Subj: Tear Jerker3 stories
(Includes 8 jokes and articles, 20832,2,cf)
Also see TEAR JERKER1 - 'Awful-looking
old man knocks at the door'
......................- 'Reflections of the Vietnam Wall'
Joel Burns Tells Gay Teens "It Gets Better" (S717)
From: Rebecca Champion on Facebook
on 10/14/2010 (in Gay-Supp
Fort Worth City Councilman Joel
Burns reaches out to GLBT
teens with a personal story and a message of hope. Click
on either source, or 'HERE' for my copy. You will cry
before the end of this wonderful, touching video.
Subj: The Yellow Shirt (S502c)
From: Glorybbabi on 8/31/2006
The baggy yellow shirt had long
sleeves, four extra-large
pockets trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It
was faded from years of wear, but still in decent shape. I
found it in 1963 when I was home from college on Christmas
break, rummaging through bags of clothes Mom intended to give
away. "You're not taking that old thing, are you?" Mom said
when she saw me packing the yellow shirt. "I wore that when
I was pregnant with your brother in 1954!"
"It's just the thing to wear
over my clothes during art class,
Mom. Thanks!" I slipped it into my suitcase before she could
object. The yellow shirt be came a part of my college wardrobe.
I loved it. After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved
into my new apartment and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned.
The next year, I married.
When I became pregnant, I wore the
yellow shirt during big-belly days. I missed Mom and the rest
of my family, since we were in Colorado and they were in Illinois.
But that shirt helped. I smiled, remembering that Mother had
worn it when she was pregnant, 15 years earlier.
That Christmas, mindful of the
warm feelings the shirt had given
me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it
to Mom. When Mom wrote to thank me for her "real" gifts, she
said the yellow shirt was lovely. She never mentioned it again.
The next year, my husband, daughter
and I stopped at Mom and
Dad's to pick up some furniture. Days later, when we uncrated
the kitchen table, I noticed something yellow taped to its
bottom. The shirt!
And so the pattern was set.
On our next visit home, I secretly
placed the shirt under Mom
and Dad's mattress. I don't know how long it took for her to
find it, but almost two years passed before I discovered it
under the base of our living-room floor lamp. The yellow
shirt was just what I needed now while refinishing furniture.
The walnut stains added character.
In 1975 my husband and I divorced.
With my three children, I
prepared to move back to Illinois. As I packed, a deep
depression overtook me. I wondered if I could make it on my
own. I wondered if I would find a job. I paged through the
Bible, looking for comfort. In Ephesians, I read, "So use
every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy whenever he
attacks, and when it is all over, you will be standing up."
I tried to picture myself wearing
God's armor, but all I saw
was the stained yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me. Was
not my mother's love a piece of God's armor? My courage was
Unpacking in our new home, I
knew I had to get the shirt back
to Mother. The next time I visited her, I tucked it in her
bottom dresser drawer.
Meanwhile, I found a good job
at a radio station. A year
later I discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in
my cleaning closet. Something new had been added. Embroidered
in bright green across the breast pocket were the words "I
BELONG TO PAT."
Not to be outdone, I got out
my own embroidery materials and
added an apostrophe and seven more letters. Now the shirt
proudly proclaimed, "I BELONG TO PAT'S MOTHER." But I didn't
stop there. I zig-zagged all the frayed seams, then had a
friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from Arlington, VA.
We enclosed an official looking letter from "The Institute for
the Destitute," announcing that she was the recipient of an
award for good deeds. I would have given anything to see Mom's
face when she opened the box. But, of course, she never
Two years later, in 1978, I remarried.
The day of our wedding,
Harold and I put our car in a friend's garage to avoid practical
jokers. After the wedding, while my husband drove us to our
honeymoon suite, I reached for a pillow in the car to rest my
head. It felt lumpy. I unzipped the case and found, wrapped
in wedding paper, the yellow shirt. Inside a pocket was a note:
"Read John 14:27 -29. I love you both, Mother."
That night I paged through the
Bible in a hotel room and found
the verses: "I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and
heart. And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the
world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. Remember what I
told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again.
If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now
I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told
you these things before they happen so that when they do, you
will believe in me."
The shirt was Mother's final
gift. She had known for three
months that she had terminal Lou Gehrig's disease. Mother
died the following year at age 57.
