Of all the gin joints…
Hello my dear readers and listeners. How are you?
A reader of mine from Germany; one Mrs. Iris Schmidt got in touch with me about what I can only describe as an absolutely heartwarming story that she was a part of roughly three years ago.
In the early morning hours of 28th May 2016, Mrs. Schmidt was beside her only daughter while the latter gave birth to her first son. This occurred in Hartford, Connecticut mind you so Mr. & Mrs. Schmidt had travelled from Germany to the U.S.A. a week prior so that they wouldn’t miss the momentous occasion. She tells me it was a thoroughly worthwhile trip despite the expense and jet lag. As a father of two myself who has had the good fortune of being present for the birth of both children, nolo contendere.
A few hours after the child was born, he was resting comfortably in his mother’s arms getting to know her and vice versa while his father and grandfather were standing by eyeing the mother rather jealously for their turn to hold him. Mrs. Schmidt however was patiently waiting her turn sitting on the comfortable sofa near the window. Having lived through the birthing experience first-hand with her own daughter who was now a proud mother for the first time in her life, Mrs. Schmidt was quite content to know that her daughter and first grandson were well while everyone was basking in the glorious sunshine coming into the room.
The pediatrician knocked softly on the door, gently opened it and popped in for a quick check-up of the newborn. While she walked towards the mother and child reclining on their bed, a voice from behind her said, “My dear Lila, you’ve come full circle, haven’t you?”
The pediatrician, a Dr. Lila Patel, turned around suddenly and looked at Mrs. Schmidt who had addressed her as such. “I am terribly sorry madam but have we met?” said Dr. Patel as Mrs. Schmidt smiled back at her.
“My dear girl, I recall it as if it were just yesterday. You have had no opportunity to meet me and therefore it is perfectly understandable that you do not know me. I retired from the profession of a pediatrician a few years ago and moved to Germany with my husband. Just as you now did, nearly thirty years ago in a hospital room much like this one in Kansas City, Missouri, I once walked towards the bed where you and your mother were resting a few hours after your birth. I picked you up in order to check you and as I did, your rather stern grandfather said to me, “Doctor, please be careful with my granddaughter Lila. She is so little and delicate even I am afraid to hold her. Please don’t make her cry.”
“I reassured him that it was what I did for a living and that I would handle you with the utmost care. I must confess that I did make you cry when I placed my stethoscope on your little chest as your brother Kiran looked on curiously. I believe he was three years old at the time. How is he now?” said Mrs. Schmidt with a little laugh and a bright gleam in her eyes.
Dr. Patel was quite moved as she replied with a smile in her voice, “How could you possibly recognize me when you only saw me the one time when I was a newborn? My brother’s name is indeed Kiran. He is doing well, thank you for asking. As it happens, he is also a Pathologist in this very hospital. My mother has told me this story quite often; especially on my birthdays.”
Mrs. Schmidt said, “Lila, you had and still do have the most lovely eyes. I am sure you have quite the fan following. Also, that beautiful mole on your left upper lip has remained unchanged since then.”
Lila laughed heartily and hugged Mrs. Schmidt. She then picked up the phone and excitedly call her brother to the room and then proceeded to check the newborn…picking him up rather carefully.
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