The Damned Evening News

Why am I telling you this? You know why. Because I just shook open my newspaper to see mass-shootings, nudity, and politics on the pages.

Huntsville, Alabama—last year Briana was sick. Real sick. Her adoptive parents took her to the doctor. It was bad. Her liver was shutting down.

“The specialist said that Briana might not make it,” said her mother. “That was tough.”

Tough, yes. But Briana, is cheerful to a fault.

She told her parents outright, “You gotta believe, guys.”

They promised they’d try.

Surgeons operated, it was a Band-Aid procedure. Things were bleak. What Briana needed was a transplant. Her adopted parents were not donor candidates.

So her father tracked down Briana’s birth mother. The woman came to the hospital the next morning. For the first time since giving birth at age fifteen, she met her cheerful child. I understand many tears were shed.

Anyway, Briana and her birth mother now share a liver.

Jackson, Mississippi—Doug Lasher fell off the back of a truck. He was riding in the pickup bed while his coworker bobbed down the highway. The truck hit a bump, Doug hit the pavement. Two cars struck him.

He survived.

In the hospital, his friends brought so many flowers, the room looked like a jungle.

Two weeks ago, Doug began responding to stimulation. A few days thereafter, he made his first joke.

He said: “It’s a good-frickin’ thing I ain’t allergic to flowers.”

Good thing.

Yulee, Florida—she was the foster daughter of a seventy-four-year-old couple. A loving duo with big hearts who had fostered over a hundred kids in their day. They adopted her.

They both died a few years later.

So, the girl went to live with the couple’s biological son in Tallahassee. Kindness must have skipped a generation.

He made the little girl sleep in the garage on an air mattress. His wife ignored her.

One day at school, the girl’s counselor gave her a casual hug. When the woman tried to let go, the girl wouldn’t.

The girl remarked, “Please hug me a little longer. It’s been a long time since I had a real one.”

The school counselor says, “Never thought I’d be the kind to adopt, but I had to do something.”

That was ten years ago. Today, that girl is a children’s advocacy lawyer.

Why am I telling you this? You know why. Because I just shook open my newspaper to see mass-shootings, nudity, and politics on the pages.

The television was worse—starving babies, explosions, police shootings, celebrities with the IQ of houseplants.

There’s a special kind of crazy going on in this world. It’s everywhere you look, and it’s making a lot of journalists rich and famous.

Listen, you have no reason take advice from me—I’m just a hick who barely graduated high school. I know life can be merciless. I’m not qualified to tell you what to do about it.

So I’ll let Briana do it.

“You gotta believe, guys.”

You can quote her on that.


  1. elaine - December 19, 2016 1:00 pm

    Thanks. We needed that!

  2. Serena Low - December 19, 2016 4:55 pm

    I love starting my day with your musings.
    Thank you.

    Today’s piece… “real” vs using “birth” in the last line of Brianna’s story. Deliberate choice? Just musing here….

  3. Cherryl Shiver - December 19, 2016 10:57 pm

    My Momma said….”If you aren’t going to believe while you are praying,..there isn’t any need in praying.” Enough said. Oh, did I tell you she is from Alabama ?

  4. Michelle - February 20, 2017 4:38 pm

    As a real mother to two adopted children, you just shot an arrow through my heart when you referred to a biological parent as “her real mother.” I know you didn’t mean harm, but I hope you can understand that a real mother is the one who tucks her child in every night after bedtime stories and songs, helps her child with science projects, wipes away tears and fixes boo-boos, and shops for prom dresses with her child. That’s real.


Leave a Comment