Several years ago a friend’s father experienced back surgery at the Mayo Clinic, a several hour ride from his home in the mid-west. The man needed surgery due to an accident that he experienced through his job on the railroad. The accident occurred as the man approached retirement age. At that time, railroad policy provided a pension to any employee forced to retire early due to an accident. Although he had applied several times, the railroad company refused to give this man the pension due him.
During his recuperation, the man’s wife, who had accompanied him to the Mayo Clinic heard that the President of the United States was to visit the city of Chicago. She decided that she would carry her husband’s application for pension directly to the President. In spite of discouragement from friends and family, my friend’s mother prepared to encounter the President as he entered the location of his speech.
A hard-working, determined, prayerful woman of Mexican-American heritage, this woman threaded her way through the crowed around the barricade surrounding the Presidential party. When she reached the Presidential party she stretched out the hand holding her petition and she cried out in Spanish, “Senior Presidente, ayuda me, ayuda me.” A security officer tried to push her back, but she cried out louder waving the petition/application while grabbing the sleeve of the President. The President stopped, turned and instructed the security officer to leave her alone. He then smiled at the woman, took the petition and put it into his breast pocket.
Two weeks after my mother and father returned home, a letter arrived from the railroad company stating that the injured workman would receive the pension to which he was entitled. Much like another woman two thousand years earlier, this woman’s determination and faith saved her. This story is true. The name of the President was Ronald Reagan.