+
upworthy
More

The fortune cookie note that helped her heal after a friend was murdered.

'I wanted so much to hold him, to tell him that I love him.'

Amanda will never forget what she was doing at 4:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.

Gabe, her best friend and boss, had just given her the following day off from work.

"I was delighted to not have to work on a Saturday," she explained. "So I said, 'Wow this must be my lucky day.' And he said, 'Yes it is.'"


The following morning, Amanda got a phone call.

She learned there'd been a shooting at the event Gabe had been working — the same work event she'd been given off.

Amanda did what many best friends would have done...

...and tragically arrived at her worst nightmare.

Beyond the yellow tape, she could see Gabe's body lying on the pavement covered in a white butcher's cloth from the nearby supermarket, which someone had placed on him.

"I wanted so much to hold him, to tell him that I love him, that he means the world to me," she recalls in a video for Upworthy. "And I couldn’t."

That was the day Amanda lost Gabe. Most of the world, however, remembers it as the day Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in Arizona.

Gabe, a staffer for Giffords, was one of the six people murdered in the parking lot of a local grocery store at the "Congress on Your Corner" event on Jan. 8, 2011. Giffords was one of 13 others injured by gunfire.

Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, place flowers at a memorial for the shooting victims. Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images.

Mentions of Gabe's death and the others who died that day were repeated time and time again, as media outlets covered the tragedy in-depth for months. But most of the nearly 12,000 murders from guns each year across America get far less attention.

As the rest of the country read headlines surrounding the tragedy near Tucson, Amanda focused on moving forward with her life.

She decided to visit the place where Gabe had been shot to make peace with his death. There, standing amongst the flowers, heartfelt notes, and teddy bears honoring those who lost their lives, Amanda saw an inspiring message from a very unlikely source.

"My head was immediately drawn down between my cowboy boots, where I saw this tiny, rectangular piece of paper," she says. "And I picked it up and it was a fortune from a fortune cookie. And it said, 'You are often unaware of the effect you have on others.'"

To Amanda, it felt like a sign — like Gabe was sending her an important message she should know:

"It felt like a communication with Gabe, that I took to mean, 'Amanda, I had no idea I impacted so many people and I was so loved. And Amanda, you have no idea how you impact and affect people, and how loved you are.' ... All of us are often unaware of the affect we have on others, and it shouldn’t take tragedy for us to let one another know that ... to say 'thank you,' and 'I love you.'"

It's a powerful reminder for any of us, wherever we are in our lives, regardless of what we're dealing with: No matter who you are, you have an impact, you are loved, and the world is a better place because you are in it.

Watch Amanda tell her story in this Upworthy Original video:

This could be the guest house.


Inequality has gotten worse than you think.

An investigation by former "Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj is still perfectly apt and shows that the problem isn't just your classic case of "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

Keep ReadingShow less
via Wikimedia Commons

Craig Ferguson was the host of "The Late Late Show" on CBS from 2005 to 2014. He's probably best remembered for his stream-of-conscious, mostly improvised monologues that often veered from funny observations to more serious territory.

In 2009, he opened his show explaining how marketers have spent six decades persuading the public into believing that youth should be deified. To Ferguson, it's the big reason "Why everything sucks."

Keep ReadingShow less

Gen Xer shares some timeless advice for Gen Z.

Meghan Smith is the owner of Melody Note Vintage store in the eternally hip town of Palm Springs, California, and her old-school Gen X advice has really connected with younger people on TikTok.

In a video posted in December 2022, she shares the advice she wishes that “somebody told me in my twenties” and it has received more than 13 million views. Smith says that she gave the same advice to her partner's two daughters when they reached their twenties.

The video is hashtagged #GenX advice for #GenZ and late #millennials. Sorry older millennials, you’re too old to receive these pearls of wisdom.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

A brave fan asks Patrick Stewart a question he doesn't usually get and is given a beautiful answer

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through.

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan's question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I've ever seen.

Keep ReadingShow less

The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep ReadingShow less

One of these things is not like the other.

For fantasy fans, it truly is the best of times, and the worst of times. On the bright side—there’s more magic wielding, dragon riding, caped crusading content than ever before. Yay to that.

On the other hand, have you noticed that with all these shows, something feels … off?

No, that’s not just adulthood stripping you of childlike wonder. There is a subtle, yet undeniable decline in how these shows are being made, and your eyes are picking up on it. Nolan Yost, a freelance wigmaker living in New York City, explains the shift in his now viral Facebook post.

The post, which has been shared nearly 3,500 times, attributes shows being “mid,” (aka mediocre, or my favorite—meh) mostly to the new streaming-based studio system, which quite literally prioritizes quantity over quality, pumping out new content as fast as possible to snag a huge fan base.

The result? A “Shein era of mass media,” Yost says, adding that “the toll it takes on costuming and hair/makeup has made almost every new release from Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu have a B-movie visual quality.”

He even had some pictures to prove it.

Keep ReadingShow less