I forgot to tell you this true story.
But I have to admit, I've had a steak and a glass of extraordinarily delicious red wine (Hermon, right from Israel-we schlepped it back ourselves, and it is utterly delicious) so I hope I can stay up to tell the tale.
There is a woman I know who is a religious Catholic woman, and she used to come to the (formerly "Lizard" Lunches hearkening back to LGF) but now just the local VRWC lunches that I used to organize in Toronto. I promise to get back to organizing the lunches again because a few people have told me how much they liked them-so that's on my list of things to do for October!
Anyway, a couple of years ago this woman told me that she had a special needs son with autism and that things were very rough. She had seven other children, G-d bless her, and her autistic son was-if I recall in a group home for a while. I remember feeling so sad for her. I know all about special needs and believe me-I have since learned never, ever to judge, but I do remember thinking to myself wow-how can she live without her kid? So please forgive me "D" for even thinking it-because I have since seen situations that I could never handle, and I count my blessings with my own disabled son, that I can cope with his needs.
So "D" invited me to an event a couple of weeks ago and although I couldn't attend, I asked her about her son and she told me that he was doing well. He was mildly autistic, but his primary diagnosis was actually schizophrenia. I just about hit the floor.
Schizophrenia, if you have ever, ever had the misfortune to know someone or someone whose child has it-is a nightmare. It is a devastating brain illness, it is so scary and so awful. But thank G-d, they got a diagnosis, and he was able to become functional. After years of horror, breakdowns, police run-ins, etc...they figured out what it was-and best of all, he is compliant and takes his medicine. This young man is functional and has held a job doing some menial work, regularly.
He is also able to live independently with a medical team that does monitoring and home visits to make sure his medication levels are good. So, basically-a pretty good life given all he has gone through.
Then, "D" tells me that actually-he won the lottery!
Can you imagine? He played regularly with his co-workers and they won the lottery! A significant amount!
This young man then decided that despite (or perhaps because) of all that he went through with his family, that he was going to use his winnings to make their lives easier.
He decided first and foremost to pay his parents' mortgage out completely.
They were immediately able to retire.
Then he paid for all of his seven siblings' university fees-completely.
And there was enough money for him to purchase a modest but new condominium in the town where he lives, walking distance from his work and close enough for his medical team to continue to monitor him with home and clinic visits.
In short: a miracle.
I am so happy for this woman and her family. I was barely able to get the words of happiness out.
Imagine-the child that caused them such heartache-through no fault of his own, the child that likely caused the most grey hairs and the most tear-drenched nights was the one who has made their lives easier, and wiped away their financial problems. He has made their future easier.
What a blessing.
If I didn't know this woman personally, I also might be inclined to think it was an urban myth.
But it's real and it's incredible.
G-d bless you, "D" and your family.
May you always enjoy blessings. G-d heard your prayers and I am so delighted for you.
As a conservative, I believe that few stories have "happy" endings and that there are lots of good humans, but many can be rotten.
Most stories have no silver lining.
But this one did.
So I'm celebrating it.
I hope you will, too.