Best Of Heroes Of The Week!

As per an idea suggested by Susannah B, I’m offering up a “Best Of” episode. And not a moment too soon, since Heroes turned a year old . . . in December. That’s right, I only missed the first anniversary of Heroes by . . . four months.

Heroes first debuted on December 7, 2018 and it was titled “Top Five Heroes Of The Week”, which was soon abbreviated to “Top 5 Heroes Of The Week” and finally “Heroes Of The Week”. If you’ve been reading since those days, you know I dished these puppies up in equal amounts of likes and yikes back then. I even posted a “Villains of the Week” episode last August. Alas, it was the only such venture and the good guys bought the joint for good on December 5 when Heroes became Zero-Free.

So this is how it’s going to work. I ain’t utilized brevity on this post, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to cut to the music before it’s time. Besides, you peeps who know the what’s what on Heroes will spot those stories that hit you in the feels back when you read them the first time. So just sidle up to them and get reunited with that spell. And for those of you who may be new to this stretch of moment? Just pick a story, any story. Find the something that allows you to learn the world for all its winning and losing of a crazy beautiful chance.

Just go with it.

Image result for carey price makes toronto boy's day

(March 1, 2019) This story was courtesy of the lovely Dale at A Dalectable Life

Carey Price is a goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, and if you’ve never heard of him before, you’re probably an American. And that’s alright, because Price is doing his thing without our help. He’ll never be the owner of the Patriots, or an NBA mogul. But he’s writing checks to a constellation that never minds all that jazz, so it’s all good.

Thanks to Montreal Canadien officials and the family of a boy named Anderson, dreams came true during the team’s morning skate recently. The boy’s mother lost her battle with cancer last year, but her echoes reverberate still. Because within these echoes, a promise was made from mother to son; a promise that she would arrange a meeting with him and Carey Price. The fact that she was taken from the world much too soon didn’t silence the heartbeat of that promise.

And so it was that Anderson met his boyhood idol, and in so doing they shined a light into that darkness. Price signed Anderson’s hockey sticks and hockey pucks and his hockey jersey and he gave the kid a hug. And if there is a sporting event known to man that feels as good and as compelling and as worth it as this minute and a half video of a kid and his hero? I want tickets . . front row.

To promises kept.

Image result for Jay Singh helps shoplifter

(April 12, 2019)Jay Singh is a 7-Eleven store owner in Toledo Ohio who’s just trying to make ends meet. Running a convenience store ain’t the easiest gig, what with small margins and long hours and peeps trying to dig into those profits by taking your inventory free of charge.

Which is exactly what happened recently when an employee at the store informed Singh that a teenager was shoplifting. Singh went back and checked the cameras and sure enough, the kid in question had a serious case of the hot pockets. And so at this point, you wouldn’t have blamed the guy for dialing up 911. Because, yanno . . he’s got a business to run? And he’s not related to the Paisleys.

Singh did no such thing. Instead he asked the young shoplifter a simple question. Why? To which the kid replied that he was hungry, and that he was stealing food for himself and his kid brother. It was all Singh needed to hear.

The store owner went on a mini-shopping spree- collecting sausage rolls and sandwiches, chips and pizza and a 2 liter soda for the young man. Because he thought it a better idea to give him something rather than take something away by having him arrested. Because Singh’s bottom line doesn’t begin and end with cash money. Because sometimes, it really is better to give than to receive. Singh’s gesture inspired one of his customers- Cedric Bishop- to give the kid a ten spot. I mean, can you imagine being inside that moment with these people? It must have felt as if God was watering the lawn.

I like that idea just fine.

Image result for father jean-marc fournier and the fire brigade

(April 18, 2019)- Father Jean-Marc Fournier is the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade. As fire laid waste to the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, Fournier insisted on re-entering the structure in an attempt to retrieve some of the priceless artifacts housed within.

He was joined by a group of rescue workers who formed a human chain in order to save the Crown of Thorns- believed to have been worn by Jesus during the crucifixion- and the tunic of Saint Louis which was worn by King Louis IV when he brought the crown to Paris.