I was tempted to send the yellow
shirt with her to her grave.
But I'm glad I didn't, because it is a vivid reminder of the
love-filled game she and I played for 16 years. Besides, my
older daughter is in college now, majoring in art. And every
art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets.
Subj: Bruce Vincent Meets President Bush (S404)
From: jbcary1 on 10/23/2004
Bruce Vincent is the Executive
Director of Provider Pals,
a nation-wide urban/rural youth exchange program based in
Montana. He was the recipient of a Preserve America
Presidential Award, presented to him by the president in
the White House. This is his account of an extraordinary
moment between him and President Bush that occurred at the
end of the presentation. I invite you to send this on to
friends who may benefit from knowing the kind of man
America is blessed with to have as her president. –JW
Stepping into the Oval Office,
each of us [the awardees]
was introduced to the President and Mrs. Bush. We shook
hands, received our awards with photo op and participated
in informal conversation.
He and the First Lady were asked
about the impact of the
Presidency on their marriage and, with an arm casually
wrapped around Laura, he said that he thought the place
may be hard on weak marriages but that it had the ability
to make strong marriages even stronger and that he was
blessed with a strong one.
He noted that it would be a mistake
to come to the Oval
Office and entertain a mission to “find yourself.” He
said that with all of the pressures and responsibilities
that go with the job, you'd best know who you are when
you put your nameplate on the desk in the Oval Office.
He said he knows who he is and now America has had four
years to learn about who he is.
When we departed the I said to
him, "Mr. President, I
know you to be a man of strong faith and have a favor to
ask you." As he shook my hand he looked me in the eye
and said, "Just name it."
I told him that my step-Mom was
at that moment in a
hospital in Kalispell, Montana, having a tumor removed
from her skull and it would mean a great deal to me if
he would consider adding her to his prayers that day.
He grabbed me by the arm and took me back toward his
desk as he said, "So that's it. I could tell that
something is weighing heavy on your heart today. I
could see it in your eyes. This explains it." From the
top drawer of his desk he retrieved a pen and a note
card with his seal on it and asked, "How do you spell
her name?" He then jotted a note to her while discussing
the importance of family and the strength of prayer.
When he handed me the card, he
asked about the surgery
and the prognosis. I told him we were hoping that it is
not a recurrence of an earlier cancer and that if it is
they can get it all with this surgery. He said, "If it's
okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now.
Would you pray with me?" I told him yes and he turned to
the staff that remained in the office and hand motioned
the folks to step back or leave. He said, "Bruce and I
would like some private time for a prayer."
As they left he turned back to
me and took my hands in
his. I was prepared to do a traditional prayer stance
-- standing with each other with heads bowed. Instead,
he reached for my head with his right hand and pulling
gently forward, he placed my head on his shoulder. With
his left arm on my mid-back, he pulled me to him in a
prayerful embrace. He started to pray softly. I started
He continued his prayer for Loretta
and for God's perfect
will to be done. I cried some more. My body shook a bit
as I cried and he just held tighter. He closed by asking
God's blessing on Loretta and the family during the coming
months. I stepped away from our embrace, wiped my eyes,
swiped at the tears I'd left on his shoulder, and looked
into the eyes of our President. I thanked him as best I
could and told him that me and my family would continue
praying for he and his.
I've read Internet stories about
the President praying
with troops in hospitals and other such uplifting
accounts. Each time I read them I hope them to be true
and not an Internet perpetuated myth.
This one, I know to be true.
I was there. He is real. He
has a pile of incredible stuff on his plate each day -
and yet he is tuned in so well to the here and now that
he 'sensed' something heavy on my heart. He took time out
of his life to care, to share, and to seek God's blessing
for my family in a simple man-to-man, father-to-father,
son-to-son, husband-to-husband, Christian-to-Christian
He's not what I had hoped he
would be. He is, in fact,
so very, very much more.
Subj: Being A Waitress At The Big Wheel (S359)
From: Imogenelumen on 12/13/2003
In September 1960, I woke up
one morning with six hungry
babies and just just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father
was gone. The boys ranged fro m three months to seven years;
their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more
than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires
crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide
under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy
Now that he had decided to leave,
there would be no more
beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system
in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew
nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked
brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. loaded
them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.
