As a mother of a miracle, I sometimes find myself explaining how Samuel came to be a true, living, breathing, surviving and thriving miracle. I don’t throw the term, miracle, around loosely. As one of only six survivors, his life defies all odds and predictions.
When asked, I share his diagnosis means “death bringing” and how he was not expected to live past birth. I share the joy he brings, show pictures of his radiant smile and even the latest video where he says “Mama”.
As I talk, the person listening widens their eyes in awe. I think, Ah, yes, they get it now. They understand what a miracle my son is.
Today, I didn’t have to say a word.
My husband and I decided to have a sit down lunch at our local sports bar instead of grabbing a sandwich on the run. We approached the restaurant on what appeared to be a perfect Florida day with temperatures in the low 70’s and full sunshine.
Entering the restaurant, we decided to be seated on the patio and enjoy the rare chance to sit outside with our son. Normally it is too warm for Samuel to tolerate being outdoors.
Before the waiter came to take our orders, we looked at Samuel as he flashed us his brilliant smile that melts our hearts every time. I taught him a new game the other day, so I thought I’d play with him while we waited.
“Samuel, why don’t you wiggle? I wiggled my shoulders and upper body to show him how he should imitate me.
He looked up at me eyes wide. Wait for it, wait for it…there, he did it. He rocked his head and shoulders back and forth and broke out the biggest grin he could manage, proud of his achievement.
Ralph & I both laughed and clapped our hands together. Pure joy ran through my body. I completely forgot where we were for a moment. I looked up to see if anyone else caught us making a spectacle of ourselves?
At the next table, a man with blond hair had a huge grin on his face. Caught! He saw the whole thing. I could tell he enjoyed Samuel’s reaction almost as much as we did.
Soon the waiter came and took our order. As we were eating, the blond haired man paid his bill and got up to leave. As he passed our table he looked at me. I offered a quick nod of acknowledgement and didn’t think anything of it. Until our bill came.
The tall waiter with red hair and blue eyes announced, “Your bill is already paid. The man at the bar paid it. He’s left already.”
My mouth dropped open. “Oh, please tell him thank you from us if you see him again.”
“Oh, I will. He’s a regular here. He was sitting at the bar and he grabbed my arm and told me to take care of your meal.”
I tilted my head. Wait a minute. I saw the blond man stop the waiter when he was paying his bill, but he wasn’t sitting at the bar. He was at the table next to us.
“Yup, it’s all taken care of.”
As the waiter walked away, I turned to Ralph. “I don’t think it was the man at the bar. I think it was the man at the table next to us.”
He nodded and smiled.
As we left the restaurant, I wondered what caused the man to pay our bill. I think he got Samuel without me having to say a word. Without sharing my son’s story or explaining diagnoses or beating the odds, he simply understood. He got it. Now it was my turn to flash a brilliant smile.
Share your story of when you received an act of kindness. I’d love to hear it.
By Evelyn Mann
Author, A Miracle In My Living Room