My Old Friend

by Brian Power
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

My Old Friend

Recently, my 17-month-old little girl Lucy broke her femur at the babysitter’s house. It was quite by accident I am sure, but she was sent to the hospital and put into traction for a few days before the cast could be set for her. My wife, my mom and I alternated time with her and often wondered how we would ever recover the financial burden of this stay in the hospital.

My wife is a teacher and I guess I should mention that I work at this hospital, and know enough that one or two weekends of overtime, if permitted, would not be a drop in the bucket to pay for this admission. Also, this baby, Lucy, was preparing for an outpatient visit to have tubes put into her ears at the same hospital. Knowing all of this, I tried and failed to make one hospital visit take care of all of Lucy’s needs.

I have a friend, Tim, in Texas. We grew up together, and went to the same church. We were inseparable youths going fishing, camping, movies and such growing up. After college we went our different ways and rarely saw each other. I moved to Tulsa and Tim moved to Texas.

Not too long ago I found Tim’s phone number and contacted him to see if he was doing OK. We started e-mailing each other at least once a day. Although he lives far away, we are still close through e-mail. Tim has not even met little Lucy yet. After hearing of Lucy’s accident, Tim e-mailed me and told me how very sorry and upset he is about what had happened. I told him that somehow we would overcome this and everything else in a matter of time, and I was waiting for my opportunity to work overtime. To my surprise, shortly after this I received a letter in the mail from Tim. He had been working two jobs for the last three months and was just paid his commission. Enclosed was a check in the amount of the money I would bring home in a month. It was enough to pay for both visits to the hospital, the money my wife would be out for a substitute, and probably enough to get us caught up on the monthly bills. All I could do was cry.

I called Tim on the phone and he told me that this was all extra money to him. His truck had not broken down in three months, his bills were caught up, and he just wanted to help us out. Some might consider this a random act of kindness. I consider it a miracle. Maybe someday I could do the same for someone else and be the hero like Tim.

Originally published as HeroicStories #116 on Feb 3, 2000

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