The seven of us went to every
factory, store and restaurant
in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed crammed into
the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince
whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do
anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last
place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old
Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck
stop. It was called the Big Wheel.
An old lady named Granny owned
the place and she peeked out
of the window from time to time at all those kids. She
needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until
seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could
start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down
the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her
to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She
could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already
be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so
we made a deal.
That night when the little ones
and I knelt to say our
prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And
so I started at the Big Wheel. When I got home in the
mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with
one dollar of my tip money--fully half of what I averaged
As the weeks went by, heating
bills added a strain to my
meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency
of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them
with air on the way to work and again every morning before
I could go home.
One bleak fall morning, I dragged
myself to the car to go
home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!
There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand
new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I
I made a deal with the local
service station. In exchange
for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his
office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his
floor than it did for him to do the tires.
I was now working six nights
instead of five and it still
wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there
would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can
of red paint and started repairing and painting some old
toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be
something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.
Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of
patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far
gone to repair.
On Christmas Eve the usual customers
were drinking coffee
in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank,
and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians
were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were
dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars
all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of
the morning and then left to get home before the sun came
When it was time for me to go
home at seven o'clock on
Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the
kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and
get the presents from the basement and place them under
the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side
of the road down by the dump.)
It was still dark and I couldn't
see much, but there
appeared to be some dark shadows in the car-or was that
just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked
different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached
the car I peered warily into one of the side windows.
Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy
was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and
sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, scrambled
inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.
Reaching back, I pulled off the
lid of the top box. Inside
was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked
inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the
jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes:
There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.
There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables
and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies,
pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry
supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy
trucks and one beautiful little doll...
As I drove back through empty
streets as the sun slowly
rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was
sobbing with gratitude.
And I will never forget the joy
on the faces of my little
ones that precious morning.
Yes, there were angels in Indiana
that long-ago December.
And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.
Subj: Ann Margaret And The Vet (S322b)
From: JBCARY1 on 3/28/2003
You may enjoy reading this story...
attached is a copy of
the story about a Viet Nam vet and Ann Margaret as told
by the vet's wife.
Richard, (my husband), never
really talked a lot about his
time in Viet Nam other than he had been shot by a sniper.
However, he had a rather grainy, 8 x 10 black ? white photo
he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margaret with Bob Hope in
the background that was one of his treasures. A few years
ago, Ann Margaret was doing a book signing at a local book-
store. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign
the treasured photo so he arrived at the bookstore at 12
o'clock for the 7:30 signing.
When I got there after work,
the line went all the way
around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and
disappeared behind a parking garage. Before her appearance,
bookstore, employees announced that she would sign only her
book and no memorabilia would be permitted. Richard was
disappointed, but wanted to show her the photo and let her
know how much those shows meant to lonely GI's so far from
Ann Margaret came out looking
as beautiful as ever and, as
2nd in line, it was soon Richard's turn. He presented the
book for her signature and then took out the photo. When
he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she
would not sign it. Richard said, "I understand. I just
wanted her to see it". She took one look at the photo,
tears welled up in her eyes and she said, "This is one of
my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will sign
his photo. I know what these men did for their country
and I always have time for "my gentlemen". With that, she
pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on
him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the
young men she met over the years, how much she admired
them, and how much she appreciated them.
There weren't too many dry eyes
among those close enough
to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he
was the only one there. Later at dinner, Richard was very
quiet. When I asked if he'd like to talk about it, my big
strong husband broke down in tears. "That's the first time
anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army", he said.
That night was a turning point
for him. He walked a little
straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to
have been a Vet. I'll never forget Ann Margaret for her
graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant
to my husband. I now make it a point to say Thank You to
every person I come across who served in our Armed Forces.
Freedom does not come cheap and I am grateful for all those
who have served their country. If you'd like to pass on
this story, feel free to do so. Perhaps it will help
others to become aware of how important it is to acknowledge
the contribution our service people make.
With global circulation... this may reach Jane Fonda
Bob Welsh - My Christmas Eve Poem (S832d)
From: rfslick on 12/19/12 (in Chris-Supp)
Photo from YouTube.com...
Ohio Highway Patrol Officer Bob
Welsh recites his original
poem 'My Christmas Eve.' Bob uniquely weaves his stories
into prose. His Christmas Eve experiences are not pretty,
but they are very touching, and a real tear jerker. Click
on either source, or 'HERE' for my copy, to hear the story
of Bob's life.
