I’m a cynical bastard. It goes with the job. However, I also have a bit of optimist inside me as well. Sometimes, that part is crushed, and other times it’s rewarded. Well folks, this is one time I’ve been rewarded.
On Friday, we ran a story about tattoo artist Steve Martin. Martin left behind a wife and two kids with his sudden death; a wife and two kids who were in no position to handle things without him. I did the best I could on the article, though I never met the man. The situation with his family touched me, so I did my best.
Saturday, Siryn Bradford sent me a text message telling me that the memorial that night was standing room only, and that they had gotten enough money to cover the funeral expenses.
I have no doubt that much of that money came from people who were friends of Martin, but I also doubt that all of it came from them. You see, the thing about Albanians – and, really, Americans in general – is that we don’t just let people suffer. While plenty of people will claim that if we did away with social programs, we would have people dying in the streets, I don’t buy it because folks in these parts are just to generous to let that happen.
I’m a passionate guy, and I get my emotions wound up something fierce from time to time. I think a lot of us do that, and I don’t think there’s anything overly wrong about it, so long as you do what you can to keep it in check. In this case, other people got wound up in their emotions and gave. They helped their friend, or the guy that gave them that awesome tattoo (and Martin’s work truly was awesome), and made his passing as easy as possible on those left behind.
It’s not over for Martin’s wife and kids. Help will still be needed, from what I understand. I hope people will continue to help the Martin family.
While I’m glad that they were touched by what I wrote that day, I wish it hadn’t been necessary. Right now, the story I do want to write about is how the Martin family rose from the ashes of this tragedy, with the love and support of their friends, to make an even better life than before. Will I get that chance? It’s not up to me. However, this time, I’m hoping the optimist in me gets rewarded again.