BAD GUYS TO HATE--AND HEROES TO LOVE
I couldn’t help noticing—that in one month we saw the worst and the best among us.
A recent edition of a magazine, THE WEEK (October 21), offered a hard-to-believe story: those Newtown, Connecticut, parents who lost their children to an insane gunman shooting up the school, now have to endure the taunts of “Conspiracy Theorists.” Out of the woods they came, a few crazies who decided, based on nothing, that the tragedy never took place.
Hoaxers, it seems, always concoct theories--meaning their twisted brains demand justification: A. The Newtown massacre was staged by some kind of New World Order bent on taking away guns. B. The parents can’t be grieving because their children never existed in the first place. C. The drama was enacted by “Crisis Actors.” D. Obama was behind the whole event.
While some conspiracists bombarded parents with skeptical questions, others painstakingly created You-Tube Videos (“The Sandy Hook Shooting—Fully Exposed”) or wrote books (“Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.”) Among the worst: The conspiracist who demanded of a father, “If you want me to believe you had a son who died—exhume his body!”
Until the story appeared in THE WEEK, many of us had never heard about this ongoing saga, lying like an atomic cloud over Newtown. I, for one, would never have imagined that a catastrophe like Newtown would attract so many ghouls.
How comforting that the month also included a number of heroes.
On a recent segment of the evening news, a young high school boy comes to his football coach with a rare admission. “I have no one,” he says. “I have no one who cares about me.”
Two years earlier, at age 14, unable to endure his family, the boy left home—and also school. When he finally found his way back to high school a year later, his admission to the coach stirred something in the older man. He brought the youth home—to a caring wife and their two daughters. Soon the young man found himself surrounded by the love he’d yearned for all those years.
“It’s like I’ve always been here,” he said. “These have become my parents—and I can’t even remember anyone else.” By segment’s end, this amazing family noted that when their new son turned eighteen, they planned to adopt him.
And herewith another wonderful story:
On CBS News, (Friday nights), Steve Hartman’s “On the Road,” told of Heather Krueger, a lovely 27-year-old, who was in stage-4 liver disease with only months to live—and realistically, no time to find a donor. She said to Steve Hartman, “I could feel my body shutting down.”
In the nearby village of Frankfort, Illinois, ex-marine, Chris Dempsey, now a code-enforcement officer, happened to hear the news from others in his break room. I’ve never run away from an assignment, he thought, wondering if he might be a fit. Hey, if I can help, I’m going to help.”
It turned out he was a fit. The two young people met for the first time at noon, and Heather said, “He even bought my lunch.” The next scene shows the two of them in their separate hospital beds after the surgery.
In the final scene, a year and a half later, Heather is dressed in a beautiful wedding gown. And, as Hartman reports, “They got so close that Chris was at her wedding . . . but then he added, “He had to be . . . what is a wedding without a groom?”
We next see Heather gazing up at Chris and saying, “You are the most incredible man I’ve ever known. You believe in me, and you make me feel amazing every single day. Because of you, I laugh, smile, and dare to dream again.” The two are next seen standing together at the altar, leaning close for a kiss.
Hartman says, “When Chris decided to give an organ to a random stranger, he had no idea he was saving his own wife.” At the end he adds, “Such is the way of goodness. The more likely you are to live for others, the more likely you are to live happily ever after.”