Fournier has a resume of doing this kind of thing. He served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan before joining the Fire Brigade. In the aftermath of the 2015 Bataclan terrorist attacks, he helped to evacuate the victims. He also gave absolution to those lost in the attacks.

Holy Week always feels quiet to me, but never more so than after this trying week. That hush of appreciation for the mysteries that might hold answers, it speaks to me this time of year. And I do hold to the idea that all is never lost.

Only misplaced.

(July 19, 2019)- The Seattle Sounders football club played more than just a game the other night when they started Bheem Goyal in goal. The eight year old is battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, and so the Sounders- in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Foundation- made Goyal’s dream of being a goalkeeper come true. They signed him to a contract, after which he opened things up by standing in goal for Seattle and gobbling up a shot on goal. He then exited the game between the Sounders and Dortmund to a standing ovation, receiving high fives from both sides. They don’t call it the beautiful game for nothing.

Abigail Arias — that's Officer Arias 758 to you — was sworn in by Freetown Police Chief Raymond Garivey in February.

(August 9 2019)- 7 year old Abigail Arias got to live out a dream job on Tuesday night, thanks to the peeps at the Blue Lives Matter Foundation. They organized a trip to New York City for Arias and her family so she could don the uniform of an MTA police officer. Abigail and her family also met with the NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill, and they visited other units across the city.

Arias has an incurable form of kidney cancer and so time is no longer something she or her family take for granted. Instead, they are grateful to borrow as much of the stuff as they can get their hands on. This little girl was sworn in as an honorary police officer in her hometown of Freeport, Texas back in February. And now this. And tomorrow, they’ll get to stepping on something else. Because in Abigail’s world, there is no time for hate or divisiveness and all the ugliness that comes with it.

There’s only time enough to dream.

(Abigail lost her battle in November. In a Facebook post, Chief Raymond Garivey said it would be his duty and privilege to heed the lessons taught to him by Officer Arias 758. He ended the post by saying “I love you Abigail”).

Hero Kid

(August 29, 2019)- Eight year old Christian Moore didn’t think twice when he saw his classmate Connor Crites struggling on his first day of school. He didn’t laugh, shake his head or judge Connor for having a meltdown right in front of their whole class.

Moore didn’t know Crites has autism or that he finds it extremely difficult to fit in with other kids. All Christian saw was a friend in need. So he did what any good friend would do. He sat with Connor as he cried, and then he held his hand and walked with him into school. No shaming, no blaming. Just love, in a not so random act of kindness that made all the difference in the world to one little boy.

That’s the problem with us adults. We tend to forget the power of compassion, and that it is every bit as much of a currency as all that dope we peddle to make us smarter and richer and stronger and younger. The difference with compassion is that the stuff has no expiration date. It will never leave us broke. Or empty. Or alone. And it is full of the kinds of nutrients that do a body and soul the most good. Lessons.

That picture is worth a thousand of ’em.

Image result for the basketball cop

September 19, 2019 Appreciating the good guys shouldn’t be a sometimes thing, reserved for national holidays or somber occasions. Because duty isn’t a sometimes thing for the men and women who put on a uniform every day. It doesn’t mean they’re infallible and it doesn’t mean their actions cannot be questioned. But to slant our opinions on every uniform is to miss out on cops like Bobby White, who became known as “the basketball cop” after video of him responding to a noise complaint in Gainesville, Florida went viral a few years back.

A white cop makes the scene where black kids are hanging out, things can go sideways in a hurry. Bobby White defused the situation by letting them know he had no problem with some kids balling. He even joined in. It wasn’t a “look at me” moment, but rather, a “look at us” moment, as in . . look at all the better outcomes we might achieve with just a little bit of understanding and some dialogue.

So the other day, The Meritorious Q sent me the “rematch” of that pickup game that happened three years ago but is still scoring all this time later. White brought Shaquille O’Neal out with him for another round, and it was such a brilliant spin move on what had already proven to be a wonderful story. Of hope. Because Shaq provides the kind of soul hug that doesn’t just light up the room he enters, it provides electricity for the entire neighborhood.

