Jan recently wrote about our anniversary, referencing The Ransom of Red Chief,
a short story in which the kidnappers end up paying the father to take his Dennis the Menace son back. The context of our discussion was her plans to go for a walk around our daughter’s neighborhood in California. She said, “If you don’t hear from me after a while, come looking for me in case someone has kidnapped me."
I said, “Well, they wouldn’t realize the prize they have.” Because she is a prize to me and has been a blessing, not only to me for forty-one years, but also to her children, grand children, brothers, sisters, mom, family, friends, acquaintances, students, and random one-time encounters. Everyone is her friend, and she is always thinking of ways to help someone else. In fact, the kidnappers would most likely become the target of her concerns.
Jan smiled, “Yeah, like the ransom of Red Chief, right?”
“That’s not what I meant,” I wisely replied. But upon further reflection, her kind intentions might drive the kidnappers to distraction from their intended purpose and cause them to offer to pay me to take her back. That’s just the kind of person she is.