Subj: Daddy's Pink Rose (S277, S601b)
From: RFSlick on 5/21/2002
and From: tom on 7/17/2008
Get your kleenex out....You're going to need it!
Her hair was up in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
and she couldn't wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn't there today.
But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school,
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees,
a dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the
wall in back,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called,
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
for a man who wasn't there.
"Where's her daddy at?"
she heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one,"
another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day."
The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.
"My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories,
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him,
I'm not standing here alone.
'Cause my daddy's always with
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he'll forever be in my heart"
With that, her little hand reached
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.
And from somewhere in the crowd
her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.
"I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
but heaven's just too far.
You see he was a fireman
and died just this past year
When airplanes hit the towers
and taught Americans to fear.
But sometimes when I close my
it's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.
And to her mother's amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.
"I know you're with me Daddy,"
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.
And a child was blessed, if only
for a moment,
by the love of her shining bright star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far
Life is short.... Enjoy the important things.
Subj: Meeting Kyle In High School (S270e, S656)
From: RFSlick on 4/5/2002
and From: Thomas.Bonina on 1/31/2005
One day, when I was a freshman
in high school, I saw a kid
from my class was walking home from school. His name was
Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I
thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his
books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd."
I had quite a weekend planned
(parties and a football game
with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my
shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of
kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his
books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the
dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the
grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this
terrible sadness in his eyes.
My heart went out to him.
So, I jogged over to him and as
he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear
in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those
guys are jerks. They really should get lives." He looked
at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his
face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books,
and asked him where he lived.
As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had
never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school
I would have never hung out with
a private school kid before.
We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.
I asked him if he wanted to play
a little football with my
friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more
I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends
thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there
was Kyle with the huge stack
of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna
really build some serious muscles with this pile of books
everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle
and I became best friends.
When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle
decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that
we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a
problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for
business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was valedictorian of our
class. I teased him all the
time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for
graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up
there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle.
He looked great. He was one
of those guys that really found himself during high school.
He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had
more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy,
sometimes I was jealous.
Today was one of those days.
I could see that he was
nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back
and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at
me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and
smiled. "Thanks," he said.
As he started his speech, he
cleared his throat, and began.
"Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it
through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers,
your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends. I
am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone
is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell
you a story."
I just looked at my friend with
disbelief as he told the
story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill
himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned
out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later
and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and
gave me a little smile.
"Thankfully, I was saved. My
friend saved me from doing the
I heard the gasp go through the
crowd as this handsome,
popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw
his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same
grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's
Never underestimate the power
of your actions. With one
small gesture you can change a person's life. For better
or for worse.
God puts us all in each other's
lives to impact one another
in some way. Look for God in others.
"Friends are angels who lift
us to our feet when our wings
have trouble remembering how to fly."
There is no beginning or end..Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.
Subj: Breakfast At McDonald's... (S255b)
From: jtgalvan on 12/18/2001
I am a mother of three (ages
14, 12, 3) and have recently
completed my college degree. The last class I had to take
was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with
the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced
Her last project of the term
was called "Smile." The
class was asked to go out and smile at three people and
document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and
always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought
this would be a piece of cake, literally.
Soon after we were assigned the
project, my husband, youngest
son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.
It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son.
We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a
sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even
my husband did.
I did not move an inch ...
an overwhelming feeling of panic
welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell,
and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.
As I looked down at the short
gentleman, close to me, he was
"smiling". His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's
Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, "Good day" as
he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second
man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend.
I realized the second man was
mentally challenged and the
blue eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I
stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked
him what they wanted. He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because
that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in
the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He
just wanted to be warm).
Then I really felt it - the compulsion
was so great I almost
reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.
That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set
on me, judging my every action.
I smiled and asked the young
lady behind the counter to give
me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then
walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen
as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my
hand on the blue eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears
in his eyes, and said, "Thank
you.." I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I
did not do this for you. God is here working through me to
give you hope."
I started to cry as I walked
away to join my husband and son.
When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is
why God gave you to me, Honey. To give me hope."
We held hands for a moment and
at that time we knew that
only because of the Grace that we had been given were we
able to give.
