Best of Good News Friday, 2019: A teacher takes a flight that changes her students’ lives. A 4-year-old gets mic’ed up at hockey practice and it’s hilarious. And a Dad’s letter from the tooth fairy to his daughter is beautiful and heartwarming

Hi everyone, and happy Monday. This week as we ring in 2020, I continue my final week of the year tradition here at WWoS by looking back at my favorite (and basing on comments and reads, some of yours) Good News Friday stories of 2019.

The calendar this year is a little wonky as Wednesday and Friday’s best-of posts will technically be in 2020, but hey, who’s counting?

Hope you enjoy the “replays” of these heartwarming stories as much as I do. 

First up, this story from last January really resonated with me, both because of my love of teachers and because it’s a continual outrage how little they are paid in many parts of America.

A public school teacher working in inner-city Chicago named Kimberly Bermudez (above) flew to Florida to visit her parents over the holidays, and had a life-changing trip on her flight.

Bermudez talked to her seatmate, a stranger, about life and funding in inner-city schools, and how so many of her students struggle just for basic school necessities. And after a few minutes, the man asked to get her information; the company he works for likes to donate items to schools like hers, he explained. Maybe they could work something out.

The kind gesture already made her flight a heartening one. But then things really took a turn. Bermudez felt a tap on her shoulder.

The man sitting behind her apologized for having eavesdropped on her conversation — then handed her a stack of cash.

The bill on top was $100.

One thing has led to another, and other passengers got involved, and the story went viral, and Bermudez’s school has gotten $4,000 in donations from total strangers.

It’s really a beautiful story. So many of these stories make news because of heartwarming generosity, but also because it shines a light on how desperately underfunded most schools are.

**Next up, this might be my favorite video of the year.

in February we met 4-year-old Mason, whose Dad, “Coach Jeremy” decided to put a microphone on his adorable tyke during a recent hockey practice (They live in Canada, 4-year-olds there have been playing hockey for years).

To say Mason is hilarious is an understatement. In this video, he talks about going to eat at “BaDonald’s”, takes a nap during practice, and does too many other hilarious things to list. Just watch, smile, and remember how much fun life was when you were 4.

The video had more than 6 million views in less than a week, and now as I write this in late December it’s been viewed more than 12 million times.

Sometimes, the Internet is a good thing.

**And finally, maybe this stayed with me because it was written by one of my best friends, or because my oldest son is probably going to lose his first tooth in the next year. But I really, really loved this letter, from last March, from my friend Jeff Pearlman to his daughter Casey.

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.

Love always,

Sunna

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