Monday, November 16, 2009

The Match

Among Daddy's faithful customers at his business was Mr. Wright, the owner of his own successful business in our small town. Often Mr. Wright stopped to buy gasoline or to have his car serviced and, while there, chatted with Daddy about various topics. On one occasion in the 1950s he stopped to buy gas and to tell Daddy his wife was seriously ill. Concerned about the situation Daddy asked him if there was anything he could do. Mr. Wright, who had consulted various doctors, smiled patronizingly at Daddy and said, “No, there is nothing you can do, but I appreciate your offer to help.” He drove off and left Daddy thinking about what had just occurred, and he told my mother about it.
Mr. Wright appeared again, and voiced his fear for his beloved wife. Daddy listened and again offered to help in any way he could. Mr. Wright appeared a third time and again expressed concern for his wife and asked Daddy if there was any way one of his sons could go and be tested to see what kind of blood he had. Perhaps it would match his wife’s, and he said he would much rather have the blood of one of Daddy’s boys as he knew they lived wholesome lives. Daddy sent my brothers who were healthy football players. Sure enough, Ben’s blood matched Mrs. Wright’s blood, and the transfusion occurred.
Mrs. Wright recovered and displayed her gratefulness by sending over home-cooked pecan pies from time to time especially for Ben; he shared his gifts with us.
The years passed. We graduated from college and Mr. Wright passed away. We married and had families and in time our parents passed away. Mrs. Wright, meanwhile, experienced good health.
From time to time we traveled to reunions in our small town. Mrs. Wright was always present and talked to all of us, but especially to Ben. The last time we saw Mrs. Wright at a reunion she was 104 years old and lived in a nursing home. Her mind, however, was as alert as it had been fifty two years before. At that last reunion she said to Ben who was now seventy years old, “Ben, I want you to know that it was your blood that kept me going all these years. I want to thank you again.”
We still go to reunions, but we miss Mrs. Wright. I thought she would live forever; she might have thought so, too.

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