The Price of A Miracle?
Date Added: Feb. 3, 2003
Feel-good and inspirational chains like this one are quite commonplace on the 'net and are generally harmless. I normally wouldn't try to break them, but this one earned scrutiny because it claims, as so many e-mail hoaxes do, to be true.
Time for a warm fuzzy story. This one happens to be true...
Tess was eight years old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't have the money for both the doctor bills and for the house payment.
Only a very costly surgery could save her brother now and it was looking like there was no one to loan them the money. She heard her Dad say to her Mom, "Only a miracle can save him now."
Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. She counted it three times. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.
Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.
Tess waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too intently talking to another man to be bothered by an eight year old at this moment. She twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise.
She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good.
Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.
"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick, and I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So, how much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."
The pharmacist's brother stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
"I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation, but my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money.
"How much do you have?" asked the pharmacist's brother.
"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audible. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents...the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." Then he said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."
The pharmacist's brother was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon from Chicago who specialized in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Later, mom and dad were talking about the chain of events that had led them to this.
Her mom said, "That surgery was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"
Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost...one dollar and eleven cents.
A newer version of this chain adds a "forward this to everyone you know" request in the form of a "Friendship Ball."
A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law...... (A TRUE STORY)
I know you'll keep the ball moving! Here it goes.
The Friendship Ball
A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end. It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends. But the treasure inside for you to see is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me. Today I pass the friendship ball to you. Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.
MY OATH TO YOU...
WHEN YOU RECEIVE THIS LETTER, YOU'RE ASKED TO FORWARD IT TO 10 PEOPLE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
This is definitely a heart-warming tale about the faith, love, and innocence of a child - all universally cherished principles. A quick search on one of the major search engines for the phrase "Price of a Miracle" will yield a healthy supply of Web sites that have posted this tale (often with minor variations). The majority of these sites identify it for what it is: an inspirational parable by an anonymous author.
But the e-mail version above claims it to be a true story - a claim common to urban legends and hoaxes.
There is no reason to believe this is a true story, but no way to prove it isn't, either. There's no verifiable information provided (such as the family's name or location), nor is the author identified.
The only nugget of information we can even research is the name of Dr. Carlton Armstrong - which, turns up only copies this story. Perhaps someone was so touched by this parable that he or she wanted it to be true, and added the line about it actually being true.
The "Friendship Ball" and poem were undoubtedly added by someone with good intentions. However, "My Oath To You" is the copyrighted work of Jonathan Butts and was originally published in September, 1998. Butts told BreakTheChain.org that he objects to his work being circulated without proper attribution. Break this chain.