"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Thursday, September 11, 2008


"The factors that make a gift more persuasive: the extent to which it is unexpected and the extent to which it is personalized." ~ from Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion

I read this sentence in a book I bought at the airport when I went home for a few days to celebrate what I thought was my mom's 75th birthday, which apparently is only her 74th (sue me, I can't count).

I couldn't agree more. And I was humbled and awed yet again when I stumbled upon this sentence because of what happened just that morning.

Tuesday morning, Mama and I went to see her eye doctor (Remember our high school prom king? The same doctor who operated on her AMD in February?) and she was bothered because these visits cost money. Just to be on the safe side, I brought all my cash and three credit cards with me. We took two tricycles and a little van which ply the wet market-hospital-mall route and we were pleasantly surprised that we were the first ones in the doctor's waiting room. The receptionist said he was upstairs getting an orientation on the spiffy new x-ray machine that the hospital had just procured.

Twenty minutes later, he strides in, checks Ma's eyes and said, almost to himself "Great timing!" Then he had us ushered to the new x-ray room upstairs. I was reading the bulletin board in the waiting area outside the x-ray room and there was a note about the new x ray, encouraging doctors to test it out for a week and that the use of this apparently expensive machine would be free of charge for their patients but only for a week starting September 2. I then realized that that day was the last day of the free use of the machine, and it dawned on me why the doctor said our visit was great timing.

We saw Mama's x-rays in 3-D, full color and the good news is that even though she's going blind in one eye, her other eye is doing a-ok. We chatted with the doc for a bit, then went to the reception to pay, but the doc wouldn't let us. So we thanked him effusively, then took the mini van to Festival Mall where we promptly went to the statue of Mama Mary (Religious statues in malls - only in the Philippines, heh?) and prayed thanks for this good doctor and for God's graces that morning.

Zilch, nada, zero. That's how much that doctor's visit using the latest high-tech x-ray cost us.

And so I go back to the quote that sports this blog entry, and can't help but feel persuaded that I am loved by God because by any measure, this latest gift was most unexpected and deeply personal.

The next day, contemplating on what happened and recounting all the good doctors taking care of Papa too, even the vet of our dogs Tanya and Fred, my Mama couldn't help but utter "We have good people taking care of us."


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