The letter was sent in 1959 and she never let him see it.
Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.
After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.
The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.
"Dear Tony, I bet you are surprised to hear from me after so many years. I was just thinking about you tonight like so many other nights. But I thought I would write you and find out how you are," the letter reads. "Tony, please don't be angry or surprised to hear this. I have a little boy. He is five-years- old now - grey eyes and beautiful black hair. What I am trying to say Tony is he is your son."
"Please, Tony if you can find it in your heart to forgive me, please come and see him," Shirley wrote in the letter. "Every day he asks me where is his daddy and believe me Tony I can't even answer him anymore. If would be forever grateful to you if you would just see him. ... I'll close now hoping and praying you will answer. P.S. His name is Samuel Duane."
Now, Tony faced the fact that he had a son that would be around 60 years old and he set out to find him. For over a year, Trapani’s sister tried to track down the mysterious Samuel Duane Childress, until she finally contacted his wife, Donna.
Tony and Samuel met in January 2015 and he felt like a new dad. After meeting his father, Samuel said his mother told him she sent the letter, but Tony never responded. "Why my wife didn't tell me," said Trapani. "I don't know. She wanted children. She couldn't have any. She tried and tried."
"I always asked my mom, I said, 'Well what does he look like?'' Samuel said. "She said, 'Well, go look in the mirror."
The two met and caught up on a lifetime of memories with the understanding that they could never change the past. "Just to know him now is so important to me. It's going to fill that void," Samuel said. But just to be sure, Tony took a paternity test to ensure they were father and son.
The test came back negative, revealing that Tony was not the father. The news upset Tony and Samuel, but they still had a unique bond. They shared a relationship with Samuel’s mother and both have been on an incredibly wild ride after Tony found the mysterious letter.
“They're keeping that bond,” Donna said. “That paper doesn't mean anything to him. That bond has been made—and we're going to move on from here.”
“He explained every sound and bump.”
Not everyone enjoys flying. The level of non-enjoyment can range from mild discomfort to full blown Aerophobia, which is defined as an extreme fear of flying. While flying is the quickest way to get to far away destinations, for some people being that far off the ground is terrifying and they'd rather take their chances on the ground.
A passenger flying from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to JFK International Airport in New York confronted that fear while flying with Delta. The woman, who is currently still unidentified expressed that she was nervous to fly according to Molly Simonson Lee, a passenger seated behind the woman who witnessed the encounter. Tight spaces don't make for much privacy, but in this case, the world is better for knowing this took place.
According to Lee, who posted about the exchange on Facebook, the Delta flight attendant, Floyd Dean-Shannon, took his time to give the nervous traveler his undivided attention. Lee told Upworthy the unidentified passenger, "was very nervous and even before the plane took off, she was visibly shaken by each sound."
Approximately 25 million people in the United States have Aerophobia according to the Clevland Clinic and most of them probably wish Dean-Shannon was on their flights. "He took notice and began explaining what each [sound] was, with the warmest, calmest tone," Lee said. That wasn't even the most amazingly sweet part of the story.
While the explanation of noises helped, Lee said about halfway through the flight the passenger was fighting back tears, which prompted Dean-Shannon to sit on the floor and hold the frightened passenger's hand. He comforted her for the rest of the flight while sitting on the floor. "His tone was so kind and soothing," according to Lee.
Dean-Shannon's kindness didn't stop there. Lee explained, "the woman next to me was celebrating a birthday and he sang to her and made her a 'cake' with all of the goodies he could round up."
I'm not sure what Delta pays him but he needs a raise immediately and it seems the people of the interwebs agree.
Commenter, Miranda Anderson, tagged Delta Airlines and wrote, "I hope you see this! These are the types of people that deserve raises and make your company worth flying with. This is what pits [sic] you above the others so show these employees this is what you want and what you need."
"I love this. This is what society is lacking. Empathy and kindness towards people in time[s] of need" wrote Diane Lawrence.
While Mary Beth Acker Ford, said, "I was on a flight with him today. He exudes joy and is intentional about making a connection with each person!"
This level of engagement with passengers is not a common experience but clearly people are happy to see this type of connection between humans. Flying anywhere can be stressful for any amount of reasons. From leaving the house late and having to participate in an involuntary 5k to catch your flight, to making your way through the devil's backyard, also known as Atlanta International Airport...just for them to change your gate 10 minutes before boarding.
