I played for the Shriners at their Red Fez Club on the lake and it
reminded me of the time I joined the Masons and the Shrine.
worked with problem children and one was a 9 year old boy with a fatal
kind of muscular dystrophy. His daddy was in the penitentiary and his
mother was pregnant. After he was diagnosed, I was unable to get any
help for him out of social agencies and was watching him waste away.
night in a bar I was drinking and angry over the situation. I was an
agnostic and was saying if there was a God he sure wouldn't help me get
any help for Patrick. I said some horrible, angry things that night.
man sitting at the bar handed me a business card with a number he had
written on the back and said, "Call that number. They will
next morning I called and it was the Alhambra Shrine. They took down his
name and address and simply said, "We will take care of him, Mr.
Roberts." I was shocked. No talk of money. Just simply, "We
will take care of him."
next day a carload of Shriners visited Patrick and within two weeks he
was taken to one of the best hospitals in America for crippled children.
He received the best treatment available for his condition.
the next three years until he died, when I would visit him he would show
me the toys the Shriners gave him and would talk excitedly about all the
trips they had taken him on and the hospitals and doctors he met.
was one of the things that helped me regain my childhood faith in God.
Within moments of saying, "If there was a God, he would help,"
I was handed a card with the number to call.
are here. We are God's children. He put us here to help each other, to
learn to care and love and be there for people who need us. That's the
carries out the plan better than Shriners. I never miss a chance to buy
their candy or to do anything at all they ask me to do. Each time I am
with them memories of Patrick flood my mind and I thank God I had the
chance to get him a ton of Shriner love. I am grateful he was able to
live three years happily and die peacefully.
I am thankful for the Shrine.
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