“I can’t believe it’s still here,” Miranda said as she lit the candles on her birthday cake and sat down at the kitchen table. She was grateful for her years of good health and the miracle of a long life, having witnessed the world change through wars, technology, music, and love. He had a wonderful life.
Sadly, all of her friends and loved ones were gone. He never married or had children, but that was his choice. Her career as a nurse had been too important to her. Many people warned him that he would regret it in the future, but regret was not exactly the right word for his feelings.
Miranda felt at peace and happy, and although loneliness sometimes struck her, she was perfectly fine alone. Until his birthday came. All he could do was remember his past, the parties and the celebrations. The best way to describe his current feeling was bittersweet.
Miranda’s jaw dropped at the revelation, and long chains of memories echoed through her mind.
But she wouldn’t let any negative feelings get in her way, even if she was alone. So she sang Happy Birthday and blew out the candles, wishing for a better world, for more people to take up medicine and help others, and for scientists and politicians to take climate change seriously.
The sound of the doorbell made her jump in her seat. “Who could it be?” he asked and stood up. The scrape of her chair legs against the floor made a horrible sound as the doorbell rang again. “It’s coming! It’s coming!”
“Hello?” he said as he opened the door and saw a strange man at his door. He must have been between 60 and 70 years old, but Miranda didn’t recognize him. First.
“Nurse Estevez?” she asked and smiled broadly at the older woman.
“Nurse? Oh well, I haven’t heard that in years. But do I know you?”
“It’s me! Adrian!”
“Adrian?” Miranda asked, pursing her lips. Finally, she shook her head. “Sorry. I don’t remember you. Can you give me a clue?”
“Don’t worry. I was expecting this, but I can give you more than one clue. I’m Adrian Miller. 60 years ago, you treated me when I was at my worst. I was your patient at Flagler Hospital. Do you remember now?” The man continued to smile at the older woman.
Miranda’s jaw dropped at the revelation, and long chains of memories echoed through her mind. A poor boy had suffered from a severe form of cancer, and none of the doctors thought he would make it. But all the nurses on staff, including her, had high hopes.
Adrian smiled brighter than other sick children. He was also kinder and smarter. Everyone wanted to see him improve.
Miranda was 40 years old and seeing children in that state was always the worst for her. But seeing them recover was the best feeling, and Adrian was one of them.
Despite the doctors’ dire prognosis, chemotherapy and surgeries worked for the boy. After months in the hospital, Adrian was released and the nurses and staff applauded his miraculous recovery. He waved to them as his parents shed silent, happy tears to bring their son home healthy and cancer-free.
For several years, Miranda kept in touch with Adrian’s family. He called and Adrian’s mother was elated about her son’s health. He was doing well in school and eventually went back to playing outside. Happiness prevailed at the time, and the older woman recalled telling her mother, “This is the first miracle I’ve ever seen in my career. Enjoy it.”
Seeing the boy now standing in front of her like a grown man was another marvel and something Miranda had never expected.
“Oh my God! My dear boy! I can’t believe this. Come here,” she breathed and wrapped her arms around him, holding them for several minutes. “Let’s go inside and have some cake!”
Adrian sat up and was surprised by the cake, as he had no idea it was his birthday. “Well, this is a great moment! I can give you a present!” he said, pulling out his phone. They both put on their glasses while Adrian looked at the photos of his wife, children and grandchildren. There were also pets, trips and photos of their graduations. All his life.
Did you really want to find me to show me these photos?”
“No, I just wanted to say thank you. We recently had a health scare with our first grandchild, and I thought of you. How you told me to fight with everything I had because I had a lot to live up to. I think…I really took it seriously.” serious his words. I think that’s part of the reason I did it. Because for years, all my mother could say was that I was a miracle. But I think she made me fight, nurse Estevez, “he explained. making Miranda cry some more. “And I’m so glad you’re still here. The world would be a horrible place without you.”
“Oh dear boy. This is the best birthday since… well, ever. The best ever. Tell me more about your life,” the older woman said, wiping the moisture from her face. “But let’s have some cake while we talk.”
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This piece is inspired by everyday life stories from our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustrative purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life.