As promised, every couple of weeks or so I’ll pass along some of the comments that you may have missed on the stories published so far, as well as update you on the latest happenings here at HeroicStories.org.
Ethel commented on our very first HeroicStories story: “This is a beautiful story of the love and compassion that is still alive and well in this world today. I hope everyone gets this message about paying it forward.” I couldn’t agree more.
A couple of folks had comments to the effect of “why didn’t the author get out and help?”
Remember, HeroicStories is about a fundamental belief that people are good and resisting the temptation to jump to negative conclusions. There are many reasons that perhaps the writer may have been unable to take action herself. Rather than assuming the worst, I choose to assume the best. Her “action” was to share that story with us.
Alice went the extra mile with her comment: “I wondered if the author was elderly or disabled herself, so searched. Janet Hounsell Conway yielded an obituary and several articles. It looks like she was a very interesting person and contributed to her community both professionally and as a volunteer. She was born in 1926, so may well have been elderly herself at the time she first wrote the story.” An excellent perspective and additional connection to the author.
To which Mike adds: “Makes you wonder if the author was the ‘little old lady’ in the story, but wrote in the third person due to modesty (or other such reasons). Wouldn’t that be ironic for all those above jumping to conclusions about the author just sitting in the car watching …” Ironic, indeed.
I Like Kathleen
This was a story I wrote back in 2003 as my parents were aging, and I shared it with Kathleen then and again on this republishing. Not only was I able to choose my prefered title for the story (it’s good to be publisher 🙂 ), but I was able to provide updates on what happened in the years since it was first published.
Debbie commented: “What a beautiful story. It made me cry!! You were so lucky to find Kathleen. Truly an angel to your family.” We were lucky indeed.
I also received several comments to the effect that the update was particularly appreciated. If I hear of updates to the stories we publish I’ll certainly try to include them either as a postscript, a comment, or here in my occasional publishers post.
Finally, one individual commented that he was in a deteriorating situation and had no resources to help. I responded: “I would strongly encourage you – and anyone else in a similar situation – to seek out help from local support groups and agencies. Very often there is help available out there. If nothing else I would strongly recommend looking into respite care, which is essentially how Kathleen came into our lives. Getting away from the relentless burden of caring for someone with Alzheimers even for a few hours a week can help immensely. Ultimately it was too late for my mother – I am firmly convinced that caring for my father is the ultimate cause of her death. Please reach out for help – from your family, from your community – so that the same need not happen to you.”
Joy writes: “I remember this story too… I thought at the time, how compassionate & brave she was, & also, how wonderful of the fella to appear at the door to show his gratefullness….”
From Mary: “I was a bit depressed and angry this afternoon on my home from work, listening to talk radio and the stories of the day. Then I get on my computer and read this story. Truly uplifting. Someone asked if some of us would do the same thing. I like to think I would. God bless.”
Madhab shares: “I would be very glad if I could be like this kind and gentle lady.”
I remember myself the positive response that stories of our over-the-road truckers generated, and the tradition continued.
Ed commented: “Wonderful story. She was blessed by gaurdians. That being in 1990. I have to wonder if that would happen in these days. Time have changed soo much.” My response? I’m not convinced that things have changed that much. To which Jan responded with “Actually both violent and properties crime rates have dropped since the 90’s.” and included the charts to back it up.
Randy added: “What I like about this story is it demonstrates how sometimes we have no idea that others are watching out for us, helping to keep us from harm. What people often think are ‘guardian angels’ are really simply GOOD PEOPLE who care about others.”
Belief in One Race
The actual publication schedule had been set several weeks earlier based on subscriber requests for their favorite past HeroicStories. That this story was republished at a time when the news is full of a race-related conflict in a city here in the United States is a complete, and yet somehow appropriate, coincidence.
Karanel shares: “This why on surveys, census reporting, etc we should quit asking what race people are. I usually report other and write in ‘Human'”.
Jim comments: “I am a Vietnam Vet and concur greatly with this wonderful story. It was true in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and every other battle our great military has fought in the past 100 plus years. Skin color doesn’t matter when it comes time to defend our country, so why should it matter at any other time.”
JSB gives us an appropriate bottom line: “What is it going to take for equality to take hold, for everyone? Equal means equal, any sort of discrimination for any reason is wrong. If you think your bible is against it, parents said it was bad, or you just think something is icky, it is still discrimination, and IT IS WRONG. This story has my eyes leaking again, just like it did when first published.”
We currently have HeroicStories queued up to publish twice a week through mid-November. Most all have been choices made at your request – stories that you remember as being particularly interesting, important or poignant. If you think of another feel free to use the contact form to let me know – I love selecting the stories that you’ve found memorable in the past.
I’ve been asked when we’ll see new stories.
HeroicStories was based on reader submissions, and it’s absolutely my intent to resume taking story submissions and publishing them in the near future. Just not yet. There are still a few bugs to work out in the mechanisms here behind the scenes, and coincidentally the next couple of months look to be fairly busy for me personally as well. (Not to mention continuing to handle the “day job“. 🙂 )
So if you have a story you think would meet the criteria of a HeroicStories story, hang on to it. Write it down. Keep it in mind. Probably later this fall I’ll repost our submission guidelines and set up the mechanism for all that to work once again.
Thanks again for being here and for all your support. Remember that the best way you can help is to share HeroicStories – directly, on social media, or anywhere else it makes sense. More on that here: How Can I Help?
3 thoughts on “The first two weeks of HeroicStories”
I have been a subscriber to This Is True and (when it was earlier being published) Heroic Stories. The “Road Warrior” story was marvelous, but it reminded me of one of your other stories, the one about the female driver whose headlights went out at night during the middle of a long, west Texas trip. A series of truckers carefully took turns staying beside her so she could see using the truckers lights to make her way safely to the next town, where, thanks to a call from the truckers, a mechanic was waiting to fix her car — free of charge, if I remember correctly. I recall this story, and it still brings tears to my eyes, even as I type this.
That story would be Secondhand Sight, which has already been re-published as one of the HeroicStories sample stories. 🙂
I’ve been enjoying all of the re-published stories. I’ve remembered reading most of them when they were published before. (Or maybe I managed to find them in the previous web page’s archives – I recall a couple of evenings reading non-stop there. [I’ve done this with RC’s “This is True” site too.]) However, as several people have commented about those stories, re-readings are always a good thing as the re-reading can remind us to watch for our own chances to help someone else. Plus, my personal life continues to reinforce a long held belief in one human race and how thankful I am that my parents have always practiced this belief (without preaching no less!). Once you accept people as people, you can’t put them into a “s/he’s a ________ (fill in race/ethnicity/word pointing out differences of your choice)” slot.