Parents today worry about everything. We worry that our children will fall down and get hurt. We fear that they are struggling in school or being bullied. We worry about who they spend their time with and what they are doing when they aren’t with them. Being a parent opens you up to a world of worry. This is something that Gina Michelle understands very well.
Gina Michelle is a mother of four. After giving birth, she says that she suffered from postpartum depression and then full-on depression. To help keep her mood stabilized, her doctors prescribed her over seven different medications. Gina didn’t like putting all of these chemicals into her body, so she started using natural remedies to make her happy again.
Gina wanted to keep her body chemical free and her mind free of negativity. This was also something that she tried to instill in her children. She says that she is always trying to encourage her children to be good. They have a motto in their home. It is “If it isn’t motivating, encouraging, or inspiring, don’t say it.” She hoped that her children would always feel inspired, even if the world isn’t being so nice to them. This was something that she hoped really rang true to her oldest daughter, Audrey, who was starting her first year of middle school.
Audrey had a tendency to be really shy. She was very nervous about starting a new school. She wanted to make sure that she had friends, that she wouldn’t get lost, and that she could handle the course load. When school started, Gina would drive Audrey to the Marina Village Middle School in Eldorado Hills, California. Each morning, she would drop her off at the same corner.
A Change In Plans
On August 21, 2018, the family’s route changed. They were able to get out of the house earlier than usual, so Gina took Audrey to the parent drop-off spot. When they got there, Audrey told Gina that she wanted to go back to her regular drop off spot. Audrey told Gina that she and her friends had made friends with an old man near the spot that she usually got dropped off.
When Audrey told Gina about the old man that she and her friends had befriended, Gina was worried. How old was this old man? Who was he? Why did he talk to a group of young girls? In today’s world, these are normal questions for a parent to ask. These are questions that can cause a parent to worry. A girl said she’d been meeting a stranger before school. Then her mom learned his real intentions.
Nothing To Fear
It didn’t take long before Gina realized that she had nothing to fear from her daughter’s new friend. He was like Gina in some ways. He would stand at the steps and encourage the students when they walked into the school. He encouraged them to do good in school. He encouraged them to study hard. He also encouraged them to be kind to one another. He even gives the kids fist bumps. When Gina heard the way that her daughter talked about the old man, she wanted to meet him for herself.
The old man’s name was Wally Richardson. He was a veteran and an ex-pilot. He was 94-years-old and had been talking to the kids going into the school since 2003. He would offer the students words of wisdom when they arrived at school. Gina was so happy about what this man was doing. Her daughter was shy and worried about going to a new school. The fact that Wally was encouraging Audrey made Gina’s heart burst with pride.
Taking a Photo
Gina took a photo of Wally and Audrey. She added a caption about what Wally did for the students at the school. Because Gina was Facebook friends with many of the parents, many student’s families got to know a bit about Wally, and they wanted to meet him for themselves as well. This man was a true inspiration, and Gina wanted to spread the word.
Kind Man, Kind Heart
When word got out about Wally, many parents in the school stopped by to thank him. Many of them thanked Wally for the things that he did for their children. Most of them got one of his famous fist bumps.
A Welcomed Presence
Gina and the other parents are happy that their children have someone like Wally in their lives. The parents love the fact that they are getting the same encouragement on the way into school as they get at home. For Gina, Wally is a welcome presence in her family’s life. She just hopes that he will be around long enough to encourage her other children when they get to middle school.