FORT WORTH, Texas — In 2020, every small win felt a little bigger.
Through every stumble and setback and every loss, we’ve learned to cherish the moments of light. In a year worth forgetting, WFAA asked people remember the reasons they had to smile by calling and leaving a voicemail with their good news.
“I just wanted to share that my husband and I not only received one, we received two new granddaughters in 2020,” said Christy Wendt.
“I rescued two kitties and a dog, and they're very special to us,” said Loralei Sauls.
Sauls said the cats are named Cocoa and Pumpkin Spice, and the dog's is Pugsley.
“My husband and I got married on Jan. 11 in between our two birthdays,” Mary Smith Walton said. “We're in our eighties and we got happily married.”
“2020 has been very challenging for so many of us," Laura Carrales said. “After two cancer surgeries, I am now cancer-free so in spite of the fact of losing a job having to deal with COVID, all is good."
“I had knee replacement surgery on my left knee,” Karen Strang said. “It's the first time in over 30 years that I have not had any pain in my knee, and it is absolutely wonderful."
“We were able to purchase our first home and build it from the ground up,” Sherry Washington said. “We're very blessed and very thankful to be able to keep our jobs and stay employed through this trying time and this pandemic, but God saw us through.”
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer going through treatment,” Marie Dunn said. “I still am but in August, I had my surgery and five days later I got the call that I was cancer-free. I don't care what else happens this year. That is the best news.”
“We took care of our grandchildren during this COVID time and we had the trash truck that came by,” Mike Smith of Frisco Lakes said.
“Our grandchildren are five and two years old, two boys, and we would watch the trash trucks come every day to pick up the garbage on Wednesday. We kept watching them, so they stopped, the trashmen did, ultimately, and gave our grandchildren of vest and a little trash truck. Our grandchildren in turn we made them cookies."
“I had a liver transplant and I got a second chance of life,” said Kyle Arvizu.
“I’m the proud father of Janel Fitzgerald,” James Fitzgerald said. “I wanted to say this year the Texas State volleyball Bobcats won their third Sun Belt Conference Championship. She started as a freshman, sophomore, junior. I’m just excited for the whole Texas State volleyball, so this has been a good year for their volleyball team.”
“Just a couple of weeks before the pandemic started that we had our daughter get married to Brody White our new wonderful son-in-law, son-in-love I call him,” Sherri Pryor of North Richland Hill said. “It was the happiest day of our lives and we have looked back on that day and clung to those memories to get us through this year."
“My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for three or four years now,” Brian Nath said. “2020 was the year that God decided to bring a baby boy to us, and we'll be having him in March of 2021.”
“I found my brother after 15 years. I found him on Facebook by mistake, and I'm just so thankful,” Helen Wade said. “I didn't get to see him in person. He lives in Utica New York, and I live in Arlington, Texas, but as soon as this pandemic is over, we're getting together.”
“The Office Depot in Mesquite was moving to a new location in had a big liquidation sale, and I was able to raise about $4,100 and we went in with discounts, really high discounts of 80-90% off,” Linda Cause said. “We were able to buy over $40,000 dollars of school supplies that were split up and distributed to every elementary school in Mesquite, which is 33 schools and made a huge difference to help out our teachers in schools.”
“My dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in June of this year,” Tammie Blair said of her father James Ainsworth. "After a few treatments, he went in for a scan. It was in November and shocked the doctors. The doctors were amazed. He is 98% clear of cancer.”
We don’t know what 2021 will hold, but each new day brings a reason for hope and a chance of something to celebrate, no matter how small.
“It's brought a lot of families closer together that were far apart,” Jim Eggleston of Gainesville said. “So, it's been good in a lot of ways too and they've got the vaccine coming out. Things are going to be a lot different hopefully this coming year, and we just need to hang in there and look for all the good things and try to forget some of the bad things.”