I had no choice but to reveal the details of my son’s severe illness. Although I’m essentially a private person, I had to tell everything to Steve, the insurance broker. After all, he was trying to help us get coverage for our sick son; I couldn’t hide anything from him. Steve listened carefully and then asked me a few questions about my son’s condition and the family’s medical history. It was difficult, but I did answer each of his questions. Finally Steve quoted a price and we arranged to talk again the following day. “Oh, and one more thing,” added Steve. “What’s your son’s name?” That was a strange question, considering the fact that he already had that information (along with many other personal details). “I mean his Hebrew name,” he explained. “And your wife’s complete Hebrew name. I want to daven for your son’s recovery.”
Touched, I thanked Steve and gave him my son’s and my wife’s Hebrew names. Each and every prayer helps, I thought as I hung up the phone. It was very kind of him. Steve called me back the next morning. “Okay,” he began, once again business-like, “I have all the info. Are you ready?” I was not ready. By that point we had already spoken to a different insurance broker and found a more affordable option that we had decided to go with. I was uncomfortable because he had been so kind to me, but after a few awkward moments I made the decision to be upfront with Steve – I didn’t want to waste his time.. “To tell you the truth, Steve, we committed to a different plan,” I told him. “But thank you anyway ,” I quickly added. “You were very helpful and kind. I appreciate it.” Unfazed, Steve assured me that it had been no trouble at all. He wished my son a speedy recovery and we ended the call on good terms. I was surprised – and rather curious – when I noticed an email from Steve a month later.
In terms of insurance, he knew I was covered. What did he want from me at this point? I read his email right away. I read the email twice. Clearly he had no ulterior motive; Steve was not attempting to make a sale. He simply cared about a sick Jewish child. I responded to his email, thanking him for his prayers and kind words. “Your email meant a lot to me,” I wrote back. “It made my day. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.”
Months passed and b’chasdei Hashem my son’s prognosis improved.
Through the daunting period of my son’s illness, Steve’s emails – and kindness and prayers – were the silver lining.
Few people were privy to the details; no one really knew what we were going through. Steve, though, knew everything. We were not clients of his; yet still he truly cared. I will never forget his extraordinary Ahavas Yisrael.