Good News

     We could all use a little good news right about now. I’ve turned off the anxiety-inducing world news because things were getting too frightening too fast. I thought instead I’d search out some good news stories for a change of pace. Good news is out there, but you have to look for it.

     10 year-old Thomas Hastings of Windsor, CT was born prematurely. He was diagnosed with scoliosis, a serious medical condition in which a person’s spine has a sideways curve. A few years later the boy was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. When the Make-A-Wish foundation approached his family, the foundation was prepared to grant whatever wish Thomas wanted. Instead of the usual trip to Disneyworld, Thomas asked for a baseball park to be built in his backyard. This young Red Sox superfan’s request caught the attention of Red Sox groundskeeper David Mellor. The town of Windsor rallied together and a quarter-scale replica of Fenway Park was built in Thomas’s backyard. Every day he can step out his back door and enter the world of his favorite pass time, complete with a Citgo sign and a mini Green Monster wall. The look on this child’s face is priceless as he pitches from the mound in his own private stadium.

     Last month, 85 year-old grandmother Ruby Stein, accompanied by her cat Nikki, left her daughter’s home in Colorado to drive through a winding mountainous road hoping to stay ahead of an approaching snowstorm. A wrong turn left Ruby and Nikki stranded in a deserted section of rural mountainous Eagle County. Her 2007 Nissan Sentra became stuck in the snow on a dead end path as night approached. There was no cell phone reception. For five days Ruby survived on leftovers from her daughter’s birthday party – sweet rolls and Rice Krispie Treats. She kept warm under some old coats her daughter had given her to drop off for a charity donation. She drank melted snow to stay hydrated. Her prayers were answered when on the fifth day, a pair of hikers noticed her car jutting out of the snow. The hikers contacted authorities and reunited Ruby with her distraught family. Ruby never lost faith that someone would find her. It is a tribute to her inner strength not to lose her resolve in such a dire situation. I’m not sure I could have done the same. Ruby and Nikki suffered no ill effects from their ordeal.

     Kathy Mora, the library director of the Great Falls Public Library in Great Falls, Montana, recently received a package containing a library book that was stolen in 1982. Inside the book was a note from the guilt-ridden book-napper who said he couldn’t bear having this indiscretion on his conscience any longer. Inside the returned book, Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson, was a check for $200. Before returning the book, the thief had the book reconditioned because it had fallen in to disrepair. The book also was autographed by the author to add to its value. This story of a time travel romance was made into a movie called Somewhere In Time (1980) starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. I’m putting this book on my must-read list, as it sounds like a pleasant distraction from current events.

     I had to search for these “feel good” stories, but there are lots of them out there. These snippets of Americana all leave me with the same uplifting feeling. No matter how bad things get, the majority of the people in the world are kind-hearted souls who do the right thing. Hopefully in the near future, good news will be easier to find.


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