And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.

When I wrote and posted last week’s Moment on the woman who killed herself on the train tracks in Waukesha, I expected it to be controversial. Actually, I braced myself to be slammed. I was sure there would be the usual derisive and angry retorts that anyone who killed themselves was selfish, self-centered, thoughtless, didn’t care about others, and so forth. What I wanted to do, and say, was that I honored this woman for the years she lived, and I didn’t want to focus on her choice of death. Her suicide did not define who she was.

Instead, I was really startled when I received an outpouring of gratitude and support. I think the fact that the human race still continues to surprise me – in a good way – at my age is a good sign. I’m not as jaded and skeptical as I thought. Turns out there is a continuous stream of hope that runs through me.

How about that? I surprise myself too, even though I’ve been in this skin for 59 years.

But here’s the really special thing. Here’s the Moment for this week.

I received a private message. I don’t know the person. I don’t know how she came to read the Moment, if she’s a regular reader or if someone sent it on to her. But she said:

“I saw your This Week’s Moment Of Happiness Despite The News.

I was planning to kill myself that night.

I’d told myself that even my wanting to do that showed how completely worthless I was.

You showed me I still had worth, even if I’d gotten to a point where I wanted to destroy myself.

I had worth. And I had to save that.

I didn’t do it. I am getting help.

Thank you. I honor you.”

Sometimes, my Moments of Happiness come from the words of others. Somehow, everything came together that week to cause me to write that Moment, and a life was saved.

Which means that the anonymous woman on the train tracks saved a life, even as she lost her own.

Amazing. I hope she knows.

And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.




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