So having a flight attendant like Dean-Shannon is just the breath of fresh air people need. "The way he's looking at her...letting her know she's safe!!! This is just one of the many reasons I will always fly Delta Air Lines," Liz Martin wrote in the comments.
"It was obvious he is just a good, kind soul who shares that generously with everyone he encounters. Such kindness is rare and a true gift when encountered," Lee remarked. That level of kindness is rare indeed and we sure are happy someone thought to capture it.
This article originally appeared on 01.19.23
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Wow... just wow.
You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."
But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.
(Get your mind outta the gutter.)
OK, technically, the narrator Ishmael survives. So it's actually a happy ending (kind of)!
Illustration from an early edition of Moby-Dick
Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Basically, it's a famous book about revenge and obsession that was published back in 1851, and it's really, really long.
It's chock-full of beautiful passages and dense symbolism and deep thematic resonance and all those good things that earned it a top spot in the musty canon of important literature.
There's also a lot of mundane descriptions about the whaling trade as well (like, a lot). That's because it came out back when commercial whaling was still a thing we did.
A non-albino mother and baby sperm whale.
In fact, humans used to hunt more than 50,000 whales each year to use for oil, meat, baleen, and oil. (Yes, I wrote oil twice.) Then, in 1946, the International Whaling Commission stepped in and said "Hey, wait a minute, guys. There's only a few handful of these majestic creatures left in the entire world, so maybe we should try to not kill them anymore?"
And even then, commercial whaling was still legal in some parts of the world until as recently as 1986.
Tail in the water.
Whale's tail pale ale GIF via GoPro/YouTube
And yet by some miracle, there are whales who were born before "Moby-Dick" was published that are still alive today.
What are the odds of that? Honestly it's hard to calculate since we can't exactly swim up to a bowhead and say, "Hey, how old are you?" and expect a response. (Also that's a rude question — jeez.)
Thanks to some thoughtful collaboration between researchers and traditional Inupiat whalers (who are still allowed to hunt for survival), scientists have used amino acids in the eyes of whales and harpoon fragments lodged in their carcasses to determine the age of these enormous animals — and they found at least three bowhead whales who were living prior to 1850.
Granted those are bowheads, not sperm whales like the fictional Moby Dick, (and none of them are albino, I think), but still. Pretty amazing, huh?
This bowhead is presumably in adolescence, given its apparent underwater moping.
GIF via National Geographic.
This is a particularly remarkable feat considering that the entire species was dwindling near extinction.
Barring these few centenarian leviathans, most of the whales still kickin' it today are between 20 and 70 years old. That's because most whale populations were reduced to 10% or less of their numbers between the 18th and 20th centuries, thanks to a few over-eager hunters (and by a few, I mean all of them).
Today, sperm whales are considered one of the most populous species of massive marine mammals; bowheads, on the other hand, are still in trouble, despite a 20% increase in population since the mid-1980s. Makes those few elderly bowheads that much more impressive, huh?
Southern Right Whales hangin' with a paddleboarder in the Great Australian Bight.
GIF via Jaimen Hudson.
Unfortunately, just as things are looking up, these wonderful whales are in trouble once again.
We might not need to worry our real-life Captain Ahabs anymore, but our big aquatic buddies are still being threatened by industrialization — namely, from oil drilling in the Arctic and the Great Australian Bight.
In the off-chance that companies like Shell and BP manage not to spill millions of gallons of harmful crude oil into the water, the act of drilling alone is likely to maim or kill millions of animals, and the supposedly-safer sonic blasting will blow out their eardrums or worse.
This influx of industrialization also affects their migratory patterns — threatening not only the humans who depend on them, but also the entire marine ecosystem.
And I mean, c'mon — who would want to hurt this adorable face?
Image from Pixabay.
Whales might be large and long-living. But they still need our help to survive.
If you want another whale to make it to his two-hundred-and-eleventy-first birthday (which you should because I hear they throw great parties), then sign this petition to protect the waters from Big Oil and other industrial threats.
I guarantee Moby Dick will appreciate it.
This article originally appeared on 11.04.15
'You date people you think you deserve. You deserve better.'
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.
Here is some of the timeless advice that Smith shares in the video.
Perfection is bullshit.
You will never be more good-looking than you are today.
Put your phone down and enjoy your life.
Don't change for anybody.
Don't worry about making mistakes.
Laugh at yourself.
