The Urn

The Urn
by Geekydee

Geneva at the front desk was the first to see Kim come in on Take Your Daughter to Work Day and noticed she had some kind of Vase but didn’t say anything except her usual “Good Morning!”

"Morning Geneva, going to be an interesting day with all these girls here today, isn’t it?”

That it is, Ms. Martin, that it is. There have already been a few come through, including Mr. Franklin and his daughter.”

“Jeff Franklin, the CEO’s son? Wonder what he is doing here? Hmm, anyway, take care Geneva.”

“You too, Ms. Martin.”

After settling into her office, Kim carefully placed the urn, for that was what it was, on a safe spot on her desk, looking at it sadly. ‘I would have done anything to have you here with me Jade. I hope you know that, wherever you are,’ she thought to herself as a tear rolled down her cheek.

She was noticing all the various girls of different ages in the office taking interest in different areas, when Jeff came into her office and asked if she could mentor his daughter for 30 or so minutes while he had a confidential meeting. He then introduced his daughter. “Jess, this is Kimberly Martin, she manages Accounts Receivables. Kim, do you mind if I call you Kim? Or do you prefer Kimberly?”

“Kim is fine, as long as I can call you Jeff?”

“Sounds good. Kim, this is Jessica, but she prefers Jess usually. Anyway, I hate to run, but the meeting starts in a few. Take care and I’ll be in conference room 211. Oh, and thanks, I owe you one.”

“No problem!” Kim said with a smile in her voice

The two women sat there for a few moments, wondering what each would do, when Jess spoke up and asked, “So, what is Accounts Receivable? And you manage it all?” she continued, looking around the office.

“Yes, I manage this tiny part of your grandfather’s company. As to what we do, and as for Accounts Receivable, we basically take care of making sure the bills that get sent out get paid and take the money from that for the company,” Kim slowly explained to the young girl.

They then started talking about the different parts of the company for a few minutes before Jess asked, “What’s that vase on your desk for, did the flowers die?”

It was at this point that Jeff came back from his meeting and overheard the conversation and saw the urn on the desk for what it was and saw Kim go pale at the question. “Jess, could you go get me and Kim some bottles of water from the break room? Do you remember where it is?”

“Sure, dad, be back in a bit. I need to use the restroom anyway.”

“Be safe and watch out for falling sheep, hun!”

“Daaad!” she playfully replied before leaving.

“You okay, Kim?” he asked as she was slowly caressing the base of the urn.

“Yes, I think… No, I’m not, not really. I thought I could do this, but now? I don’t know,” she said, on the brink of tears.

Jeff sat and let her work it out.

“Did you know I lost Jude a year ago today? I thought I could handle it, but…” she said, remembering Jude’s final days in hospice at home.
“Jeff? Did you know we talked a lot towards the end, me and Jude? About everything and nothing, really, but the biggest thing that hurt was finding a daughter I never knew about. Right after Jude was diagnosed, Tom started working longer hours at the law firm, until he filed for divorce, like it was Jude and my fault he got cancer and he didn’t want to deal with it. After that, I used to joke with Jude that he was now the man of the house and had a lot to do when he got better. He always got introspective after that so I quit joking with him about it.”

“He tried to fight it, but it was a fast and aggressive cancer. Except at the end. In hospice care at home, we talked, maybe the drugs helped, or the pain meds allowed him to think past the pain. No idea. But he told me I was mistaken, that he was never the man of the house, and that was when he told me about Jade, the daughter I never met, nor ever knew. She told me about her hopes and dreams that were never to come true, the places she’d never see but had traveled to in her mind on the internet.” All the while as she was talking, she kept caressing the urn, and it slowly dawned on Jeff why she had brought the urn in that day.

Jeff could only sit there and think of his wife’s battle 2 years prior, when Kim started talking again.

She asked me if I would have taken her to a “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day” and I could only say “Yes, I would be proud to do that for you.” Our conversations after that got harder for her, but she made me promise to take her later, even though she knew she wouldn’t see that day. She also made me promise to continue loving everyone like her grandma said was in the Bible. What was I supposed to say? I said “Yes, baby, I will try.”
““Momma, don’t just try, please do it. For me?” That was the last conversation we had, but I knew she was free of pain. And free of the bigotry, prejudice, and hate. All that hate she would have faced. Is it wrong of me to try to see the blessing her death might have been, or does that make me a bad person? A bad mother?” And with that, Kim slowly started crying.

Jeff looked around and found the tissues on the shelf and got her a few. He then reached over and put her phone on Do Not Disturb and closed the door.

“Kim, does doing any of those things make you any of what you described? No, it makes you a mother who loved her child and didn’t want to see them hurt. When I lost Cyndi almost 2 years ago, I wondered about a lot of things: What was I going to do without her, who would take care of us, of Jess, so many thoughts ran through my mind. But it was Jess who brought it all into perspective. She came into my den one night while I was on a self-pity/self-doubt rollercoaster and told me, “Daddy, Mom sent me a dream and to tell you she loved you and me and that was enough for her. She also says we still have a lot of love, enough for others and to share it. What did she mean, Daddy?”

There was a timid knock at the door and Jeff got up to open it. Jess looked up at him then over to Kim. “Daddy? I sort of heard what you guys were talking about. Can I say something?”

After glancing at a slowly drying up Kim and receiving a nod, Jeff said, “Sure Pumpkin, what do you have to say?”

“When mom said “Love is enough.” I never knew what that meant. I know now. Ms. Martin, Jade knew this, but was probably too young to say it right, or well, or whatever. She was just trying to say your love was all she ever needed or wanted, and you were always there to give it. I think that was what mom was trying to tell me, too.” As she was saying this, she had started tearing up as well. “Daddy? When we get home, can we go talk to mom? Please?”

Sure thing kiddo,” he said as he gave her a hug.

Jess slowly worked her way out of the hug and walked over to Kim and hugged her tight, saying almost inaudibly “Thank you Mom,” as they both of them started to softly cry.

Finis
**************

That's it, typos and all, started 4 hours ago at the whim of my pesky Muse who got into the Monsters and White Chocolate...

She heard about the Challenge, found spouse's Monsters and my chocolate and this the what happened. Enjoy and may you shed less tears than I did while writing it. Be well and love all those around you. Hugs to all

Diana



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This story is 1431 words long.