Last week’s zero-free episode of Heroes was such a resounding success, even Joe Pesci gave it a great review. “I haven’t had that much fun since I borrowed a couple cases of Chivas off the back of a truck in Hoboken!”.
So Frank was right, going with the plus side of the equation on Fridays can be fun. Leave it to a boy from the Midwest to school me on the advantages of a glass half full philosophy, which you’d think I was rather adept at by now, but evidently not. So Imma keep on with the positive by dealing up a fistful of sunrise.
And now my Heroes of the week . . .
Million Dollar Baby- Georgina Addison of Harrogate, England was born with severe deafness. Her parents- Paul and Louise- have been searching for answers ever since, and with the help of an audiologist, their prayers were answered. Thanks to the National Health Service, Georgina was fitted with hearing aids last month. Now four months old, baby girl provides her folks with their daily vitamins every morning when they turn on her newfound ears. Louise gives thanks to the people who make it their life’s work to bring moments like this to life. Oh baby!
Safe at home- Sgt. Michael Leone wins our Mascot of the Year award just by showing up. The way he’s been showing up to serve and protect us since enlisting. The way he showed up last week at R. Stewart Esten Elementary School in Rockland, Massachusetts. A member of the 181st Infantry Regiment of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, Leone had been deployed to the Djibouti-Somalia border since February. He donned a Bulldogs costume in order to surprise his three sons- ranging in age from 5 to 8 years old- in what was supposed to be a “routine assembly”. Routine . . until he removed the head and his boys realized that Dad was home. For good. Best. Assembly. Ever.
Angels among us- The Olguin family is that house. You know the one, where a Christmas display in the front yard attracts people from miles around. And this year, that radius is certain to grow much wider seeing as how they’ve dedicated their annual labor of love to the twenty two victims of the Walmart shooting in El Paso.
“We kept thinking about how there will be 22 families who won’t have their loved ones together,” Olguin told CNN on Friday. “We felt we wanted to do something to show our respect to honor the victims of the shooting here at Walmart.”
Twenty two angels. Twenty two Christmas trees. Twenty two red bows. Twenty two candy canes. El Paso remains strong thanks to people like the Olguins.
Dancing is your soul, smiling- Kathy Ouma of Middleton, Delaware loves to give back to those hard working peeps who bring the holidays to her doorstep. She leaves a basket of water, soda, crackers and cookies on her front porch as her way of saying thanks. Amazon employee Karim Ahmad-Reed was overjoyed to find the treats waiting for him when he delivered up some packages recently. He’d forgotten his lunch, and he was a little bit parched to boot. So Ouma delivered, for him. And he doubled down with a dance that went viral, and thank you to Susannah for mentioning this one because it’s . . . wait for it . . . prime time stuff.
“She’s a jewel and great human being. I am grateful to have brought her some happiness, as she has to me,” Reid said. “The world needs more love.”
You know what I love most of all about this video? That nothing matters more inside this simple moment, where a random act of kindness opened up a world of better ideas. And to this, Ahmad-Reed borrowed from Samuel Beckett’s belief that the natural order of things is to dance first and think later. Just that, in the quiet; where dreams are not simply born. They’re brought to life.
This last story comes from the heart, literally.
Jonathan Pinkard was staring at his own mortality in 2018. The twenty seven year old homeless man, diagnosed as autistic, was taken off the transplant list because he did not have a support system in place. Not having someone to care for him made him a bad risk, on account of all the aftercare that’s needed on the other side of a heart transplant.
And then Lori Wood showed up; whose name rightly belongs in the definition of what a guardian angel is supposed to look like. Wood is an ICU nurse at Piedmont Newnan Hospital who was assigned to Pinkard in December of 2018. A couple days after their first meeting, she asked him if she could become his legal guardian.
“I had to help him. It was a no-brainer,” Wood revealed. “He would have died without the transplant.”
They bonded quickly over Family Feud and football games, and Pinkard considers himself truly blessed to have met “Mama” when he did. He received a heart transplant in August and is now going back to work as an office clerk because he wants to be able to live independently some day. He will always have a home with Lori, who came into his life when all seemed lost. She answered his prayers and introduced him to that most wonderful place.