It was a valuable reminder that we don’t have to let anyone tell us what the world is supposed to look like. Because the better can happen from our rolled up sleeves to the tips of our fingers. In the quiet of our daily breaths to the pulse of a great big world that isn’t so frightfully hopeless when you let the ball bounce, and you let the kids play. Imagine the places we might find when the noise ceases to be a complaint, and becomes something else entirely.

An embrace.

Image result for chloe dorsey

October 4, 2019 When I write these posts up, I’m always on the lookout for something I’ve never felt before. And Chloe Dorsey paid me in full with her superwoman exploits at a state park. The Georgia woman was out for a run when she spotted a deer that was stuck in a metal fence. So she bent the bars to release it . . because of course she can! After running a few hundred feet, the deer got stuck in another fence. And Imma include the video, because it speaks to the fight we need to keep on pushing and the love that fuels the try.

The kids in Wilmette, Illinois, appreciate Alec Childress.

(October 18, 2009)- Alec Childress is the great grandson of a slave. When he was fourteen years old, his father left their Mississippi cotton farm to look for work up North, leaving his son in charge. Later on, when his family joined his father, Alec had to go to work as a dishwasher in order to pay for his schooling.

Alec learned the value of hard work and a positive attitude from an early age; a mindset that served him well in his thirty six years of working construction. And just twenty eight days into his retirement, Alec decided he didn’t feel like sitting around at home so he took a job as a crossing guard in Wilmette, Illinois

For the last fourteen years, Childress has been dealing up stories and smiles to go along with his trademark “Peace, I gotcha!”. He has come to own the corner of 9th Street and Lake Avenue, turning an intersection into the heart and soul of a neighborhood.

And so for his eightieth birthday, the neighborhood said thank you by throwing him a surprise party. Yard signs greeted him with “Peace, we gotcha!” and students who had moved on to middle school and high school returned to take part in the festivities. One girl who was off to London for college made it a point to stop by to wish her favorite crossing guard a happy birthday as well. In all, more than a hundred people showed up with cookies and gifts, and plenty of hugs.

“For me to be able to experience that kind of love tells me we have more good in the world than the bad,” Childress said. “It reaffirms my knowledge and belief in people.”

Well, he started it.

Image result for Kevin Zimmerman child seats

(October 25, 2019)- Milwaukee police officer Kevin Zimmerman brings more than a badge and his service issued particulars to the job every day. He also happens to bring a heart and soul whose perspective gleans best case scenarios from trying situations. As he did during a traffic stop recently when he came through for a young mother and her three children. Zimmerman had pulled over Andrella Jackson for driving with an improper registration, after which he saw that her young children were not in car seats. Jackson explained that she’d just bought the car at auction, but could not afford car seats for the kids. Zimmerman decided not to issue her a citation . . and then he bought the kids some car seats. That’s called a good day’s work, and then some.

Evoni Williams

(November 8, 2019)- And finally, we wrap things up with a Waffle House story that doesn’t involve armed robbery. It’s a story that involves doing the right thing, and a social media storm that actually worked out to everybody’s benefit. Imagine that!

Evoni Williams has this dream of going to college. She’s eighteen years old and a waitress at Waffle House, so you know she’s serious about it since the hours are unkind and the work exhausting. Dreams are circuitous in nature, and hers requires an apron and a fifth gear, to which she abides. So when an elderly gentleman came in and asked for assistance cutting his food because his hands weren’t functioning so well, Williams was on it. And so was Laura Wolf, who snapped a pic of the moment and posted it to Facebook. Because not every snapshot that goes viral is a gotcha moment. Sometimes a person just gets all wrapped up in the human effort and has to share it with the world.

“It was so busy in here, and she actually took the time to stop and hear what he had to say instead of walking past him. That just meant something to me,” Wolf told KHOU-TV.

