I talk about my cousin Marty a lot. He makes sure he calls me almost everyday to make sure I’m feeling good and offering to go shopping for me when the weather is bad.
Marty is a filmmaker and also has a ton of stories about things that have happened to him during his life. He visited me this evening toting shopping bags filled with Hanukkah gifts. He also told me his Hanukkah Miracle story.
A few years ago on the second day of Hanukkah his friend, a dentist, invited Marty to his house to celebrate his son’s third birthday. Marty’s friend lives in Long Island and Marty is here in Brooklyn. The party was on a Sunday and as any New Yorker can tell you Brooklyn to Long Island is a long schlep and trains don’t really have any kind of schedule on Sunday’s. Marty doesn’t have a car so he would have to take a train to Manhattan, then switch to the Long Island Rail Road, then grab a taxi to his friend’s home. This would take close to three hours and that’s just to get there and then three more hours to get home. So Marty called his friend thanking him for the invitation but explained that he wouldn’t be going to the birthday party. His friend really wanted Marty to go so eventually Marty agreed.
At the party Marty was offered a slice of cake but refused it because he was watching what he ate but the mother insisted that Marty take some cake. Instead of eating it Marty wrapped it up and thought he’d give it to the first homeless person he was sure to meet on his way back back to Brooklyn.
Marty was on his way home and in a train station in Queens where he was going to grab a train to Brooklyn when he spotted a homeless man sitting with a blanket over his head. Marty went over to him and asked if he would like the slice of birthday cake. The man shook his head no. Then Marty heard a little voice say, “I’d like some cake.” He saw a little girl sitting by her mother and a sibling on one of the benches. The mom said that the little girl couldn’t have cake because she hadn’t eaten yet. Marty told her to keep the cake and let the girl eat it after her dinner. The woman told Marty that she and her children were homeless and she appreciated the cake. Marty explained that he got the cake at his friend’s son’s three year birthday party. The woman then told Marty that it was her little girl’s third birthday that day as well. The woman wondered if her daughter and Marty’s friend’s son was born at the same time too. Marty said he would find out and call the woman and let her know. Not wanting to leave the little girl’s sibling out Marty gave the little girl and her sibling $10.00 each as a Hanukkah gift.
A few days later Marty called his friend and found out the two three year old’s were not born at the same time. Marty then called the woman to tell her. When she got on the phone she told him that she took two dollars from the ten dollars he gave the little girl to get to a job interview. She was excited to share with him that she got the job and things were going to be much better for her family because of Marty’s kindness.
The strange, or maybe not so strange about this, is that Marty has helped many people during his life. He’s never afraid to go to someone’s aid if needed and believes that helping people is what he is meant to do.
I have to say in the last couple of years where Marty and I have become close he has done many wonderful things for me and I just don’t mean all the gifts he gives me when he comes over.
If only more of us were like my cousin Marty maybe then miracles wouldn’t just happen during Hanukkah and Christmas.