“Honey, tomorrow is Allen’s baseball competition. Please, he earnestly needs you there. You know how hard he’s been practising for it.”
“If only time would be for sale. For a reasonable price, I’d buy it. I have a backlog of work to do. Oh! Dear, I’m earnestly hunting for balance.”
“Honey, the kids need you. You have to create time for them. You need to come into their world. Do you remember how distraught Karen was when you didn’t make it for her ballet competition?”

“Oh! Lauren, all I’m doing is for the family. Very soon I’ll be on my own then we can go for a vacation anywhere in the world. Go on a spree.”
“Karl, please. Please, my love.”
“Ok. I’ll be there. I’ll call Lily. I’ll tell her to reschedule my meeting for tomorrow.”
“Oh! Thank you, dear. You’re the best. Allen will be overjoyed.”

They had prepared to leave home when Karl’s phone rang. It was an urgent call from his boss. They had some foreign clients who were ready to buy a property. He left hurriedly. He promised to be at the venue before the competition starts.

“I’m back. Sorry, I’m late. How has it been going?”
“Oh! Fine.”
“I hope Allen didn’t see me.”
“He did. He has been looking out for you. He saw you when you walked in. The competition is about to end.”
“Oh! No.”

Karl’s busy schedule slowly made devastating inroads into his health and his family. As the children grew they gradually drifted away from him. Lauren tried hard to fight the monster but all to no avail. He was too engrossed in his work to listen to her. One summer afternoon, he slumped at work and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor said his immune system had plummeted and his drugs could no more salvage the situation. He also said his heart was in a critical state.

Karl apologized to his family for not being there for them.

“Allen, please in all you do, remember this one thing. Family comes first.”

Tears streamed down their eyes.

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    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    8 months ago

    Thompson, you cleverly explored a father’s desire to better his family through earning more money versus a young family’s need for a Dad being interactive in their present lives. Workaholics often don’t understand when to stop and rest. I liked your imagery in the sentences, ““If only time would be for sale. For a reasonable price, I’d buy it.” I’ve heard that we should put God/our conscience/ beliefs first, then family, and… Read more »

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    8 months ago

    My goodness, this really resonated with me, Thompson. For many years, I was more wrapped up in my work than my family and your story brought it all back to me. It also conveys a very strong message… family comes first. Well done!

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    8 months ago

    Your sentence, “….. Family comes first.” punched me in the face. As recently, I decided to apply for overseas work in Israel, and of course, leaving my family is the hardest thing to do. Being too far from my children is a crazy thing but, it is essential for their bright future. I was born and raised in poor family. And as a mother, I want the best for my children. A… Read more »

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Thompson Emate
    6 months ago

    Thank you so much, Thompson. Your reply made my day.

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