I hope winter is treating you well. I know that we’ve had extremes of weather in many parts of the world. Here in the United States’ Pacific Northwest we’re on track to set new records … for rainfall!
I find it interesting how many HeroicStories involve automobile travel. Certainly in the days before cell phones we were all more vulnerable, and dependant on one-another, as we travelled the roads. Even today breakdowns and problems on the road often put us into “interesting” situations … situations where the timely assistance of a stranger can make all the difference.
I continue to find it encouraging that there are so many people ready and willing to help.
In addition to our road-side story, this month we also have an update from one of the authors, as well as a brand new HeroicStories story.
As always, be sure to share HeroicStories with the world – the world needs it! 🙂
You may think your kids don’t notice what you do… but they can always tell when you really care.
Michele Barnett says: “Watching Me” is a great illustration that what children truly need to succeed in life is the “presence” of their parents, not “presents” from their parents. Robert’s father may not have been highly educated, but he was extremely wise and loving.
Terry adds: I can certainly relate to your story. I, too, had an emotionally abusive mother, and the only thing that saved me was my father’s love.
A small act of chivalry sends ripples through a war-torn country.
Nikki comments: The beginning of this story made me smile, but the ending gave me chills. How amazing that an act in the moment had such a huge impact on people, literally for years to come. Than you for sharing!
Jill Carel says: Great story sharing the impact of an action, and the ripples spreading out to affect many others, possibly for generations! Thank you!!
Karl Gabriel adds: A kind gesture can change the opinion of an entire nation.
Ian says: This brought tears to my eyes! Wonderful!
The trauma of a balloon popping is cured by one pink rose.
Terry says: This was a lovely write. It is encouraging that there are still young people in the world with heart.
Cheryl adds: Thanks for sharing this story. That was a very lucky lady in Ithaca, indeed. I hope that young man has had his good spirit reflected back to him many times in the decade since this was first published. And that Clara has grown into a lovely young woman who always knows that there are kind people in her world.
A little white lie saves a small, young, family on vacation.
Jane says: Well I started my very early morning off (4:45 am couldn’t sleep as most of us ‘older folk’ tend to do after a while) with a good dose of rock ‘n roll. McLean’s “American Pie”; Roy Orbison’s Black and White album starting with “Cryin” after listening to McLean’s version (astounding) and then on to the Traveling Willbury’s End of the Line. Rockin’ Out! And to add to the joy, this story. Thanks for all you do Leo!
Cathy Gill adds: So fantastic that even after all these years you continue to help the stranded motorists. You are some very special people and we thank you for that!!
Terry comments: What a wonderful story. I lived in NYS most of my life and had many NYS Troopers as friends. I can tell you that it does not surprise me at all that one would perform such an act of kindness for strangers.
Volunteers step up and serve after a devastating fire in the poorest part of the city.
Jane says: Solidarity and Grace, with emphasis on Grace. There is a quote I have hanging on my wall from a man who passed in 2015, Sir Nicholas Winton, “Don’t be content in your life just to do no wrong. Be prepared, everyday, to try and do some good.” Simple and profound.
Cheryl comments: I love this – both solidarity and grace. A very inspiring example to follow. Thanks for sharing.
phyllis bala adds: Deep love & appreciation for this beautiful story of social service. Easy to see how much joy it brought to many people who were able and willing to make their own small contributions along the way that multiplied so easily, and met the needs of so many.
Parental child abduction is all too real – and can be hard to resolve.
Sharon Zeff (the author) says:
I wrote this story. 14 years later the girls are happy and healthy and doing great. Anna, now almost 20, is a second year at one of the top universities in the country and Emily, now 18, is about to graduate high school and is waiting on her acceptances from the universities she has applied to. The girls went through several years of counseling after their return and their biological mother spent over four years in jail,. At that time in California, she is the only woman to get a felony conviction for parental abduction. In the end though, I think Anna and Emily have had a happy childhood and thankfully uneventful after their return. I completed their adoption 7 years ago.
Dan Noyes won a local Emmy for his story about the girls and ran a followup story a few years later to show how well the girls were doing. My friend Mari who was instrumental in their return unfortunately died of cancer about six years ago, leaving behind two young children. I have made sure that they are aware of what their mother did for me and my family.
The local police, who refused to act, after the story got national attention, implemented training on how to handle parental abductions and now I know they do amber alerts here in California. Dianne Feinstein specifically mentioned the girls when bringing up a bill about parental abductions on the Senate floor.
Odd to see this story now, but I did want people to know that for the girls this had a happy ending and they have grown up to be terrific young adults.
After a first, horrible, job experience, a woman experiences the power of praise from her next savvy boss.
Steve, in Kentucky says: I truly love Heroic Stories. And I tear up most of the time. Throughout a long and checkered career I’ve had a number of bosses who did more than just boss. Some had challenging personalities, but thy tried to do right by their employees. These are stories of people just doing what they ought to be doing for their neighbors.. It is sad that this is news. But after watching what TV calls news, Heroic Stories brings me back into perspective. Most people are kind, honest and thoughtful. The only thing that sets the people in these stories apart is that they are courageous enough to act. And I guess that does make them Heroic.
Rick adds: I had a similar experience working retail when I moved from being a successful store manager for one chain to a sub-assistant manager for a much larger (and better paying) chain. After undergoing their training program I was assigned to my first store as 2nd Assistant. The manager was abusive from the first moment I walked in – criticizing either the speed or thoroughness of my completion for each and every duty I performed. I did not recognize the damage until I was moved to a different location after 6 months. On my first day, I was handed a job or straightening and reorganizing backroom stock. Six hours later, the manager came back, looked at the job I had done and said, “Wow! You got this wrapped faster and better than I had expected. Excellent.” I actually cried for the first and only time in my entire career. When the manager asked me about what was going on, he immediately recognized the handiwork of the other manager. Never doubted myself from there on out.
A gift of music, during college years, is remembered for a lifetime.
Allen says: That is fantastic – he is a great guy and I pray for both of you!
phyllis bala adds: I love how he painted a colorful picture of beautiful people as precious, sparkly gems shining out into the world. I know more than a few people like those. They are pure love. He seems to be on the receiving end of lots of love from many people. A special hearted person, I’m sure!
Until next time!
Leo A. Notenboom
Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place