The world noticed.

The City of La Marque, Texas awarded Williams with her own day . . .

Bonus News Item! . . . Now that is a holiday worth celebrating.

Williams was then rewarded with a $16,000 scholarship donated by Texas Southern University. And this dream of hers was coming into focus because of a human moment and a snapshot and a collective embrace that refuted the notion that nothing worthwhile ever happens inside the quiet moments.

This special gal happens to be of the opinion that she did nothing special and she said so herself. “It’s something I would do any other day,” Williams said.

Told ya.

And while I have no doubt that it’s something she would do on any other day, I’m really glad she did it on this particular day. When a bystander decided to break into the regularly scheduled life Williams was busy living, and let the world decide as to just how special a thing this was. And when the vote was in, the results were unanimous.

We won.

(November 25, 2019)- This last story is the best case scenario to an epidemic that’s had this country in a choke hold for more than two decades. It’s yet another story about a kid living on the fringe, until his feelings of isolation become too much. It’s yet another story about guns. But this story, which happened all the way back in May, has a much different ending than so many others.

Keanon Lowe was busy living the life he had imagined in January of 2017. The Gresham Oregon native was working as an offensive analyst for the San Francisco 49ers when he got a phone call that would change his life forever. Taylor Martinek, his best friend since their days at Jesuit High School, had died of an overdose after taking a lethal dose of fentanyl.

Shattered by the news, Lowe picked up the pieces by moving forward. He returned home and took a job at Parkrose High School coaching football and track and field. Last year, he became the school’s security guard as well. He was a living legend in his home state, having played wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks, but that’s not what brought him home.

Lowe saw a community in need, and this mattered more than a peach NFL gig ever could. To him. Because with some people, status is all about living right.

And so it was that Lowe was preparing his team for a district track meet when Angel Granados-Diaz walked into a fourth period government class; wearing a trench coat and carrying a shotgun. Lowe never missed a beat as he brought the student into a clench while wrestling the shot gun away from him. And then he hugged the kid, who is getting the help he needs now, instead of being immortalized as a monster.

“I told him I was there to save him . . I was there for a reason . . and that this is a life worth living . .”

It’s easy to lose our better angels to the hopeless depths of indifference and division. And then the fates bring us someone like Keanon Lowe, who turned a tragic ending into a lifetime of new beginnings. The right person in the right place so that the wrong time would never have a chance. And for one blessed day, flowers were given to the living instead of to the dead.

When faced with the prospect of just another day happening all over again, that hug was busy speaking a different language altogether. It spoke kindly to the wicked fates, two simple words uttered in the silence of a heroic embrace.

Not today.

 

 

 

95 thoughts on “Best Of Heroes Of The Week!

  1. Simply so many great things happening in the world – so thanks for the best of (although I did notice that I didn’t get any love for my submissions … but I’ll be ok.) …. From me, the video was the perfect topping on the cake. Tasty frosting of humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved reading and re-reading these great tales of compassion. It’s especially relevant on a day when David Brooks writes in the NYT that when epidemics take hold, compassion flies out the window. Social distancing equals rampant self interest. BUT, social media can help us stay connected and I hope we find this pandemic disproves the “rule.”💕

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Duuuuuuuude! This was amazing! From beginning to end! Glad to stop by after all the life chaos to find the feel-goods up in here! Magic baby! Magic. I remember Christian and the Seattle team that was awesome. But I hadn’t heard of the Price story. AND since my kid plays we totally know who he is 🙂 what a great story. Man! Got me right in the heart. All the stories were so hopeful. Thanks for highlighting that some people still have empathy and show the best side of humanity because it’s rough out there right now. Sending you sunshine and waves… although it’s raining the sun is still out there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali in da house!!

      Good to see you girl. Been too long and I hope the chaos ain’t too much.

      That story about Christian is beautiful. The Sounders scored big time with their involvement in this kid’s life.

      The Price story, so special. NHL players don’t get nearly the pub of their peers in other leagues, but they deserve big props for all they do.

