Light Notes

Helping to mend a troubled heart

RICHLAND — A very special gift arrived last week.

It wasn’t one that could be wrapped or put into a decorative bag. But all the same, it was a gift — an unexpected gift.

“You have no idea who I am,” the voice on my telephone answering machine said, “and this is a long shot. But I did an Internet search and came across an article you wrote for the Light Notes column.”

As the message continued, it was like unwrapping a beautiful present.

The caller, Ruth, explained that she would like my help. Because she and her husband were considering a move to the Tri-Cities, she needed some reassurance — and a better attitude — about a possible change of address.

Her hope was to connect with the gal I’d written about whose daughter suffers from a congenital heart defect. Ruth’s daughter deals with a similar defect.

“Feel free to call me anytime,” her bubbly voice said with a chuckle, “but I’m on Eastern Standard Time, so maybe don’t call me at 10 o’clock your time.”

I smiled and then marveled that she was so far away and reading my hometown blog. (To me, this was better than getting a box of chocolate truffles on my birthday!) Also, the phone call from Indiana was yet another confirmation that God had expanded my territory, a prayer I mentioned in my previous post.

But tied to this with a ribbon of love was the thought that God was offering me an opportunity to make a difference in Ruth’s life, even though I’d never met her and we were miles apart. It was a chance — and a responsibility — to ease her worries about medical services for her little girl.

Within a short time, I connected Ruth with my friend, Cathy Manderbach, who is the group coordinator for Cardiac Kids’ in the Tri-Cities. I knew Cathy traveled the same path with her daughter, Cienna, and would understand the fears and concerns relocation can bring.

It was a match made in heaven.

Cathy’s filled-to-the-brim email to Ruth ended with these words: “And even if the Tri-Cities doesn’t work out for you, you and your daughter have been added to my prayer list.”

Hearing those words was the best gift of all.