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A Significant Start To My Day

BOSTON (CBS) - The morning ritual. For most it includes tending to teeth, gums, hair or ever sprouting beards. It can feature calisthenics, deep breathing, grinding coffee beans, whipping up smoothies or walking the canine.

But another more meaningful ritual occurred a few mornings ago, one that broke the routine and resulted in welcome tears. Not tears born of forlorn sadness due to regret, loss or loneliness. No, this was most definitely what I like to call a "good cry," my eyes welling up with the knowledge that kindness still exists. Yes, there is very good news about the good deeds that people do.

Case in point, the story of tiny Sophia Steffels, an infant who recently passed away in an Ohio children's hospital. The tiny child never left the hospital suffering since birth from a rare incurable cancer. When she was just four-weeks-old her father Nathan took a photo of his tiny daughter hooked up to the medical machines that kept her alive for a mere few weeks longer. The photo is that of a wide eyed, alert little Sophia, a living image that has brought the Steffel family a bit of comfort.

Well, last week Nathan got the idea to reach out to strangers on the website Reddit with an appeal: "My daughter recently passed away after a long battle in children's hospital. Since she was in the hospital her whole life we never were able to get a photo without all her tubes. Can someone remove the tubes from this photo?" Nathan Steffel, father of Sophia (Reddit post)

Within a few hours his was the fastest trending post on Reddit. The response was overwhelming. He was only hoping for one decent Photoshop picture. Scores of them arrived. Nathan notes that he's had thousands of replies with many sending renderings, portraits, embroideries and other gifts directly to the family home. The Steffel family received a precious gift from an anonymous world of well-wishers who cared enough to share something special---their kindness.

Here is one of many links that will bring you to the pictures of Sophia: It's worth checking out. When you come to realize it's simply a dad asking a favor and that it garnered this type of outpouring…well it may just add a new perspective on getting out of bed to start the day. It certainly did for me. It was a very good morning.

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