Secret Sacrifice

“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked.

When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window.

The baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.

When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.

He blurted out the tragedy. “A boy, a big boy…called me a freak.”

He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music.

The boy’s father had a session with the family physician: “Could nothing be done?”

“I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be gotten,” the doctor declared. They searched for a person who would make such a great sacrifice for the young man.

Two years went by. One day, his father said to the son, “You’re going to the hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But the identity of the donor will remain a secret sacrifice,” said the father.

The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius. School and college became a series of triumphs. He married and joined the diplomatic service.

He would ask his father, “Who gave me the ears? Who would make such a secret sacrifice? I could never do enough for him or her.”

“I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but the agreement was that you are not to know…not yet.”

The years kept their profound secret sacrifice, but the day finally came for the identity of the donor to be revealed.

He stood with his father over his mother’s casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father moved his hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal the mother had no outer ears.

“Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” his father whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?”?

REMEMBER

Real treasure lies not in what can be seen, but what cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but often what is done but not known, for it has no language.