Getting Paid in Hugs
Inspired by BEN STEWART
Jake was in the second grade when his parents told him his grandpa would be
retiring after working at the same company for forty years. With a look of
amazement on his face, Jake said, "I'm only seven, so that means Grandpa has
been there . . ." He thought for a second and finally exclaimed, "A really
His parents chuckled and said, "Yes, Grandpa has worked there a long time,
and that's why we are throwing him a surprise party."
Jake loved his grandpa very much and wanted to do something special for the
occasion. He offered to help with the party plans but was told that all the
arrangements had been made. Undaunted, Jake knew there must be some way he
could show his grandpa how much he was appreciated and congratulate him on
Jake remembered the business card his grandpa had given him a couple of
years earlier. It was wedged within the mirror's wooden frame in his
bedroom, between a two-dollar bill and a picture of him and his dad on the
Ferris wheel at the church carnival. He scrambled up the stairs and into his
room. Taking the tattered card in his hand, he realized that his grandpa
would no longer have that position. Positions are good, he thought, so he
decided to create a new one for his grandpa. Jake told his parents about the
idea, and they said it was wonderful.
When the big day came, Jake was ready. A collection of different-size boxes,
all beautifully wrapped, were placed on a gift table-that is, all except for
Jake's. He didn't want to include his gift with the others, so he carried it
around with him the entire evening.
He watched his grandpa open the other gifts, "oohing" and "aahing" at each
one. He wanted his gift to be the last one Grandpa opened, so as the evening
drew to a close, he took his grandpa's hand and ushered him over to a chair
in the corner, away from the crowd.
"I've got something for you, Grandpa," Jake stated with pride, offering up
With that, his grandpa propped Jake up on his left knee and declared, "Well,
this sure is a beautifully wrapped present. Did you do this all by
"Kind of," Jake replied, shrugging his shoulders. "Mom helped me a little."
Grandpa smiled. "Well, it looks wonderful. May I open it now?"
Jake enthusiastically nodded his head.
As Grandpa unwrapped the package, his cheeks grew moist with tears. Jake had
given him the greatest gift he could have ever asked for: official business
cards with his new title: FULL-TIME GRANDPA. There were no phone or fax
numbers because now his time was his own. There was no business address
because his new position didn't require one. Jake gazed lovingly into his
grandpa's eyes and said, "Congratulations on your retirement. Now your
full-time job is just being my grandpa!"
Holding one of the cards between his right thumb and index finger and wiping
his tears with the back of his hand, Grandpa asked jokingly, "Well, how much
do I get paid?"
With his bright blue eyes expressing total devotion, Jake responded, "As
many hugs as you want each day."
Beaming with joy, Grandpa gave Jake an affectionate hug and buoyantly
replied, "Well, I guess that means I'm a rich man."
About the Author and Book:
Inspired by BEN STEWART Copyright Â© 2002 by Edward Fays
From A Grandparent's Gift of Love
A Grandparent's Gift of Love is an inspiring book of
stories that are filled with triumps, tragedies, memories
and lessons that we can use in our own lives to bring
comfort. It is for grandchildren and grandparents from
all walks of life. For more information on the book read