The Tale of the Sale

The Tale of the Sale

From Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul Second Dose

The Tale of the Sale

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.

Mother Teresa

As nurses we are trained to be aware of not only people, but circumstances, so we can make good assessments with great outcomes.

This one all started when I promised my family I would have another garage sale so we could trade our trash for cash. Included in the sale were some “interesting” flowered draperies that my son had taken off the windows of his newly purchased town home. During the heat of the sale I heard a woman exclaim to her husband, “Oh, what lovely draperies!” I immediately was drawn to this lady.

“We are missionaries just back from Thailand, and we don’t have any drapes on our windows. The padding on the back of these would keep out the cold.” Her sweet spirit was so apparent as she looked at the drapes. I told her she could have them for half price. Thrilled, she gathered them up with a lovely smile of gratitude, and left with her husband.

The next day as I was putting leftover items into boxes to donate, I saw the missionary husband coming up the driveway with a young teenager. The boy was a handsome young man who greeted us with a smile and warm hello, revealing an obvious cleft palate.

The older man explained that he had seen a golf bag the day before that he thought his adopted son from Bulgaria would love. The young man said he worked as a golf caddy at a local golf course. His eyes lit up as he explored the bag closely. “How much is it?” he asked.

“Three dollars,” his dad answered as he read the sticker. The young man then asked his dad if he could have his allowance early, to which his dad agreed, pulling out three one-dollar bills. The youngster started to hand me the three dollars when I clasped his hand and said, “Just keep it and get yourself something else.”

His expression turned to joy as he started down our driveway, almost dancing and with a huge smile on his face. He repeated, “Thank you, lady, thank you so much!”

I called out to him, “You can have anything else you want before we pack up!”

The father also called out to his son, “Rosen! Rosen!” then repeated my offer, but the boy didn’t hear either of us. His dad sighed and smiled broadly, explaining that his son was so overjoyed with the new golf bag that he couldn’t think about anything else.

It really struck me how genuinely grateful this young man was for something as simple as a used golf bag. He was content with what he had received, and desired nothing else.

That night as I lay in bed I kept thinking about how grateful Rosen had been. God seemed to whisper in my ear how much he loved the people who serve Him so unselfishly and expect little in return—like this missionary family. I drifted off to sleep thinking about how great it would be if Rosen had his mouth fixed.

My thoughts continued as I visited my dentist, Dr. Kyle Edlund, the next week. I told him the garage sale story and asked him if he had ever partnered in helping out people with limited resources. He looked at me intently, paused for just a moment, and then said with a smile, “If you can find him, I will treat him.”

My heart leapt with joy thinking of how this young teenager’s self-esteem and future could be impacted.

I contacted the caddy master at the golf course asking if he had a caddy there with a cleft palate. The man acted very protective, asking why I wanted to know. I told him the garage sale story and how a few of us felt led to help this young man. The manager softened immediately as he affirmed what a beautiful thing that would be. He shared that Rosen had been named “Caddy of the Year” that past year because of his excellent attitude going that extra mile in service to others.

When I called Rosen’s number, his adopted mother answered. I told her I was the “garage-sale drape lady,” and explained our plan to help repair Rosen’s cleft palate. She had tears in her voice as she shared that the timing was certainly the Lord’s. Two days earlier Rosen had had three teeth pulled at a university hospital where students get experience by performing procedures, at no charge, for people with lower incomes. The university had called about three hours after the surgery saying they had pulled a wrong tooth and wanted Rosen to come back so they could try to put it back in. The tooth was reinserted, but Rosen was so discouraged and in so much pain that he said he had decided to trust God with his mouth instead of dentists! She went on to explain that he had been an orphan until the age of twelve when they adopted him. Ostracized because of his facial deformity, he had eaten only rice a couple of times a day and occasionally ate birds to survive. It took a little encouragement, but Rosen agreed to see Dr. Edlund.

My generous dentist not only examined, cleaned, and x-rayed Rosen’s teeth, but also consulted with an orthodontist and an oral surgeon. Before Christmas that year, Rosen not only had his cleft palate repaired, but received a full set of braces along with ongoing care from true professionals.

Today Rosen is with Youth with a Mission in a ministry to help street children.

With the help of others, my initial nursing assessment resulted in a great outcome!

Kathy Brown

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