A Brother's Miracle

Author Unknown

Tess was a precocious eight year old when she heard her Mom and Dad
talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he
was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving
to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't have the money
for the doctor's bills and our house. Only a very costly surgery could
save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them the
money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered
desperation, "Only a miracle can save him now."

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from
its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change
out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times,
even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here
for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar
and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door
and made her way 6 blocks to the pharmacy with the big red
Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some
attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted
her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her
throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good.

Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the
glass counter. That did it! "And what do you want?" the
pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking
to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,"
he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered
back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick...
and I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

"His name is Andrew and he has something bad
growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle
can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but
I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough,
I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man.
He stooped down and asked the little girl,
"What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

"I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes
welling up. "I just know he's really sick and
Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy
can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."

"How much do you have?" asked the man from
Chicago. "One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered
barely audibly. "And it's all the money I have,
but I can get some more if I need to."

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man.
"A dollar and eleven cents -- the exact price
of a miracle for little brothers."

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he
grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live.
I want to see your brother and meet your parents.
Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong,
a surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery. The operation
was completed without charge and it wasn't long until
Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain
of events that had led them to this place.
"That surgery," her Mom whispered. "was a real miracle.
I wonder how much it would have cost?"

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost...
one dollar and eleven cents...
plus the faith of a little child.


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