+
More

They spent billions of hours a year caring for loved ones. She thought they could use a vacation.

She could do anything she wanted with a half a million dollars in prize money. This is what she chose.

True
Ad Council + AARP

Imagine you won half a million dollars for being a genius.

Heather did.


Image by Macarthur Foundation.

Heather McHugh is a poet from Seattle. She is also a genius.

The MacArthur Foundation gave her over $600,000 in unrestricted grant money for her poetry, which the foundation calls "intellectually challenging, yet emotionally engaging verse that balances gravity with humor."

Winners of this "genius grant" can do whatever they want with the cash.

I give you ... awesomeness.

No regulations on the cash. No nothin'. That's what makes the MacArthur genius grant so exceptional.

Some winners have started businesses, funded films, taken off on a passion project the grant allowed them to focus on, or just continued their vocations with a really nice nest egg. Heather chose something a little different.

Heather gave away all her $600k genius grant money to strangers.

But not just any strangers.

You see, Heather was kinda freaked out by the prospect of spending over $600,000 on herself alone. So she looked around her life for people who might also be in need of funding.

She didn't need to look far.

Reflecting on the massive efforts of her godson and his wife as they raised a baby with severe disabilities, she decided what to do with her grant money.

As told to KPLU. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

She started the nonprofit Caregifted, which gives vacations to people who have spent a decade or more taking care of a family member full time.

Speaking of her personal experience in watching her godson and his wife care for their daughter, who were told she would never be able to walk, talk, or feed herself, she said, “It was obvious to me when that baby was born that in 10 years, they were going to need a break."

To put this in perspective, consider this example: In 2014, friend and family caregivers of folks with Alzheimer's and other dementias spent an estimated 17.9 billion hours on unpaid care. There's no paid vacation (or even just vacation) for this more-common-than-you-think job.

In steps Caregifted. They have already given vacations to 30 caregivers.

Says one recipient, “It was the first time in many, many years that I only had to worry about myself."

So selfless. I'm sharing this so that more people recognize the work of our caregivers. You matter. <3

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

Keep ReadingShow less