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Very Touching Story
The Nicest Things Part 2

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That group of students moved on. Several years later, my parents met me at the airport after I returned from a vacation. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather and my experiences in general. There was a light lull in the conversation.
Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?"
My father cleared his throat as he usually did before saying something important.
"The Eklunds called last night." He began.
"Really?" I said.
"I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is."
Dad responded quietly.
"Mark was killed in Vietnam." He said.
"The funeral is tomorrow and his parents would like it if you could attend."

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome and mature. All I could think at that moment was I would give all the masking tape in the world if only Mark would talk to me again.

The church was packed with Mark's friends. The pastor said the usual prayers and the bugler played taps. One by one, those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water.

I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who had acted as pallbearer came up to me.
"Were you Mark's math teacher?" He asked.
I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin.
"Mark talked about you a lot." He said.

(Read More : Touching Story)

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chucks farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there and they were obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something." His father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket.
"They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.
"Thank you so much for doing that." Mark's mother said.
"As you can see, Mark treasured it."

Mark's classmates started to gather around us.
Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home."
Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put this in our wedding album."
"I have mine too,"
Marilyn said, "It's in my diary."
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group.
"I carry this with me at all times." Vicki said without batting an eyelash.
"I think we all saved our lists."

(Read More : Love Story Letters)

That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The purpose of this story is to encourage everyone to compliment the people you love and care about. We often tend to forget the importance of showing our affections and love. Sometimes the smallest of things could mean the most to another. Please spread this story around to spread the message that we should constantly encourage people around us, express our love and care by complimenting on others and be open with communication. The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day and we don't know when that one day will be. Tell them, before it is too late.


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More on The Nicest Things Part 1 | 2