And a Happy Friday to all you super-good folks out there! It’s a wonderful day; we’re two days away from Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament; I spent nine hours on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, covering and watching the Big East Tournament and had a blast, as I always do when I’m paid to watch college hoops.
So much goodness to share this week, and I’m not even including the news that “broke” on Thursday that revealed Rosario Dawson is dating the next President of the United States (Cory Booker); the actress would certainly be among the coolest First Ladies ever.
But we start this week with an 11-year-old girl in Arkansas, who made my day, week and year when I watched this piece. Steve Hartman of “CBS Sunday Morning” brought us the story of Ruby Chitsey, or Harrison, Ark.
Ruby’s mom is a nurse who travels around the area to several nursing homes, and she often brought Ruby around.
One day Ruby started asking the patients a simple question: “If you could have any three things, what would you want?”
Ruby found most of the adults wanted only simple things. So in a beautiful act of kindness, she started giving them to her new friends.
Watch this three-minute piece and beam with joy, at the innocence and giant heart of this little girl. So sweet.
**Next up today, another extraordinary young person, also in Arkansas, doing something nice for someone else.
Brandon Qualls and Tanner Wilson both go to Caddo Hills High School in Norman, Ark. Brandon is confined to a wheelchair, and for years he’s tooled around the halls in a hand-pushing model, understandably getting tired as the day went along.
His friend Brandon decided to make life a little bit easier. Wilson spent two years at his part-time job at a mechanic shop to save up enough money to buy Qualls a motorized wheelchair, which can often cost hundreds of dollars.
I wanted to do him a favor,” Wilson said. “I just felt like I needed to do it and I wanted to do it… Brandon, he’s just always been there for me.”
What a terrific kid.
**And finally today, a sweet little letter from my good friend Jeff Pearlman. A few years ago, when his daughter Casey turned 11, she lost a tooth. And, well, Jeff and his wife Catherine were understandably bummed when Casey told them she knew the Tooth Fairy, who the Pearlmans called “Sunna,” didn’t exist.
So Jeff wrote casey a beautiful letter from Sunna, which is below. Just spectacular, warm stuff.
My dearest love, Princess Casey …
I love you. I love your teeth. I’ve loved being your tooth fairy for the last nine years. I’ve seen you blossom from a little girl to a young woman, and it makes my heart glow with pride.
But I think it’s time …
There comes a point when girls stop believing in me. This always breaks my heart, because it signifies the conclusion of something precious and sweet. I’ve now fluttered into your room more than 20 times. I know exactly how you sleep (soundly, always facing the same side) and how to take your tooth without waking you from a deep, beautiful slumber. The decorations and paint colors have changed through the years, but—in many ways—you have not. You remain sweet and passionate and dreamy. I’d never before been the tooth fairy to a girl who hangs socks and weird objects from her wall. You’re special. You think differently.
I understand why you no longer believe there’s a tooth fairy. You’re older, you’re wiser, you’re harder to dazzle. But, dear Casey, let me say this: Whether I’m a magical fairy who flies into your room or merely a loving parent shoving stuff beneath your pillow, I’m still Sunna. I represent wonderment and magic and—most of all—goodness.
Please, Casey, as you age, don’t stop believing in those things. Be enraptured by the beautiful. Find magic in the magical. And always look for the goodness in people. It’s there, even if sometimes it takes a while to find.
I have loved being your tooth fairy. Please, never forget me.
I will never forget you.