      Sunshine and waves right back atcha Cali. Stay safe. 🙂

      Like

  4. B,

    I love that Susannah suggested this “Best of” episode. Nothing wrong with a little remindering that the world is full of love – especially now with this cray-cray situation going on all over said world. As for timing? Pfft. I think it’s like the Oscars – they don’t happen ’til three months after the end of the year…

    I cannot believe this series has been going on this long. It was fun when it was a mix of yikes and likes but now it’s truly bestest with the all-likes.

    If you used brevity, I’d have to send a physician over to check youse out 😉

    That picture of Anderson and Carey is priceless. The boy’s face.. the tears. Carey’s eyes… the kindness. Perfection. And I can’t see through the tears watching that video again. Lawzy.

    Singh is a mensch of the highest order. Period.

    Father Fournier has been a hero for so many reasons. Some just have it in them.

    How had I forgotten the Bheem Goyal story? Glad you brought that one into the best.

    Sharing Abigail’s story with that postscript brought an immediate lump to my throat.

    Would that more adults follow Christian Moore’s attitude of selfless love.

    How can you not love a cop like Bobby White? And add Shaq? To quote a certain guy: Win meet Win.

    Chloe is a riot! I just love her “voice over”…

    Love me the Childress story. You get what you dish out and so, it’s normal he got so much love from his neighbourhood.

    Love that you were able to add a picture of Kevin Zimmerman with Andrella’s kids. Beauty.

    Evoni. You are a beautiful person who deserves her scholarship and woot! To YOUR day!!

    That video showing Keanon Lowe hugging Angel, despite Angel’s attempts and undoing the hug and then giving in is worth more than any words (though yours are always such a pleasure to read)

    PERFECT song ending, B! Just so beautiful!

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q,

      That is true, I never thought about it. But I am simply on Oscar time!

      Like I told you, this was totally NOT what it would become. It was a lot of bitching and moaning and tedium. A hero, a real one, would make the scene now and then. Not like what it has become though.

      Uh Doc, he’s been exhibiting symptoms of brevity for a couple days now and we’re really concerned . . .

      Carey Price is one of those unheralded athletes whose great good work doesn’t get known nearly as much since he doesn’t play in the NBA or NFL. But his great good work is every bit as important, and beautiful.

      Singh, that story. Simple yet so many layers involved in the humanity shown by him in that situation.

      Father really does know best, huh?

      Bheem . . of light. And that the Sounders, and their announcers, and the fans . . ALL got together to make that moment a reality? Just too beautiful.

      I was so sad to read about Abigail’s passing. It really affected all those officers who knew and loved her.

      Christian’s example should be something we call learn from.

      The Basketball Cop and Shaq formed a dynamic duo that rivals anything a basketball hardwood has going, that’s for sure.

      Chloe . . I cried the first time. I still get shook when I watch her do this.

      The photo says it all, huh?

      It’s amazing how much more you learn when you go back and read up on these stories.

      Again, the pic says it all, doesn’t it? She deserves all good things.

      The video . . no words. Just that hug, it gets me every time. In the most desperate of moments, a hug. Wow.

      I loved that sing along on the train so much, I just knew it was the song to use when I watched it.

      Gracias once again for the sugar and spice.

      B

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yep. Oscar time!

        It had to “get its legs” so to speak. A learning curve, if you will.

        Hahaha… brevity for you is, um, a novel to others 😉

        Price has his brilliant moments in front of the net but these ones are the most beautiful.

        Bheem of light. Love that!

        I cannot lie. Tears fell for Abigail.

        Shaq and the Cop!

        Those photos do say so much.

        I can imagine for you to go back to them to select which ones “made the cut” must have been something else. And yes, to learn more after and share with us… you da best.

        That hug. It went on and on and I felt my heart constrict more and more.

        That sing along was fantabulous. Why am I never on the bus/train/metro/wherever when these things happen?

        Sugar and spice and everything nice…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Without the mindless monologue, I’ll take that!

