People are sharing their stories about Mister Rogers and it’s amazing
It seems like we’re hearing an awful lot about Mister Rogers these days, and that’s for a few reasons: the 5oth anniversary of the first episode just passed, and the world is scary lately — or so it seems. For those who grew up letting his gentle voice and kind demeanor soothe us through our preschool worries, we’re finding ourselves needing his simple goodness more than ever.
Right now, social media is awash in stories from people whose lives were touched by Rogers either directly or just by watching his show. Magazine editor Bradford Pearson started a Twitter thread with a few screenshots of stories from a comments section on an article about Rogers and that was all it took for the replies to fill up with even more.
Pearson writes, “Come, join me in weeping over the comments section of a Mr. Rogers article.”
And so here we are. Weeping.
From grateful parents like Barbara Orcutt who tells of Rogers answering letters her sick child wrote to him, to kids who literally thought they had their hero’s undivided attention during every show (because Rogers was that good at connecting with his little audience members) it’s so beautifully clear the impact he’s had on humanity. Talk to anyone who grew up during his show’s 30+ years on the air and they’ll likely tell similar tales.
That’s why it didn’t take long for replies to Pearson’s tweet to fill up with more stories of this incredible man and what he meant to so many.
I was stationed on a US naval vessel when he died. I found out during a morning roll call when I think it was our division officer told us and then we proceeded, grown men and women, to have a moment of silence on a flight deck in the middle of the ocean.— Dan Rackley (@DanWRackley) March 7, 2018
When I was little I had a big question: Who was the first person on earth? I watched Mr. Rogers often and decided that he, of all people, would know. I wrote him a letter asking, and he wrote back a personal note (and included a note for my mom). My mom keeps them to this day.— Devin (@okaydevin) March 7, 2018
Just keep out that box of tissues. There’s really no point in trying to stop the tears at this point. Let them flow.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/971255000952377344
I have three kids: a 4yo and 23-month old twins. One day last week we hear one of the twins singing. We go to the tv-room and he’s singing the goodbye song with Mister Rogers on the television. Together.— Paul Rigney (@PaulRRigney) March 7, 2018
He know sings it every time Mister Rogers is on the tv and my wife sobs.
My 40+ year old handicap brother still watches Mr Rogers every day. My folks have 40-50 VHS tapes of his show recorded from PBS. When he woke from hip surgery years ago my parents were waiting to see who’s name he would say first. He asked for Mr Rogers. ❤️ We love that man.— MoodyMom (@MoodyMormomMom) March 7, 2018
This has been my life goal! When I heard homeless people in our neighborhood had started calling me "Mrs. Nice Lady" I thought the legacy of Mr. Rodgers lives on. We can all be a kind neighbor to someone!— Russty (@Russty) March 7, 2018
When my daughter was 2 yrs old we showed her Mr. Rogers on the iPad. Wife and I were cooking in the kitchen when I heard him ask "Do you have a favorite toy that you have trouble sharing with others?" She nodded her head and said "Yeah." just like he was in the room with her.— Scenic Decay Does the Funky Isolation (@Scenic_Decay) March 7, 2018
The world feels so big when you’re little. It can be hard to feel heard in a world where adults are pretty much always telling you what to do and how to act and when to eat, sleep, get dressed, stop crying, grow up. Mister Rogers was, for so many kids, the one person who demanded nothing of them but to be kind to one another. He listened, he taught, he made it all better — or at least not so bad. Now that we’re grown and the world feels like it’s spinning out of control, we’re grasping for that feeling again — that someone’s here. That they hear us and care and will tell us everything’s going to be OK.
In short? Yes. This.