The Serendipity of Miracles

Shriners

 

The tourist, who came to their little town every winter, walked with a cane. She didn’t know why, but each day he came into the little store where she worked to get his groceries. He spoke a little Spanish and she spoke a little English—enough that they could have small conversations.

One day he came in and saw her son.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“He was born that way,” she said. From what she understood, there was a problem with the tendons in his ankles. The boy couldn’t walk as his ankles turned in. “His dream is to play soccer,” she said.

He gestured to his cane and nodded. “I understand that,” he said. “I knew a boy back home who walked the way your son does. It can be fixed, you know, with surgery.”

“Um hum,” she said. Just where did this man think she would find the money for such surgery?

The man went back home and she thought no more about the conversation.

Then one day the phone rang. “This is Dr. X. from the Shriner’s Hospital in Mexico City. Please tell your friend to stop emailing me. I will examine your son at the end of January and we will see if we can help. Oh, and just so you know, our services are free.”

“You did this?” she asked, when she next saw the tourist.

“Yes, I’ve been emailing and phoning the hospital about your son for the past year.”

“Thank you,” she said. She wanted to say more, but was stymied by language and emotion.

He nodded. He understood.

Friends and family donated money for the bus fare. They stayed with relatives in the City. The young lad had his surgery. The operation was a success.

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The best job in the world.

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My mother claimed being a grandparent was the best and now that I’m at that stage of life, I heartily agree. I’m lucky to live a few blocks from my granddaughter and to see her nearly every day.

Every grandchild is special. I’d like to introduce you to the now four-year-old darling who is mine.

My grownup grandchild:

In the car, when Grandpa is ranting about another driver, she says, “Relax Grandpa.” She also corrects Grandpa’s Spanish pronunciation with a whole lot of exaggeration of the words for his benefit.

One morning Grandpa is helping little g with the workbook Santa brought her. She doesn’t think she has to follow his instructions and says, “Good bye, Grandpa. Don’t you have to go?” (He was on his way for coffee.)

My discerning grandchild:

Little g is a terrible sleeper. I sit by her bed and whisper sing (because I can’t sing worth a damn)  Rock-a-by-Baby. Suddenly she says, “Mommy, ayudame, ayudame. Grandma is crazy. No, Grandma. Stop! Mommy, grandma molestandeme con su cancion.”

Ayudame = help me   Molestandeme con su cancion = bugging me with her song

My helpful grandchild:

I start to get up from the sofa where I’m lying with an ice bag for my back. Little g says, “Don’t move. I have my job to do.” Then she comes over and gives me a kiss. Trying to lure me into the pool she says, “The water is cold. It will feel good on your back. Like the ice bag.”

When I can’t get the CD working in Grandpa’s car, the child, who is adept with Grandpa’s iPad, says, “Just push any button and see what happens.”

And music to this author’s ears:

Little g – What’s this?

Me – It’s a book for mommy to read if she wants to.

Little g – Oh, did you write it for her?

How can I not love every second I spend with her?