“The Happy Man,” Friend, Mar. 2002, 44
When I was a year old, I had a serious infection that scarred my right lung for life. We lived in Missouri at the time, in the Nauvoo Stake. It was a nice place to live, but it was too damp for my lungs. My mother said that I coughed all day and all night. So we moved to Arizona, and I don’t cough all day and all night anymore.
In spite of Arizona’s dry climate, sometimes I have ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, because of my scarred lung. I am grateful for hospitals, which have saved my life, but they are not my favorite places to visit. I don’t like the IVs, and the food doesn’t taste like my mom’s cooking. I really miss my family when I am there. Some nights can get really lonely. But I do like watching kids’ movies there that I haven’t seen before. It’s even fun to be pushed around in a wheelchair. However it’s still really sad to not be in my own home.
One night, I heard a tinkling of music in the hallway. It sounded like an ice-cream truck. Soon a happy-looking man wearing a rainbow helicopter hat was standing at my door. He was pushing a cart full of tiny stuffed animals. On top of the cart was a music box. He smiled at me and asked how I felt. He even made me laugh. He told me I could have any of the stuffed animals I wanted! I chose a bright, yellow bear. I was so happy! I even forgot that I was feeling sad.
My mom asked a nurse about him. The nurse said that he once had a daughter in the hospital. He visited her often. When he passed by all the sick children there, he wished he could bring cheer to all of them. Then he thought of the music cart with the stuffed animals. And with a smile and a rainbow helicopter hat, he became known as the Happy Man.
He made me forget my sadness. He truly was following Jesus’ example, helping those of us who were sick and lonely. I know that he will be blessed forever and that all the happiness that he has given away will come back to him tenfold.