"When life held troubled times,
And I was down on my knees,
There's always been someone
Who's come along to comfort me,
The kind words of a stranger
To lend a helping hand
A phone call from a friend
Just to say, "I understand"
And ain't it kinda funny,
At the long end of the road,
Someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope."
It was one of the darkest times in my life. My doctor had discovered a bleeding lesion in the temporal, parietal region of my brain. MRI's, arteriograms, CT scans, EEG's were all performed, but its origin and cause remained a mystery. The next step was a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN where I would meet with both a neurologist and neurosurgeon.
I was a single mother then; my two children were 10 and 8 years old. I was scared and uncertain of the future for us all and wanted only to be well and free from worry. I had no family living near, though felt comforted by the support and concern of dear friends in our community. I had just begun dating a gentleman who took a week away from his job to accompany me on the trip to Minnesota. I remember the evening I left my children at my parents' house; my precious little boy running down the sidewalk, alongside the car as we drove away, and how I watched from my rearview mirror as he stood solemnly on the corner and waved until I was out of sight. The feelings of absolute terror and fear of the unknown are still vivid, and that picture of my son stays fresh in my mind, clutching at my heart.
I had gone to the bank and taken out a second mortgage on my house, hoping the new loan would help cover some of my traveling and medical expenses; clearly not the best answer, but a temporary solution in my quest for answers. A few days before I was to leave, one of my friends from church came to our house with a bulky envelope in her hand. The choir, which I was a part of, had taken up an offering to help with my expenses. One person, she said, had given a substantial amount, but had asked her for anonymity. She hugged me tightly before she left and I sat down to open the contents of the envelope. There in my hands I counted $2600; an unconditional, loving gift from Christian hearts disguised as a tangible blessing. I wept from sheer relief and overwhelming gratitude.
Because of this gift I was able to call home each night, talk to my children and sing them a bedtime song before they went to sleep. Because of this gift I was able to afford accomodations for a week's stay in an unfamiliar town while meeting with doctors. Because of this gift I was able to concentrate on my health and not on the expense. Because of this gift I was able to pay my medical expenses and not suffer financial devastation. Because of this gift, I am a better human being.
The specialists never figured out what was wrong with me. After many hours of waiting, worrying and discussion, their recommendation was for me to have annual MRI's and to watch for any neurological changes. It has been five years and so far, so good. Perhaps I still have a time bomb ticking away inside my head, waiting for eruption. Or perhaps the power of prayer, positive thinking and love has overcome whatever mystery this was.
And as for the anonymous donor, he too, remains a mystery. Sometimes I speculate and wonder who it could have been. Mostly, I respect his privacy and am all right with not knowing. But every year at Christmas time, I send a card through my friend at church, and she delivers it to my unknown angel. In it I tell him how my life is going, share my joys and once again, thank him for the incredible gift he gave me those five years ago. Through that generous and unselfish love, he restored my hope and passed a torch of human kindness that shall never be forgotten.
May God bless my unspoken angel this Christmas.....and for the New Year ahead.
P.S. The man who accompanied me to MN, sat for hours in the waiting room and helped relieve my worries is now my husband.