The transmission of her car has given out. Every day, she hitches a ride to work because she is broke.
She works hard. Too hard. And when she’s not cooking in the kitchen of the medical rehab, delivering trays to patients, she’s a full-time single mother.
Sometimes, her kids visit her at work. They get thirty minutes for supper. Her breaks are never long enough.
The strain of day-to-day living is wearing her thin. She is overworked, underpaid, vehicle-less.
One day, she meets a patient. An old man.
In the three months he’s been in rehab, nobody has seen him move or speak. Most days, he faces the window with his jaw slung open. Empty eyes.
She’s delivering food to his room. Her emotions get the best of her. She collapses on a chair and has a meltdown.
She bawls because life is unfair. Because a busted car sits in her driveway and she can’t afford to have a mechanic look at it.
The old man stirs in his wheelchair.
His facial muscles move. And in a few moments, he looks like a man who’s never suffered a traumatic brain injury.
He stares straight at her. His eyes sparkle.
And in a voice as clear as a bell he says, “God sees you.”
His face goes slack. His eyes become hollow. His mouth falls open, he begins to drool again.
All day, she thinks about him and his words. In fact, she thinks about it so much she can’t sleep.
The next day, she’s delivering food again. She speaks to him.
He doesn’t answer. He is completely unalert. So, she tells a few knock-knock jokes.
His face cracks a slight grin.
It moves her so much that she hugs him until she is crying into his chest. She tells more jokes.
She eventually gets a strained laugh out of him.
Then, he surprises her. He hugs her with rigid arms. It’s all he’s able to do, but it is enough.
She starts spending time with him. She feeds him. She takes lunch breaks in his room. She introduces him to her kids.
She hugs him often. She brings him flowers. She combs his hair and talks to him like they’re old friends.
After a few months, he’s more responsive than ever. The staff cannot explain it. Neither can the man’s family. He smiles at doctors, nurses, orderlies, and even manages to speak a few words to his son.
It’s nothing short of a miracle.
Summer arrives. She is delivering food one day. She pushes her cart into his room and sees his bed empty.
“Haven’t you heard?” says her coworker. “Your friend died last night.”
It is a serious blow. She hitches a ride to his funeral and brings along her children.
A few days later, she clocks out after work. There’s is someone waiting in the parking lot. A young man, holding a gift basket.
The man thanks her for helping his father during his final days. For feeding him. For the smiles. For the hugs. The man embraces her. He leaves her with an envelope.
There is a pair of car keys inside it.
They match the new Ford Contour in the parking lot.
God sees you.