A few weeks ago, I sent an email to people across the optical community asking if they could share a “good news” story. The idea was to collect these positive narratives and put them into a VMAIL Weekend feature.

I called it a search for the “silver lining,” basing this on the assumption that there really is “good” sprinkled around and within the dark clouds of the coronavirus pandemic. Sure enough, the responses I received were great.

Darren Horndasch, president and chief executive of Wisconsin Vision, had a great story about a surprise birthday party organized and kept secret by the management team and ownership at the optical retailer. Truly evidence that people enjoy doing good things for others.

Kissel Goldman, an SVP of operations at Now Optics, had a great story about learning how to fish with his son. And he provided a photo of his first catch. All the submissions were uplifting and showed the power of perseverance.

What really struck me, though, was the account of Bob Alexander of Hoya Vision Care. He had planned to tackle an ultra-running race back at the beginning of the year, but the coronavirus threw a wrench into that. Determined to accomplish his goal, Alexander drew up a plan and eventually completed a 39-mile run. It was a journey of 88,000 steps and left an indelible memory.

Alexander said, “Setbacks are simply opportunities to reconfigure your plan so that you may be better prepared. Great friends are damn hard to find, and when one agrees to run 39 miles with you, you know for certain they’re there for you anytime, anywhere.

Your most important goals are impossible without the support of your family. My family not only supported me, they physically participated. Pushing me through to the finish. In the end, it was not just my goal, but the goal of the entire family. And that was the most memorable part of the experience.”

Congratulations to Bob and to all those who are determined to find a silver lining on the darkest days.