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Home | Episode #45
A Giant Heart
May 3, 2019 | Student Producer:

Noah Pallmeyer
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A Giant Heart
USD Professor, Lisa Nunn, recounts a story of unexpected kindness. (5 minutes)

One of the hardest things that I ever had to do happened when I was 17. I remember, I was, uh, wow it's already hard. Um, I was, uh, a senior in high school and I remember I was in choir class. I sang in the choir. A bunch of my friends sing in the choir too. And I was in fact the president of the choir. And my presidential duties included taking role, which I would do at the front of the classroom, up at the piano. And I would chat with the pianist. Her name was Julie. And Julie was a member of the community who volunteered her time playing piano for the high school choir. And on this particular day I was pretty nervous and kind of stressed out because um...

My family was about to be homeless and today, today was the day that I... I was going to ask my friend, Amy if I could live with her family. And I decided I was going to wait till the end of class to do it, but it was coming. So I was a little, just a little stressed out. Now, Amy wasn't, um, she wasn't my first choice of my friends to ask to live with her family. Don't get me wrong. Amy was wonderful. She was a great friend and we had a lot of fun together and we were close and I spent a lot of time at her house, um, you know, hanging out, sleeping over. But I didn't actually know her parents that well. In fact, her, uh, her mother kind of terrified me, *laughs* but they were also nice and, and Amy's older sister was away at college. And so there was this bedroom at their house that was empty. And I thought that, you know, it just might not be too much of an inconvenience or an imposition if I stayed there. But the friend that I really wanted to ask was my friend Molly and um Molly's parents were wonderful. They were these warm, loving, generous people who, uh, took a great interest in all of Molly's friends, And Molly's little brother Adam, all of his friends, right, asked questions about me every time I was over and wanted to get to know me and... I knew that they would say yes.

And I knew that I would have loved to be there and I knew that Molly would say yes. I mean this is the kind of house where, um, there were always kids around, right? It was the hub of our friendship circle. We just all hung out there and spent time and her parents were a big part of that. And you know, we'd have study group over at Molly's for the big calculus test and her mom would promise to bake a cake if we all got a good grade to celebrate. And you know, it's just that kind of place. Um, but I wasn't best friends with Molly. Molly had other best friends. I wasn't best friends with Amy either. Um, I was definitely a part of the, that friendship circle, but I was kind of on the periphery and I knew that Molly wouldn't mind that we weren't best friends. I didn't think Amy would mind either.

This is embarrassing to admit... but the reason that I couldn't ask Molly if I could stay with them was because I was afraid that if I moved into Molly's house, everyone else at school would think that I did it so that I could be more popular. And that was a real, that was a real concern. Embarrassingly and apparently tearfully. *laughs* Um, so I didn't. Instead I was in choir class up at the piano, summoning up my courage to ask Amy. And I don't know what exactly I looked like at that moment, but, um, Julie, the pianist asked me what was wrong, what is going on? And I told her, I said, you know, my family lost our place to live and, after class I'm going to ask Amy if I can live with them and, I really hope she says yes. And without hesitation, without blinking. Julie said, no, you'll come and live with me. Julie didn't even know me... but there she was, this woman with this giant heart out of nowhere who just rescued me. So a couple of days later, I drove my car to her house with all my stuff in it and met her husband and moved right in. That's the happy ending.