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Don was in hospital, even though it was a special day. The hospital trips were becoming more frequent. Congestive heart failure does that. When Mary was not at the hospital with him, she was home awaiting his calls. His wife of more than 50 years didn’t like being apart from her doting husband. Don knew that. He missed her too. He would phone Mary two or three times a day. She liked that, a lot.
This day, the phone rang just before noon. It was her birthday. Mary answered. She didn’t expect it would be Don. He’d just called a few minutes earlier to wish her a happy birthday. To her surprise, he was on the phone again.
‘Maybe he forgot to tell me something’, she thought.
“Mary, look out the window,” Don said in his characteristic matter-of-fact tone. “You know . . . the one overlooking the driveway.”
“What for, Don?” Mary asked, puzzled by the strange request.
“Just look out the window, please,” he said. “Tell me what you see.”
Mary’s curiosity took her to the window. She was startled by what she saw in their driveway.
She hurried back to the phone.
“Don!” she said with alarm. “Someone’s parked a great big car in our driveway! Who would do such a thing?”
“Mary,” Don replied. “I’d like you to go outside and see if the car fits in our garage. The keys are in it.”
“What? Whatever for, Don?” Mary asked.
“Never mind, Mary,” Don replied gently. “Just do it for me. Okay? I’ll hold on.”
Mary was thinking, ‘Well, whatever’. She was accustomed to ‘humoring’ her good-natured husband. She agreed to go outside and see if the big car would fit into their oversized single-car garage. It was exactly like the Cadillac she’d always wanted.
Moments later, Mary returned to the phone.
“Yes, Don,” she said, “I drove the car into the garage. It fits just fine. I put it back where it was. Now, tell me, what’s this all about? Is someone coming to pick it up?”
“Thank you,” Don replied. “But, please drive it back into the garage. Happy Birthday, Mary! Hope you like your new car. I love you.”
A few months later, the world lost a truly fine and generous gentle man.
(Based on a true story)