          There was some definite learning going on there, LOL. But it worked well enough to get to here, so there’s that.

          I aim for brevity. It’s all in the try . . isn’t that what they say? 😉

          And what of the Habs? With the NHL season in danger, what were they up to before the lights went out?

          Thanks to the Sounders.

          So many people joined you in that one. Abigail was a very special young lady.

          Shaq and the Cop sounds like sitcom.

          The photos really do tell a wonderful story.

          I thought, “Hey, I’ll just take a few minutes and come up with a few favorites”. WRONG. It took a while but it was definitely worth the time spent.

          For that teacher to have returned to that school, it was fated for him to be there inside those moments.

          I think the same thing.

          Mostly nice . . . .

          Liked by 1 person

          • There was no host this year so… I’m with you on the sans boring monologue.

            Ya done good!

            Absolutely. Always an A for effort!

            Good question. Having been outta da loop for a while, I’ve no idea where they stood.

            Yes. Thanks to Sounders.

            She was. Sniff.

            I was hoping you’d pick up on that 😉

            They do.

            I can well imagine it took you a few hours at least. But it must have been kinda nice to see the evolution and reacquaint yourself with your submissions.

            I swear. Fate does have a way of working that just boggles.

            Of course you do.

            Nice is … more than nice.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh that’s right, you did say that. I didn’t watch. The Oscars had long been the only awards show I watched, but not this year.

            Thank ya.

            A B for Bravo would work just fine too, yanno.

            Me neither. Sad to say I hadn’t been keeping up with hockey. I’ve barely watched any basketball this season either.

            Seattle is a great sports towns, with fans that get it.

            She made her mark on so many in such a short period of time.

            Yeah, uh huh! 😉

            I know they do.

            Some I hadn’t remembered. Mostly the zeroes, seeing as how most of their nonsense is forgettable as it is.

            Eerie. But this time, at least, in a good sense.

            😉

            Noice

            Liked by 1 person

          • And neither did I! And for once, I had actually seen most of the nominees. Sigh. Whatevs. I seem to recall spending my time in a more fun way that particular evening…

            My pleasure 😉

            K for Kudos

            Da hell? What’s going on witcha?

            She did. Some have that power.

            Smart cookie.

            I’m still surprised at myself that I had forgotten Bheem. My bad.

            It can be.

            Very noice.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I still have to see Parasite. That’s the only flick that comes to mind for me. Oh yeah? Must have been worth it then . . .

            😉

            C for Coo

            I dunno, old age?

            An aura.

            Yes.

            It’s not a bad thing when there are so many good stories that you might tend to forget a few.

            It really can.

            And spoicy too!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, you do. Should be out on Netflix (it was playing on the plane 😉 ) Always worth it…

            😉

            D for Delighted!

            Stawp!

            Indeed.

            Yes? Just like that you acknowledge you’re a smart cookie? Pretty confident…

            This is true.

            Spoice is always good!

            Liked by 1 person

          • You didn’t see it? Why was I sure you had?

            F is for Fabulous!

            Nah. Coz then that would imply that I am old and I am not ready yet.

            We all have our moments, call ’em what you will 😉

            MWAH!

            Deelish.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I decided against seeing it in the theaters. Dark content, dark theater . . no.

            G is for Ginger!

            Okay, but if I have a senior moment, it doesn’t mean I’m old. Just behaving as such momentarily.

            Moments, yes.

            MUAH!

            It is

            Liked by 1 person

          • Right, right. I dunno why I thought you had given in… It wasn’t all that bad 😉

            H is for Hearsay!

            Okay. I’ll agree to that as I’ve had these supposed senior moments for way too long myself.

            Yep. Momentary moments.

            MWAH!

            😘

            Liked by 1 person

          • I just figured I could see it once it came out on home-television (what do we call it now? It’s not out on video . . .).

            Oh, yeah! Touche!

            So we call that round even. Now, on to our next difference of opinion . . Michael J . . .

            Some can be potent.

            MUAH!

            😘

            Liked by 1 person

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