A Tribute to Kindness & Memories of Old –
Notecard: “Dear Karen — This is “Hobie” – he came to Omro on a train last week and didn’t know this was the last stop. So, he’s pretty lonesome. Maybe you can keep him company. We are glad to hear you are getting along so good. Everyone says to say, “Hi” to you. We will see you when you get home. Love, Eileen”
Memories: Hobie was given to a 13-year-old girl while in Madison General Hospital in 1969. During her 17 days spent lying quiet and healing after a corneal transplant under the skillful hands of Dr. John V. Berger, Jr., Hobie became a part of her heart. She felt Hobie was an attachment to back home.
As years passed, Hobie was never placed away in a box but always had a place to sit near a window. However, time had erased the memory of who had provided this Dear Hobo. Recently, while cleaning out her storage room, the “Hobie” notecard was found.
Tribute to Kindness: Hobie and I stopped by to visit with Eileen, who is now 94 years of age. Eileen laughed as she read the card written 52 years earlier. “I wonder what people thought?” said Eileen. “Most people get a doll or stuffed animal, but you got a hobo.” Eileen then went on to explain that as a child she had a friend whose father worked at the train depot, and Eileen along with a couple of her childhood friends loved to stop down at the train station and visit with the hoboes. “They always had stories to tell, and there was much laughter. I’m guessing that when I saw this hobo it made me think of how much fun we had.”
I personally wanted to thank Eileen by telling her just how much Hobie had meant to me when I received him at the hospital and how his presence made me feel the love of those back home. The days Hobie and I spent in the hospital are still filled with memories of loving care from my family, and from doctors, nurses, staff members, relatives, friends, and neighbors.
The year 1969 is filled with grateful memories and thankfulness. I was not aware of the role Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin had when I was 13, but years later, I would learn just how much this organization is involved in all aspects of providing for this gift of sight, and I am very grateful.
Corneal transplant recipient, 1969 & 2007
Karen (Gerner) Neuman
Praising our Lord and Savior