A Friend For Life
This is Jaden. He is 5 years old. His grandmother and mom live across the street from me. Over the past year and a half Chumley Construction has been rebuilding fences throughout our community and he has watched as the big trucks delivering materials go rolling by, and has watched from a distance as our crew works digging holes, setting posts, and nailing up cedar pickets. This past month he was bold enough to ring my door bell and ask, ” Hey Joe, can I help build the fence next time?”.
Looking down at this 5 year old, I realized it wasn’t just “building a fence” that he was interested in. Jaden, needed a friend. His good buddy down the road just moved away, I watched him wave good bye to him the last time he was here. So I told Jaden, that he absolutely could help clean up some things when we needed to, shovel some dirt around here and there…things a 5 year old is more than happy to do. He was ready everyday for work and he would often say, “This is the best day of my life, I LOVE building fences!”
One morning as we were walking down to the job site from my front door, I asked him about his dad. I didn’t ever see his dad around and he just kind of shrugged his shoulders. So I decided to start the day off on a good note. “Jaden, repeat after me,” I said. “Today is a good day.” …”I’m getting to do cool stuff.” “I’m a winner, not a loser.” “I’m the head and not the tail.” “I’m above and never below.” “I’m smart.” “I work hard.” “I’m going good places and doing good things.” As he was repeating these phrases I could see his demeanor continue to lift, an excitement and confidence build inside him, it was a good start for both of us. The days were long for my crew, but Jaden would be out there with us…just wanting a task to perform here and there.
Friday of last week, at 4:30…he said,” Ok Joe, I’m going to take the rest of the day off.” Obviously it was nearly quitting time for us too, but I just smiled and said, “Ok Jaden, see you tomorrow!” I then looked at my worker Duncan and he asked me, “How long until Jaden comes back?” “I give him 15 minutes tops.” …it wasn’t but 10 minutes and Jaden was walking down the hill yelling out, “I was just kidding guys, I just needed a snack!”…
Today was the last day of the job and I told him I had something extra special for his hard work. As you can see in the album we posted, “A Friend for life” it was an achievement award for his hard work and dedication. He literally was speechless, a few tears welled up in my eyes and I just told him how proud I was of him. I asked him what his favorite part of the whole job was and he said simply, “Riding in your truck on our way home and talking.” (Keep in mind the ride to my house was about 75 yards). I have made a friend for life, it’s amazing what a little time, an $8 nail bag, and some time on the computer making a special award can do for somebody who just needed to know he was loved. At Chumley Construction we value our families, friends, employees, clients, and yes, even our neighbors too. I hope this story touches your heart, it sure did touch mine…
If you are unwilling to learn, No one can help you. If you are determined to learn, No one can stop you.