The Secret of Life

Alice Trillin worked at the Hole in the Wall Camp for children with handicaps, where she made friends with a little girl who had two major genetic diseases that made it difficult for her to grow bigger and to digest food — she was fed at night through a tube. Despite these handicaps, Alice called the little girl “the most optimistic, most enthusiastic, most hopeful human being” she had “ever encountered.” During a game of duck-duck-goose, when the little girl took her turn being chased around the children’s circle, she needed someone to hold her mail, so she asked Alice to do it. Because of the little girl’s handicaps, it took her a long time to go around the circle and Alice noticed that the top letter was from the little girl’s parents. Wondering how the parents could have produced such a wonderful little girl, Alice peeked at the letter and saw this: “If God had given us all of the children in the world to choose from, we would only have chosen you.” Alice showed the letter to her husband, telling him, “Quick. Read this. It’s the secret of life.”

This anecdote appears in my book The Funniest People in Families, Volume 3 (99 cents CHEAP) and is available here:

Download Free eBooks, including The Kindest People series of collections of accounts of good deeds, by David Bruce here:

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