Sunday, April 29, 2018

Invisible people

I start my new part-time job tomorrow. I'll be writing features and taking pictures for the Mountain Eagle. It's the newspaper where my column started in 2006. I have pretty much free reign on the stories I want to write and pictures I want to take.

The thing I've learned is that everyone has a story. People will say, "Well my story isn't that interesting." But if you dig deep enough and ask the right questions, they have a compelling story. A lot of these people are what I call the invisible people.

No newspaper ever interviewed my mother. She would be the first to say, "There's nothing to tell." But that's not true. She was generous to a fault. She gave a lot of herself but no one ever knew about it unless you were the receiver. When I was very young, a neighbor was having problems. She had two daughters that she couldn't care for. They lived with us for over a month before their mom got situated.

Another time, a man from the community lost his job in the mines. He didn't have enough to feed his family. My mother took in one of his sons. He lived with us for over a year. His dad found a job as a miner in a copper mine in Montana. He worked and saved his money. After about a year, he sent for his wife and all his kids. By that time, Billy had become like a brother to me. He waved to me out the back window of his daddy's car as they started their journey back to Montana.

My mom was one of the founding volunteers for the Mission of Hope here where we live. It is a charity that takes donations of food, appliances, clothes, and other household items. When someone loses their home in a fire or tornado, the Mission of Hope was there to help them get back on their feet.

Last night at the reunion, a man walked up to me and told me that he'd been thinking about my mom. He happened to know about the work she did behind the scenes. He said, "She didn't have much, but she managed to help a lot of people. And hardly anyone ever knew about it." I thanked him for his kind words.

Tonight when I talked to the publisher of the paper he said it would be official tomorrow. It's my intention to try and find and tell the stories of the invisible people.


  1. Yep, your mama was one of the many never herald in this world but is satisfied with being themselves and real. You gotta love that kind of person that doesn't need the acclaims to know they have done good.

  2. Excellent idea. The invisibles are the ones that keep the wheels turning. I have known a few people like your mother. They are special and deserve recognition.

  3. You will be great! But now I'm wondering, do you hear from Billy?

  4. What a wonderful aim. Yet another gift your mother gave the world.

  5. Anonymous12:49 AM

    I think I love your mom

    I think I love your mom!!

  6. It will be a great story and so nice to pay tribute the the invisible people.
    Hugs, Julia

  7. There are a lot of people behind the scenes that do an awful lot of good, that we never hear about. We need to hear their stories for sure ! Best of wishes and much success at your new job !

  8. This title (not your mom!) reminds me of 'Eleanor Rigby.'
    Yours is a super undertaking, Rick. I agree with Ma, we NEED to hear these stories!

  9. Dear Rick, I so agree with you that everyone has a story to tell--a story others don't know about or don't truly appreciate because they don't know the circumstances. You have such a feeling for the stories of others that I'm sure you will do much good with this new job.

    Your mother's story is an inspiring one. She reminds me of my mom . Both valiant women whose lives touched so many other lives. Peace.

  10. Your mum sounds like a wonderful woman


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