Driving home from Sunday grocery shopping I was glued to a Radiolab story on NPR. Twenty-one-year-old Alan Lundgard refused to give up on his girlfriend, Emilie Gossiaux, after she was hit by an 18-wheeler truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn. Following weeks of stillness in a hospital bed — a nurse even pronouncing her dead — Emilie’s shattered parents were ready to move her home to a New Orleans nursing home.
Meanwhile, Alan remembered a method used to communicate with Helen Keller. It worked with Emilie. Read their story on NPR. It’s what happens when a loved one refuses to give up. I sat in our garage to hear the rest of their story. Maybe the cuties I had just bought from Trader Joe’s were melting. I didn’t care. It was a life-affirming moment.
With the young lovers’ story close to my heart, I went inside and had only a few minutes to put away the groceries before Felix Baumgartner’s remarkable descent from 28 miles in the sky, first in a free fall, then via the stability of a parachute. My favorite part was before he jumped, going through his checklist with mission control on the ground, when he gradually stuck his feet out of his capsule window.
What was going through his mind? He wasn’t speaking but responded to mission control commands with a thumbs-up. “If I were him I’d even be praying now,” I said. We were pioneers watching a historical first. Another life-affirming moment.