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Thirsty For News

November 8, 2011

If I said I thirsted for good and happy news stories that would be a bit of a dramatic exaggeration, but I do long for good news. Every morning, Monday through Friday, 4:00 a.m., it’s always the same thing. Deaths, unemployment, natural disasters, the economy, politcians, war. If it’s negative, if it’s shocking, it leads the broadcast and, take my word for it, that’s really not the best way a person can start the day. Today was no different and by the time I was dragged through stories about Herman Cain’s alleged sexual improprieties and Dr. Conrad Murray being found guilty of regicide and the unfortunate death of Smokin’ Joe Frazier, I was beginning to feel less like I was ready to start a new day with hope and enthusiasm, and more like I had just finished 14 rounds against the champ in Manila. But then it happened. Right in front of my eyes, it happened. Not a good news story, two good news stories!

Story number one was about Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn and some high school kid from Colorado named Parker McDonald. Vonn, a St. Paul, Minnesota native, was visiting the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy in Colorado (I didn’t know there was a public school that allowed student athletes to engage in both an academic curriculum and athletic training in skiing either) and while she was eating lunch she was approached by 15-year-old McDonald who gathered his courage long enough to ask the 2010 Olympic gold medalist to that night’s homecoming dance. Vonn said yes and McDonald is a hero and everyone is happy and the two lessons to the rest of us are A) There is no such thing as a dumb question, and B) It pays to ask! Why does it pay to ask?

This is why it pays to ask:













The second story is one of those stories that makes you think about the workings of the universe and that maybe things aren’t really happening by random chance and without reason. Sara Berg and Lisa Meier of Eau Claire, Wisconsin were driving on interstate 94 just west of Eau Claire Saturday night when their vehicle had a flat tire. Berg pulled to the side of the road and the two women, inexperienced with changing flat tires, were having problems making the repair. Along comes 61-year-old Victor Giesbrecht and his wife Ann of Winnipeg, Canada in their red Ford pick-up truck. Giesbrecht pulled over and offered to help the two women. He fixed the flat tire in about 15 minutes and as he got back into his truck he said to the two women, “Someone up above put me in the right place at the right time.”

All’s well that ends well, but not quite yet.

Berg and Meier got back on the road and after about a quarter of a mile they saw Giesbrecht’s pick-up truck pulled off onto the shoulder. Berg pulled over thinking that maybe Victor had forgotten something, and as she got out of her car she noticed Ann waving frantically trying to get the attention of passing motorists. Seeing Berg, Ann said she thought her husband was having a heart attack. As it happens, Sara Berg is a certified nursing assistant trained in CPR and she climbed into the truck and found Victor Giesbrecht with no pulse and not breathing. Berg immediately began chest compressions and Meier called 911and help began arriving in about five minutes. First on the scene was a Wisconsin state trooper who started mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while Berg continued chest compressions. County deputies soon arrived on the scene and using an AED they were able to restart Giesbrecht’s heart. Giesbrecht was airlifted to a hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he was listed in serious condition yesterday.

No good deed goes unpunished, huh? A guy stops to lend a hand to a stranded motorist on a chilly autumn evening and 20 minutes later he’s lying in his truck 600 miles from home and dying while his wife is powerless to do anything but desperately beg for help on the side of a highway.

No, not this time.

In a way, yes, this is also another sad and depressing story because of what happened to a humanitarian who stopped to help two strangers, but there’s more than one outcome here, and because of that, I also see this as a powerfully positive story and one that makes me think about my personal beliefs and faith, about love for others as well as my own cynicism. Victor Giesbrecht told Sara Berg, “Someone up above put me in the right place at the right time.”, and as it turned out Sara was also in the right place at the right time for Victor and Ann. Is it possible that someone/something/somewhatever has put all of us in the right place at the right time and we just need to open our eyes and ears and step away from ourselves to see it? Maybe, I don’t know. What I do know is that no one’s going to do it for us.

What do you think?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2011 2:21 pm

    Story #2 smacks of synchronicity. I love that kind of thing! And I’m so thirsty for good news myself and awfully glad you gave me two!



    • Michael Fishman permalink
      November 10, 2011 9:48 am

      You’re welcome and I’ll continue to keep an eye out (not literally!) for more good news should it ever develop.


  2. Rubia permalink
    November 8, 2011 5:48 pm

    It can sound a bit of a dramatic exaggeration, but I really like your “story”.
    I always get amazed with life… how anything is only a coincidence.
    “Someone up above put me in the right place at the right time.”


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      November 10, 2011 9:50 am

      Hi Rubia and thanks. I also find it interesting that so many things in life are excused as coincidences. There’s an Albert Einstein quote where he said, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” I think that’s an interesting comment.


  3. November 8, 2011 10:40 pm

    I think there are people who see everything as a miracle, and there are people who see nothing as a miracle.

    I’d like to belong to the first category, please. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the good news, it is awfully hard to find anywhere these days.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      November 10, 2011 9:51 am

      You’re welcome, Lora, and thank you for reading! I’m probably a little too cynical to see everything as a miracle, but I certainly have a foot in that first category.


  4. November 26, 2011 12:15 am

    Like they say…there is no such thing as a coincidence. I tend to believe that. Great stories…thanks for sharing!


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