We are not church goers, but
we are believers. That day
showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the
last evening of class, with
this story in hand. I turned in "my project" and the
instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said,
"Can I share this?" I slowly nodded as she got the
attention of the class. She began to read and that is when
I knew that we as human beings and being part of God, share
this need to heal people and to be healed.
In my own way I had touched the
people at McDonald's, my
husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the
classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever
Much love and compassion is sent
to each and every person
who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE
THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.
Many people will walk in and
out of your life, but only
true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your
head. To handle others, use
your heart. God Gives every bird it's food, but He does
not throw it into it's nest.
Subj: Something For Stevie (S239, S656b)
From: RFSlick on 8/25/2001
Hi to all,
If this doesn't make you cry nothing will.
This is a long one but worth every minute . . .
I try not to be biased, but I
had my doubts about hiring
Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would
be a good, reliable busboy.
But I had never had a mentally
handicapped employee and
wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my Customers
would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with
the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of
I wasn't worried about most of
my trucker customers because,
truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as
the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.
The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the
mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs
who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for
fear of catching some dreaded "truckstop germ"; the pairs
of white shirted business men on expense accounts who think
every truckstop waitress wants to be flirted with.
I knew those people would be
uncomfortable around Stevie so
I closely watched him for the first few weeks. I shouldn't
have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff
wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month
my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck-
stop mascot. After that, I really didn't care what the
rest of the customers thought of him.
He was like a 21-year-old in
blue jeans and Nikes, eager to
laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to
his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in
its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible
when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was
persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the
customers were finished. He would hover in the background,
shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning
the dining room until a table was empty.
Then he would scurry to the empty
table and carefully bus
dishes and glasses onto cart and meticulously wipe the
table up with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he
thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker
with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job
exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to
please each and every person he met.
Over time, we learned that he
lived with his mother, a
widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer.
They lived on their Social Security benefits in public
housing two miles from the truckstop. Their Social worker,
who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they
had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what
I paid him was probably the difference between them being
able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group
That's why the restaurant was
a gloomy place that morning
last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie
missed work. He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester
getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His
social worker said that people with Down syndrome often
had heart problems at an early age so this wasn't
unexpected, and there as a good chance he would come
through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in
a few months.
A ripple of excitement ran through
the staff later that
morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in
recovery and doing fine. Frannie, my head waitress, let
out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when
she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular
trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old
grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his
table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle
Ringer a withering look.
He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what
was that all about?" he
asked. "We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery
and going to be okay."
"I was wondering where he was.
I had a new joke to tell
him. What was the surgery about?" Frannie quickly told
Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his
booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed. "Yeah, I'm
glad he is going to be OK," she said, "but I don't know
how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From
what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is."
Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully,
and Frannie hurried off
to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had
time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really
didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their
own tables that day until we decided what to do.
After the morning rush, Frannie
walked into my office. She
had a couple of paper napkins in her hand a funny look on
her face. "What's up?" I asked.
"I didn't get that table where
Belle Ringer and his friends
were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and
Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it
off" she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee
She handed the napkin to me,
and three $20 bills fell onto
my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold
letters, was printed "Something For Stevie."
"Pony Pete asked me what that
was all about," she said,
"so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything,
and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they
ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper
napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its
outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds.
Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head
and said simply "truckers."
That was three months ago.
Today is Thanksgiving, the
first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His
placement worker said he's been counting the days until
the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all
that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past
week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we
had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.
I arranged to have his mother
bring him to work, met them
in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his
day back. Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop
grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the
back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.
"Hold up there, Stevie, not so
fast," I said. I took him
and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute.
To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your
mother is on me."
I led them toward a large corner
booth at the rear of the
room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following
behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over
my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers
empty and join the procession.
We stopped in front of the big
table. Its surface was
covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all
sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.
"First thing you have to do,
Stevie, is clean up this mess,"
I said! I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and
then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It
had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he
picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.
Stevie stared at the money, then
at all the napkins peeking
from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or
scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. "There's more than
$10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers
and trucking companies that heard about your problems.
Well, it got real noisy about
that time, with everybody
hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as
well. But you know what's funny?
While everybody else was busy
shaking hands and hugging
each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face,
was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table.
Best worker I ever hired.
Plant a seed and watch it grow.
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