Let’s Focus on the Good Things

My kids ask me all the time why the news reports only tragedies and scary stuff. I don’t have an answer, I tell them each and every time, but I remind them that the world is full of so much more good than bad.

So let’s talk about the good things.

This morning, on the way to the funeral, we drove through Starbucks to order a coffee. We were very early and buying time, so we stood in a line of cars to get a $1.75 cup of burnt coffee. When we got to the window, the lady said, “The person in the car ahead of you paid for your coffee.”

It took a moment to register what she meant. I was dumbfounded because usually I’m the one buying dinner for a soldier at Whole Foods. I said thank you, gave her the money anyway for the next person, took the coffee and drove off.

And then I started to cry.

It was just too much – a weekend of horrible followed by a moment of wonderful. Thoughtful, faceless wonderful.

We arrived to the funeral and went into the room to hug the family. My friend leaned in for a tight hug and thanked me for something I had done. She leaned over to my husband said, “You shouldn’t have come – you have to take your daughter to school!”

No, no, I wanted to say, this isn’t the time to focus on us – it’s about giving you comfort. But she couldn’t not be the nice person who thinks of everyone else and makes the world better one kind act at a time.

At the funeral, the grandchildren waxed lovingly about the characteristics their bubbie embodied, traits that built the foundation of their lives and which they will always remember her for. They talked of strolling through farmers markets with her and trying new foods and the baked goods she created again and again to remind them they were loved.

To think of a grandmother, a mother, a sister, a friend lovingly baking to nourish others. Of flying to all points of this country to visit her children and grandchildren. Of walking through markets and parks and bowling alleys and other fun places just to be with those she loved.

Those are the moments that make a meaningful life. That’s the stuff worth reporting.

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