The Idea Dude


Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Best Gift Ever

This blog has been running a little dry lately. I guess I felt everything significant I wanted to say in the last 3 years since starting this blog, I have already said. Perhaps I was waiting for a miracle. Tonight that miracle happened.

It was New Year's Eve an hour ago. We had just returned from a ski trip and a tiring 9 hour drive. After dinner with friends, we declined an invitation for coffee to spend New Year at home. When we reached home, it was minus 15 degrees Celcius outside (5 deg. Fahrenheit). With the windchill factor it's probably another 5 degrees lower than that. My wife suggested I throw some salt down on our icy driveway.

I headed back out into the icy cold and started my chore. Suddenly I saw a tiny figure run towards me across the road. It was a small boy, crying hysterically looking for his mother. Thinking he had run away from a family busy loading a car, I looked up and down the street. There was no-one. As I scooped him up into my arms, I realized with horror, all he had on was a t-shirt and diapers. He had run barefoot down the road. He was no more than 2 1/2 years old by my estimation.

I took him into our house where my wife wrapped him in blankets while we called the police. After a long search, they found the right house. The boy was left alone in the house. He had woken up, scared and ran out into the freezing night looking for his mother. They say he would not have lasted long in the freezing cold. The circumstances I do not fully know and that is up to the authorities to determine. I am just so glad the little boy was safe.

I am no hero. I didn't leap through fire or jump into a raging river to save a life. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Had we accepted the invitation for coffee or my wife not persuaded me to salt the driveway, I would not have been there. Perhaps it was the brightly lit tree outside our house that we love to dress up every year that made him come our way instead of down the main road. Whatever it was, a miracle happened tonight.

I have always dreamed of making a difference, of being that successful entrepreneur, of writing the most successful software, of making a difference in people's lives. Tonight, none of my talents came to bear, none of hard work had anything to do with it.

It could have been anyone. Someone chose me.

I was just given a gift, to be part of the most wonderful miracle and the privilege to save a life.

If all the 300+ of my blog posts were deleted and I could only save one. This one would be it.

I feel so very blessed, what I thought was one of the worst years of my career just became the best year of life.

Happy New Year to you all.

And now I'm off to play my favorite Sarah Mclachlan song, Ordinary Miracle

The part that makes the most sense right now is...

...It seems so exceptional
That things just work out after all.
It’s just another ordinary miracle today...

Thank you for letting me share my ordinary miracle with you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a moving post - a huge lesson you've drawn from this experience with application for all of us.

Thank you, once again, for shifting the way I think about things.

Happy New Year my friend.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Talk about the right place and the right time. What a wonderful gift for both you and that little boy--how often do you get to have that much of an impact on another life?

11:57 AM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Hi Joanna,

It was a huge lesson that I am so grateful to have learned.

Happy New Year to you too.


12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a miracle. Thank you for an inspiring post.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh to be in the right place at the right Ordinary Miracle in deed.

Wonderful way to start the New Year.

To think that someone would leave a child alone on New Year's Eve is contrary to my thinking. I would want to be with that child for a new beginning...ah me! I guess that was stupid thinking on my part?

3:12 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Hi Deb,

That was my thoughts exactly.

Everything I ever did before seemed so small compared to this one event.


4:23 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Hi Joan,

Thank you. I'm glad it touched you as much as the whole experience touched me.


4:24 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...


I agree that spending a new beginning with children is the best way to see out the year and see in the new.

Perhaps someone would tell that little boy one day how he got a second chance for a new beginning.

Thanks for stopping by.


4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lucky child,
a lucky man,
a miracle
of the ordinary kind.

Hear the less of "It's a Wonderful Life?" Every minute of you is important to every minute of us. Nothing you ever did was small, you just didn't notice as much.

I'm so grateful to hear you.

10:29 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Dear Liz,

And I am as grateful to hear you too. You never stopped listening. Thank you.

You are profoundly eloquent and infinitely wise as usual. Your comment moved me beyond words.


12:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Isn't that usually the way it happens?!? We're just going about our life doing our thing and we're given an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. In this case it was obvious, but often we don't even know the impact we're having.

9:09 AM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Hi Scott,

Yes, there probably many little things that we often think of as insignificant but really have great impact on others. Sometimes it is immediate and sometimes it is over time.

Thanks for the insight.


4:09 PM  
Blogger VickiZ said...

Vernon, I want to echo other commenters in thanking you for this humble but so inspiring account of a pretty extraordinary situation. Such circumstances aren't exactly planned for, but when they do occur, they are in their way a gift to allow us to rise to the occasion, do our best and make a difference.

Thanks again.


2:24 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Thanks Vicki,

You are right. Part of the gift to me was to share it with others like you.

I changed my life. Hopefully it will change others too.


5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What a privilege to be the one blessed with the opportunity to save that child! I think it was an extraordinary miracle -- so extraordinary, in fact, that I cried as I read your account.

Whenever such miracles occur, we do indeed feel humbled by them, because we know that nothing we could have knowingly done could ever have set up such a perfectly timed and intricately coordinated encounter. At times like these, we know beyond any doubt that we've just experienced a "divine appointment," and we can hardly fail to be deeply touched by that knowledge.

Thanks so much for sharing this incredibly moving story.

God bless you!

12:22 AM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Hi Jeanne,

I'm realizing that sharing this and knowing the experience has touched others is my reward.

God Bless!

9:21 AM  

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