with a bit with water.
Year by year all the way through school, he read the cards, now yellowed and dog-eared from the years. Throughout, the father had prayed for protection and wisdom and a good wife. Seth held that last card in his hand. He did the math in his head and it was during his junior year in high school. Who was he serious with at the time? Who was he dating?
“Ah, Lisa,” he said. “That prayer was answered. Glad I never went further with her. Wow. Would’ve been a disaster.”
Then came his four years in the Air Force. The prayers for protection continued as he traveled the globe for his work. A prayer for a great godly wife was always only a card or two away.
Seth spent hours unwrapping the cards and reading the prayers his father prayed on his behalf. Most of the time after Seth left home, his father didn’t have a clue of Seth’s whereabouts or situations, but the prayers all made sense looking back. From his travels to his career and then to his wife and children, they were all included into the mix. Three hours had passed since he had started unwrapping the index cards and he still had 20 years to go to get to the present.
Before finishing his stack of cards, he divided the stacks up according to siblings, gathered their addresses, and headed off to the post office. The siblings were local, but their surprise and intrigue would be worth the trouble of him mailing them the cards. Their father left his kids the kind of present no money could ever possibly buy. He provided for his family while they grew up, but now gave them inspiration and a model for the days ahead.
While he was alive, he didn’t need to let others know he was praying for them; his actions spoke louder than his words ever could.