Time got away from me this evening, for I was busy wrapping a few Christmas gifts to get ready to mail tomorrow, doing laundry, rolling smokes, and next thing I knew, it was 10:30 and I hadn’t begun my ‘good people’ post yet! Luckily, it never takes me long to find good people and within a few minutes I had two.
Four years ago, Jean Manning was diagnosed with breast cancer. She and her ten-year-old son, Jake, were living in Florida at the time, but as Jean’s cancer became more aggressive, she was advised she could get better medical care in Massachusetts. So, Jean and Jake packed up and moved north, leaving friends and family behind. I should mention that Jake has Down’s Syndrome.Jake hit the jackpot at his new school, CASE Collaborative School, when he was assigned to teacher Kerry Bremer. He often jumped around the room pretending to be Batman. He was full of energy, she said.
“And then the next minute he would be the sweetest little guy, who was looking you directly in the eyes and telling you he loved you. You can’t help but love him.”
Ms. Bremer fell in love with Jake almost immediately, and she and Ms. Manning began to bond over their common love of young Jake.
“We would take Jake to appointments together and celebrate holidays together. Jean called him ‘our son.’”
The two families began spending time together on weekends and holidays. Jake fit right in with the Bremer kids, Kristen, 17, Jonathan, 15, and Kaitlyn, 12 at the time, and Dave Bremer, who Jake calls “Dave the Dad”. Kerry could see that Jean’s cancer was progressing, and eventually it metastasized into her brain. Kerry Bremer knew that while Jean had supportive family members, none were able to take Jake in the event of Ms. Manning’s death. After much soul searching and talking with husband Dave, Kerry says she finally broached the subject with Jean one day …
“I called her and I said, ‘I could really be overstepping the boundaries here, but I just want to let you know that if you need a backup plan for Jake, my family and I are willing to offer guardianship.’ And she said, ‘I am going to sleep better tonight than I have in a long time.'”
On November 13th, Jean put Jake on the school bus and went for her chemo treatment. She returned home that afternoon, lay down to take a nap, and never woke up. Jake’s home is now with the Bremer family, and adoption proceedings are in process. Jake misses his mom, but … he seems to be adapting well, with the help of this wonderful family who took him into their loving arms from the very beginning.
Grab your tissues and watch …
Adrianna Edwards lives 7 miles from her job at a Denny’s restaurant in Galveston, Texas. Until last Tuesday, it took Adrianna just over 2 hours to get to work, and another 2 hours to get home at the end of her shift. Traffic or road construction? No, Adrianna walked to work and back home. Why? Because she had no car and …
“I have bills to pay. I’ve got to eat. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Adrianna was actually saving as much of her salary and tips as possible in order to buy a car, and then she was hoping to enroll in college. So, what happened?
Last Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, Adrianna served a local couple and they struck up a conversation. They hit it off, and Adrianna even gave the woman a bit of extra ice cream as she told them of her daily commute. The couple finished their meal, left the restaurant, went to Classic Galveston Auto Group on Broadway Street and purchased a 2011 Nissan Sentra. Before the end of Adrianna’s shift, the couple, who ask to remain unnamed, returned to Denny’s and handed Adrianna the keys to the car!
Said the woman …
“She teared up, which made me happy that she was so moved by that. I gave her a note that said, ‘I know it’s Thanksgiving, but I said, ‘Merry Christmas,’ and that, hopefully, someday she’ll just pay it forward.”
And that’s just what Adrianna plans to do someday …
“I still feel like I’m dreaming. Every two hours, I come look out my window and see if there’s still a car there. When I see somebody in need, I’ll probably be more likely to help them out and to do everything that I can to help them out.”
And thus concludes your weekly dose of good people. Remember, dear friends … it’s up to all of us to give the world a bit of hope, up to all of us to be good people.