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Today I will tell you a story about giving that involves a very pregnant daughter-in-law, my son who stood beside her, several grandparents, other family members, and a stranger who demonstrated his love of life.
It all began in the wee hours of April 17, 1999, when the stirrings of life became so great as to let Melissa know that the end of her pregnancy had come. Chip, our son, gently put her into the car and chauffeured her to the entrance of Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Little did they know how long the day would be for both of them.
By the time I got to the hospital, Chip had assumed his position as coach and cheerleader. He never left Melissa’s side for more than a few minutes throughout the long hours that followed. Alternating in and out of the room were the two prospective grandmothers. The rest of us sat tensely in the waiting room, hoping with each passing moment that there would be good news. But hours went by, and other than the reports that Melissa was struggling and Chip was exhorting her to breathe, no other news was forthcoming.
Now the story takes a strange but wonderful twist. At about 5:30 p.m., we heard a man at the nurse’s station say, “But it is my money and I want to handle it in my way.” He had been explaining to the nurse that he had decided to celebrate his birthday by giving $100 to a child born that day. He wanted to present the check, person to person, to a deserving family. The nurse said that she just could not permit a donation in that manner—that hospital policy required donations to be channeled through its foundation.
The man turned away and walked in our direction. The man’s intent touched me and I approached him about his reasons for the gesture. Roland told me a very interesting story about how things had not always been easy for him. He had many difficulties in the past and even some brushes with death. However, in the past few years he had found a deep faith and now was on a different path. His business was flourishing and his family life was full and abundant. He told me that God had been good to him and that he just wanted to share his many blessings. Roland then asked me why I was at the hospital and I told him I was awaiting the birth of our granddaughter. His eyes lit up and he said he wanted to be the one to give the baby her first gift on the day of her birth. I pointed out that, although the child was deserving of the best as all children are, she certainly was not deprived and perhaps he should give it to another child that might be in need. All this fell on deaf ears and he presented a check for my granddaughter, Gillian.
Well, the story does not end there. Melissa’s labor continued into the night, and as the clock hands moved toward midnight, we began thinking that perhaps Gillian and Roland would not share a birthday after all. But at 11:10 p.m., the doctor suggested that Melissa had done all that she could do and that continued efforts could harm her and the baby. The baby was delivered by Caesarian section with 28 minutes left in the day, and she will forever share a birthday with a stranger who wanted to bless a child.
As we celebrate Gillian’s birthday each year, we will tell her of that stranger, a man of a different race, at a place so aptly named after the Good Samaritan, who shared his abundance with her. Each time we tell the story, it will be a reminder to all of us of the good that surrounds us in this world. Thank you, Roland, for that reminder.
Bill Hodges Hosts “Spotlight on Tampa Bay
Bill Hodges also hosts an interview-format television program, “Spotlight On Tampa Bay.” It airs Mondays at 8 p.m., Bright House cable channel 950 and Verizon cable channel 30. His guest for December 8 will be Florida State House Representative Rep. Rich Glorioso from District 62. He is a Republican member of the legislature and will share with us his perceptions of what Florida and the nation will be facing in this time of leadership change and financial tumult. This program will be repeated on December 10 (Wednesdays), at 7:30 p.m. on channel 949.
Appearing on Monday, December 1 and 15, is Florida House Senate District 18 Senator Arthenia Joyner. Senator Joyner, a Democrat, will give us her views on how the state will change as the result of the election. The program will be repeated on November 19, Dec. 3 and 17 (Wednesdays), at 7:30 p.m. on channel 949.
Bright House subscribers who cannot get the higher channels can get—at no installation fee and a monthly $1 fee—a box to allow access to the upper level government and educational channels. Call Bright House for rental details. If you are unhappy about paying extra to see your government in action, complain to your state representatives and the Hillsborough BOCC which have either caused this situation or been complicit in allowing it to continue.
Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and
syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars
International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.
Web site: http://www.BillHodges.com
Copyright 2008 Hodges Seminars International
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News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.
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