It’s me again. How have you been? How is the family? Hope you had a good holiday season and that you didn’t have to smite too many people who drove too slow in the left lane. Give Moses my best.
I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been busy lately and I’ve forgotten to check in. But then, I hear you’ve been pretty busy, too.
For example, I heard about that helicopter crash in Philadelphia yesterday. The aircraft was headed to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with an infant onboard when it crashed in the Drexel Hill neighborhood of Upper Darby.
There were four passengers inside: A nurse, an infant, a pilot, and a flight medic. The helicopter went down like a sack of rocks, and frankly, everyone should be dead. But they’re not.
All survived. All are in stable condition. The officials said it was a miracle. And even though nobody used Your name directly, I knew it was You.
And just today, I got an email about Bryson, a kid with Burkitt lymphoma, stage three. A few months ago, this cancer covered 90 percent of his body, and after four terrifying chemo rounds the kid was ready to give up.
The worst part was, the type of cancer Bryson has is so aggressive that if one cell is left after radiation treatment, the cancer could blanket him again in a matter of days. Everyone has been holding their breath.
This afternoon, that young man’s grandmother wrote to tell me that doctors believe Bryson might be going into remission. Today is Bryson’s 12th birthday, a birthday he’ll remember forever.
You did that. I know it was You.
You were also involved in the story of Noel and her husband, Chris, who live in a heavily wooded area of Stafford County, Virginia.
During the recent snowstorm, when trees were falling down, and powerlines toppled like Tinker Toys, and traffic was stalled on I-95 like a coronary blockage, Noel’s water broke and she went into labor.
The young couple tried to call for help, but no calls or texts were going through. Snow was blowing, trees were being uprooted, the electricity was out. No ambulance could reach Noel’s home because of the barricades caused by the storm.
It had all the makings of a full-scale disaster. But it wasn’t.
Noel’s mother was able to get in touch with Fairfax County Fire Department, who connected with Stafford County Fire & Rescue. First responders made it to Noel’s house on foot, climbing over fallen trees and trudging through dangerous conditions.
The medics were going to deliver Noel’s baby at home, but Noel insisted on going to the hospital. And that’s when the real miracle happened.
The first responders guided the young woman through the blizzard, through the woods, across frozen creek beds, plodding through a foot and a half of snow.
She finally reached the ambulance, and they made it to the hospital where Noel gave birth to a healthy baby Josephine.
That story has Your name written all over it.
And don’t forget about Gus Albritton, the Vietnam veteran. In the early ‘80s someone broke into Gus’s house in Brooksfield, Florida, and stole several valuables, including his three Purple Hearts.
It was a low blow. It was lower than low. After all, they don’t just give Purple Hearts out like breath mints.
Enter Jamie Bath.
Recently, Bath was at a yard sale when he saw a Purple Heart for sale. He picked up the medallion and read Gus’s engraved name on the back. So he bought the service medal, looked Gus up, and mailed the medal back to him.
When Gus opened the envelope: Niagara Falls.
“I got my Purple Heart back after 38 years,” said an emotional Gus. “You have to shed blood for your country to receive a Purple Heart and I’ve shed my share of blood for my country.”
You, You, You.
The truth is, God, You do a lot of things that You’ll never get credit for. Not just big things, but little ones. Beer is only one example.
And yet sometimes I forget to sit down and simply say thank you. I wish I could tell you that I’m going to be more diligent about this from now on, and that I’m going to say thank you more often. But I think we both know that I would be lying, because I’m the world’s most imperfect guy. Nobody knows that better than You.
So I will simply say thank you here. Thank you for understanding me, and for not beating me up for my shortcomings. Help me offer that same leeway to others.
Thanks for looking out for me when I don’t deserve it. Thanks for today. And for tomorrow. And for all the other days You’ve seen fit to give me.
Can’t wait until we hang out in person.