You never know where the gift comes from

It’s a funny thing, the source of our gifts in life!

This week I spent the night with the friendly folks, Ginny and Wayne, at the Sleep Lab at Royal Victoria Hospital. Every time I’m in there (the hospital, not the sleep lab… well, yes, the sleep lab, too… you know what I mean!) I’m reminded of the tremendous effort it’s taken to build this beautiful facility. And the sleep lab is no exception.

After a 6 am wake-up call, I signed out and headed down the hall, having been told by Wayne that I could get toonies and loonies for the parking exit at a cash machine at any entrance.

It was a sad face (mine) that confronted the red, blinging, “out of order” sign at the first entrance. I headed upstairs to the one at the main entrance. Same flashing sign.

Now… here’s where the gift comes in. It’s 6 am. There is NOBODY… I mean NOBODY roaming the halls, staffing the gift shop, even doing food service behind the Auxiliary’s coffee bar at 6 am. I have to get home to wake up a child and get her to school. I’m trapped in the parking lot by my own lack of foresight in not bringing coinage with me.

Aha! There’s a fellow wielding a long broom on the shiny corridor in the front entrance.

“Hi!” I say. “Any idea where I could get change for the marking machine.” Up goes this friendly head. It’s Mike Madigan, one of the dedicated people who has always kept RVH clean. I haven’t talked with Mike in years, not since his very active days in Jaycees when it was a fairly new organization in Barrie, and holding monthly meetings opn management and commerce for young business people.

We caught up on Mike’s life, on how his mom, Edith, is doing since his dad’s death last year. I worked with Edie on the Humane Society Board at least two decades ago. We dipped into the past.

And then Mike reached into his pocket and proffered the loonies and a toonie I needed for my $5 bill.

Much better than a blinking change machine any day.

Thanks, Mike.