I was a pediatrician for 40 years and my patients (actually their parents) knew that I loved to receive food gifts, especially cookies and cakes that I would share with my staff.
One “gift story” stands out from the rest. Yes, I appreciated the delicious soups from my South American patients, the bushels of freshly picked corn from the farming families, and the assorted Greek pastries, but the gift I remember the most was a delicious-looking cake that I received from a family whose mother would remind us all the time how poor they were.
As we were getting ready to cut into the cake in the staff lunchroom, the mother told us that she had baked the cake from ingredients she had retrieved from the supermarket dumpster.
I’m not usually good at quick come backs, but in this case, I stopped cutting the cake and said politely to the mother, “This cake looks so good that I want to share with my wife and kids.” My nurse gave me that special appreciative nod and wrapped up the cake. The mother left very pleased.