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Margaret sat beside Jennifer’s bed. She wondered what to do to save her mother. Although the surgery was an immediate necessity but it had to be held up because of Margaret’s failure to pay the medical bills. She didn’t know who to approach for help. Margaret prayed to God. She was so helpless.

In the last twenty six years of her life, this was the first time that Margaret saw her mother so severely ill. In their small family of two, she was now the only one left to handle the crisis.

A Chance Encounter With Destiny

She prayed hard for help but did not have a single ray of hope ahead of her. Never ever Margaret felt that the dearth of money could become such a curse. In their small family comprising of Margaret and Jennifer, there was never much money; but there were lots of happiness and warmth, enough to sustain the mother and the daughter. Jennifer always used to tell her daughter that more than money, one needs to have a big heart; a very big one that is filled with compassion for all. But oh God! Despite having such a big heart, her mother was lying in the hospital bed and Margaret was not being able to arrange for the necessary funds. Margaret was weeping holding her mother’s hand.

Margaret was taken aback when suddenly two people came near Jennifer’s bed in order to take her to the operation theater.

“Excuse us Ma’am, we need to shift her to the operation theater immediately.”, one of the attendants told Margaret. But Margaret had still not been able to pay the bills! Then how come they were taking her mother for the operation room? She asked the attendants who asked her to speak to the person in the reception.

Margaret ran to the reception desk. The lady there told her that all her bills were cleared and the surgery could easily be conducted now. When Margaret wanted to know who the one was to clear the bills on her behalf, she was handed over an envelope.

Astonished, she opened it and found a letter written in the hospital’s letterhead. It read,

Hi,

You need not worry about the medical bills of Mrs. Thompson. Everything has been settled. In fact, she herself had cleared the bill years back with a glass of warm milk and two chocolate cookies.

Her surgery is my responsibility; trying my best to make her recover as soon as possible.

Regards,

Dr. Alfred Edison

(the guy who came with homemade pickles)

The letter bore a date twenty years back.

Margaret stood spellbound. Then she recalled that day of her life which apparently was insignificant but had now turned out to be a turning point!

That day twenty years back, little Margaret was playing with her doll and running around the house. The doorbell rang. She remembered the incident that took place after she opened the door….

“Who’s there, Margaret?” Jennifer asked aloud from inside her kitchen.

“Someone is here selling home-made pickles, Mom.”

Jennifer came out of her kitchen and found a young boy of around fifteen standing with a huge bag in his hand.

“Hello, Ma’am. I have got some very tasty homemade pickles; hygienic, lip-smacking, yet reasonably priced. These are made by my mother. Would you like to try some?”, said the boy with a smile on his face. He looked tired and stressed out. He looked as if he has not had a proper meal.

Jennifer called him inside and took two different types of pickles from him. She asked him to wait and went inside to get the money. She came back with money and a glass of warm milk and two cookies. The boy looked surprised. She paid for the pickle and asked him to have the milk and the cookies. The boy smiled again and drank it. He took the cookies in his pocket and thanked her once again before he left.

Jennifer liked the pickle a lot and wanted to keep more the next time the boy came. Both the bottles that she bought got over gradually; but the boy never came back. Neither she knew where he lived nor did he leave any contact information of his with her so that she could call him to get some more stuffs.

Since then, days went by and life went on for both the mother and the daughter.

Recently, two days back, when Margaret came back from her school, she found that Jennifer was lying senseless in her bed. Margaret called their family physician immediately who said that Jennifer had to be hospitalized without delay. She had suffered a severe heart attack and a bypass surgery had to be conducted for Jennifer to get back to her normal life.

The letter brought back memories of her mother’s kindness and God’s grace towards her.

Margaret now truly believed how powerful her mother’s statement was; that more than money one needs to have a very big heart. This letter was not just a letter for her; it was a learning experience. For the first time, she learned what meant it meant to be a friend indeed!

Photo credits: Kaz Andrew

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