You don’t need me to tell you that this was a bleak week in the news. Rather than share a jovial Friday FunLink, I thought I’d share two inspirational stories from the Washington Post’s weekly “The Optimist” email. I hope these stories bring you joy, inspiration, and hope during this Advent season.
First, from Texas is 83 year-old Elizabeth Laird, aka The Hug Lady. For a dozen years she’s been giving hugs to soldiers departing for or returning from war. The past ten years she’s been struggling with breast cancer and is now in the hospital receiving intensive (and expensive) treatment. Her son, Richard Dewees, put out a request for help and…
set up a GoFundMe page to help with the medical costs. He asked for $10,000. It has raised $72,316 from more than 2,000 people in just three days. Dewees, 64, knew his mother was beloved –he’s shared her with her military sons and daughters for years now — but he said “he’s stunned.”
A few comments left by donors are published in the article. The love and gratitude expressed is heart-felt:
“Ms. Elizabeth, you gave us just an ounce of humanity before we spent the next year of our lives in a place that was tantamount to hell and devoid of humanity… The gift you gave us upon departure is immeasurable.”
“I love her, I deployed teary eyed and scared, (secretly) worried my almost two year old daughter would forget me [sic] she whispered in my ear that everything would be ok [and] meant the world to me. I wish I had millions to give her.”
Another story from the same (pre-Thanksgiving) “The Optimist” email is a follow-up about Larry Hogan’s, Maryland governor, treatment for an aggressive cancer. This minute long video will bring a smile of joy to your face:
Here’s to a good weekend and a happier week next than this one ending.