Life is one big journey, so depending on how you look at it, the end of one phase is really just the beginning of another. Around this time of year, we tend to think of graduation, which marks the end of one school era and the beginning of the next step along the winding, no-speed-limit-signs road of adulthood. (Sorry kids, there's no turning back now!) But all kinds of ends are really just beginnings in disguise: Retirements, big moves, job changes -- even a fond adieu to a kind stranger could really be the start of a beautiful friendship. You just don't know it yet. Fuel up for your next beginning with this week's Good Stuff.
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Our favorites this week
Get going with some of our most popular good news stories of the week
A special delivery
This is Floyd Martin, and he's about to deliver a giant package full of feelings with your name on it. Martin has been a mail carrier in suburban Atlanta for almost 35 years, and when people in the neighborhood he serviced learned he was retiring, they decided to send him off in style. More than 300 people showed up along his route, block-party style, with food and little gifts and words of congratulations. Others decorated their mailboxes and stood out by the road to sign, seal and deliver one last goodbye. Think about it: You may see your mail carrier more than you see some members of your own family. They deserve serious love! "It's been an amazing day with my friends," Martin said, after his ad hoc retirement party. "I could have left (the neighborhood) a long time ago, but I wouldn't because I love them."
ANOTHER special delivery
Some things, well, they just work out. A few years ago, Becca Bundy called for help while her daughter was having a seizure. The Bearville Volunteer Fire Department in northern Minnesota sent volunteer firefighter Bill Cox, who took care of the girl until an ambulance arrived. Two years later, Bundy and Cox met again at a benefit where Cox was working as a bartender. He was wearing a bright green shirt that bore a simple message: "My Name is Bill. I'm in end stage KIDNEY FAILURE And in need of a KIDNEY." They learned they had the same blood type, and Bundy said she knew right away she was going to be the one to help save Cox's life. The pair underwent a successful transplant surgery in February, and needless to say, they've forged a lifelong bond.
King for a day
We've loved on mail carriers, but you know who else deserves recognition? Custodians! Someone who can keep a whole school clean AND do it without completely tearing their hair out is a special someone indeed. Take John Lockett. "Mr. John," as the kids call him, is about to retire as a custodian at Sand Hill Elementary School in Carroll County, Georgia. To show their appreciation, the staff and students threw a "Mr. John Day," complete with a kingly greeting and plenty of heartfelt personal notes from students thanking him for being such a good role model. "Oh shucks, I love the kids so much," Lockett told CNN. "There's so much I didn't do in my younger days. I had to find a way to make my life mean something. I made it my business to be a good steward. I want to make the kids the heroes."
A bright idea
How do you fight the consequences of a food desert? With a food forest, of course. The City of Atlanta is planning a 7.1-acre "Urban Food Forest," which will be the largest project of its type in the country. Food forests are public spaces that are designed to be filled with produce-bearing plants and trees that people can harvest for free. The idea is to give people access to fresh vegetables, fruits and other natural bounty that would otherwise be too far away, too expensive or too inconvenient to get.
You gotta see this
Cool paintings. Bet you'll never guess who they belong to. Banksy, the most mysterious, yet well-known street artist in the world, appears to have crashed Venice Biennale incognito. The artist posted a short video from the prestigious art exhibition, showing himself setting up a stall featuring this unorthodox Venetian scene. Is that him behind the paper? Who knows. Before anyone was the wiser, he was gone. Come un fantasma!
Heroes among us
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people and sadly, suicide rates are rising among pre-teen and young teen girls. Colby Wallace, a dad from Seattle, Washington, has taken that sobering statistic to heart. He's started putting up encouraging signs near his daughter's elementary school. The messages they bear are simple: Don't give up; Your mistakes do not define you; You matter. But Wallace hopes they may destigmatize mental health issues and give people the courage to open up about their feelings. "As a parent, you feel really helpless when you hear these stories, that this is happening," he said. "This is happening a lot, but nobody wants to talk about it."
Wanna get away?
Oh, to be on top of Mount Wellington in Tasmania, soaking in this perfectly-lit view. It looks like it was touched by the gentle hand of Bob Ross himself. Now wonder the Aussie island state made CNN Travel's list of best places to travel to this summer. Check out the rest here -- and pack sunscreen!
"When it comes to Halloween costumes, go funny over sexy. Why would you dress like a flirty nurse when you could be a mailbox?"
- Actress Jennifer Garner, in her commencement speech to the 2019 graduating class of Denison University. Solid advice, but hear us out: You could also be a sexy mailbox. The best of both worlds!
Tell us something good
Mays Landing, New Jersey
OK, this is kind of a bummer, but luckily some good people came through in the end. Residents in Mays Landing, New Jersey, were rightfully upset after video surfaced of an unknown man relieving himself on a memorial to a 12-year-old boy who died of cancer. In response, two area youth football coaches got together to clean and "disinfect" the memorial, which sits next to a playground. One of the men posted a message of support for the boy's family, saying the community would never let this happen again on their watch.
Impact your world
We hope you have a peaceful and fulfilling Memorial Day. Keep in mind, it's a day of reflection and remembrance, so "Happy Memorial Day" may not be the best thing to say. Instead, share some heartfelt thanks with a veteran or military member or, if you want, dedicate an act of kindness to those who have lost their lives while serving.
Shameless animal video
There's always time for cute animal videos. That time is now.
This beautiful lovebird isn't so sure about its new friends. "Why won't they play with me? They look so REAL!" (Click here to view)
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