It seems like everyday news stories take on a sadder or happier slant at Christmas. I heard two stories this week that I can't get out of my mind. One is so tragic -- a father of a three-year old in a custody dispute threw the child off the roof of a 10-story building. Then the father jumped. The child survived the fall, but died within a few hours. Think of the number that did on the medical personnel working on him. The father died right away. The news made a big deal about its happening in a nice area -- it was somewhere on the West Side by Lincoln Center -- as if we expect this of poor people, but not of people who live in "nice" areas. So sad.
Then I heard a story -- don't know where it took place, not in New York -- where a woman knowing she was going to die recorded a request for some contest a radio show had -- I missed the opening details... but I think she gave the tape to a friend to hold until she died and her husband remarried. So now she's dead, he's remarried and the friend submits this tape to a "make my Christmas wish come true" at the local radio station -- and the dead woman, speaking on this tape in the kindest voice asked the radio to give the new wife/new stepmother for her children a day at the spa and said how taking care of four boys is hard work and she deserves a day to herself. Then she asked for a family vacation for all of them, and so the station also gave the family a trip to Disney World. Her selflessness was just stunning -- not a total antidote to the first story, but close.