If somebody shows you their true colors, believe them.
You end up dating the people you think you deserve. Usually, you deserve better.
Don’t forget to always wear your sunscreen.
This might only help one person and thats ok. Advice I wish somebody told me in my twenties. #genx advice for #genz and late #millennials #adviceforyour20s #lifeadvice #fyp dont be an asshat in the comments if you are older, its not helpful.
She followed up the video with a sequel with even more sage advice.
Know who's on your side and who you can ask for help.
Don't spend longer than one year with the wrong person.
Find your own style.
Don't stress over the small stuff.
Good manners don't go out of style.
Do the work that it takes to be really good at something.
Your happiness is more important than other people's disappointment.
This might only help one person and thats ok. Advice I wish somebody told me in my twenties part 2 #genx advice for #genz and late #millennials #adviceforyour20s #lifeadvice #fyp
This article originally appeared on 1.18.23
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We're living in strange economic times.
Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.
For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.
Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.
How does that math work? Well, each round trip flight costs around $150, so twice a week puts him at $1,200 a month for flights. Meanwhile, according to CTV, rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is around $2,100 (though according to reporting in the Vancouver Sun, the average 1-bedroom apartment has actually hit a whopping $3,000 a month). Chen had actually been living in Vancouver previously, but gave up his rental when he went on vacation. When he returned, the price on the place he'd been renting had gone up to $2,500.
"I thought, why don't I just stay at Calgary and then just fly here, it’s like a one-hour flight, that’s like the same as taking a bus,” he told CTV.
Chen lives with his parents in Calgary and only pays a small amount for utilities, so despite the cost of flights, commuting by plane is ultimately far cheaper than living in Vancouver.
Plus, imagine how many frequent flier miles he's racking up.
Chen is not the first student to commute to college by commercial airplane. An engineering student who was accepted to a one-year master's program at University of California, Berkeley, flew to school from Los Angeles, where he had an affordable place to live and where he planned to return when his program was finished. Once he crunched the numbers, he realized it would actually save him money to commute by plane to the Bay area and take the train from the airport to campus three times a week rather than live in Berkeley.
In all, that student spent $5592.66 over the 10 months it took him to complete his program, which was less than what he would have paid for just two months living in Berkeley.
We're living in some strange economic times, where people are having to get creative about where and how they live. Some people have discovered that unconventional lifestyles, such as living on a cruise ship, in vacation rentals or at an all-inclusive resort can be less expensive—or just as expensive—as traditional rent or mortgage payments (plus relevant living expenses). And now that more people are able to work remotely—one of the few positives to come out of the pandemic—such alternatives are more doable than ever.
Of course, the "time is money"consideration is real, and the hassle of going to the airport twice a week in the morning and evening like Tim Chen does might not be worth it for some people. But with rent prices nearly 30% higher than they were before the pandemic, more people are in need of creative solutions to cost-of-living conundrums.
Even if that means living at home and hopping a flight to school several hundred miles awaay.
Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.
Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.
One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.
The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.
Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.
The note read, "When I checked my bank statement Tuesday (1/2) I noticed that the pending withdrawal tied to my and my wife's lunches did not appear to be correct. Relying on memory (never a good thing) I had in mind that the scheduled withdrawal should have been larger. I pulled my receipts and discovered that I had inadvertently retained the signed merchant's copy of my VISA receipts when I left your restaurant Saturday (12/30) afternoon. As a result, while the food was fully paid, the tip which I had intended to leave for our server, Hope C, was not relayed back to VISA. I can only trust that Hope will forgive my blunder. Please find the enclosed her tip in cash. That was no way for either of us to end 2023. Here's to a fresh start."
Ted, the forgetful patron ended the note with an apology to the manager and the server. After the photo went viral on the social media platform, commenters told their own stories of people going out of their way to make things right.
One commenter writes, "Been about 30 years or so but my grandfather would take me on trips in the summer to visit relatives. We were driving to Florida and we stopped to get gas. We leave and drive 50 or 60 miles. My grandpa pulls over and says I never paid for the gas. We turned around and drove all the way back to pay for the gas."
Another says, "I once forgot to pay for my dry cleaning when I picked it up. I went back the next day to give them the cash and they said 'You came back!' the second I walked in. I was very surprised that this wouldn't be the default behavior of everyone."
The Reddit thread shows that there are still good people in the world that will go out of their way to correct a mistake or make someone's day.