Charlie and Marion are the retired couple who live next door. Charlie suffers from diabetes but does really well. He sits out in front of his door, perched on a stool and waits for the mailman almost every day. Her kids know him, they always say: "Hi Charlie" whenever they go home. She brings them both a plate of cookies whenever she makes them, even though Charlie has to watch his sugar intake.
Two weeks ago Marion told her that Charlie was in the hospital with a toe infection, and would be there for at least a week. She thought about this all day, thought about what she could do. She made cookies, put two in a ziploc bag. She went to the drugstore and perused the magazines: GQ, Us Weekly, Real Simple....no. How about Readers Digest, Newsweek and Time? That will do.
She strapped the kids in the car, drove to the hospital, paid the meter and lugged them inside. The website said "Children under twelve may visit with permission from the nurse." She asked the front desk lady about visiting Charlie. The front desk lady was very rude. She said that she had read about the age of the children on the website and mentioned that there could possibly be exceptions to the rule. The rude front desk lady got ruder. She at least agreed to have someone deliver the magazines and cookies.
A few days later Marion told her Charlie would be at a rehab facility for a few more weeks.
She called Marion yesterday to see how she was doing. Marion said: You're a blessing. The next morning Marion was outside when she got home. Marion said: You know, everybody calls and asks; How's Charlie doing? And no one asks how I'm doing, except you. And when you called, that sort of made my day.
She smiled, because it made her day too.