A Mass. State Trooper Surprised a Grieving Swansea Family With the Most Selfless Gift
What the world truly needs is more feel-good stories and this one deserves some recognition.
On Wednesday, October 19th, a mom of two by the name of Melissa Afonso watched her youngest daughter Sofia get picked up for school by her good friend Julie Kubicek (her daughter attends the same school as Sofia). Kubicek is close with the Afonso family and helps bring the kids to Joseph Case Jr. High in Swansea every morning. Coincidentally, her husband is Trooper Joe Kubicek who had quite the surprise for Sofia that also meant the world to Afonso.
Before I continue, it's important to know (for the story's sake) that Afonso's mother Cidalia Rebello was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 47 and sadly passed at the age of 51 back in 2007. Afonso's oldest, Faith, was only six months old when her grandmother was diagnosed and 6 years old when she passed away, but at least was able to get photos together. Sofia, on the other hand, did not.
Speaking of Sofia, it was a momentous day for the 13-year-old, as it was her birthday. Little did she know, something very special was planned for her and Afonso was completely unaware of it.
Trooper Kubicek was lucky enough to get his hands on the driver's wheel of the Massachusetts State Trooper "Pink Cruiser" to celebrate Sofia's Birthday (she loves the color pink) and to also honor her grandmother. Truth be told, Kubicek wanted to make the little girl smile on her birthday and ended up gifting her mom as well.
"I posted on Facebook “Happy Birthday” with some photos and five minutes in, there was an alert that Julie added a photo to the post," Afonso said, "When I opened the photo and saw the picture, I froze, I was shocked. I started to ugly cry and that’s when I put two and two together."
Afonso's youngest never got to meet her grandmother, nor was she able to take a photo with the woman who she shares her middle name with, but on that very day, Afonso saw it as a connection. Although her mother is no longer with us, the pink cruiser was a spiritual symbol, and Afonso knew right there and then that she was smiling down.
Sofia's smile was from ear to ear.
"She told Julie that she wished she wore pink to match the SUV, but instead she rocked a special orange dress to celebrate unity day at school," Afonso explained. "It’s unfortunate that the police got such a bad rep when Joe went out of his way to make this happen. I'm forever grateful."
After the photos were taken and the tears were dried, Trooper Kubicek continued to take the Pink Cruiser over to the E.S. Brown school to show the other students while he still had the vehicle in his possession.
"My wife, asked if I could get the pink cruiser to bring to the school, but unfortunately there’s only one and it’s tough to get a hold of," Kubicek said, "It was honestly a lot of luck in regards to getting it on her birthday and the fact that her grandmother had passed away from breast cancer. Melissa and her family are very close to us and then later that day I was at the school to present the cruiser to my daughter’s class as well. It all worked out well."
A sign from heaven indeed that it all started from a selfless act from a couple of family friends whose goal to make a little girl's day the best yet was accomplished. These are the stories I live for, and these are the people in the world who truly make a difference.
Kudos, Trooper Kubicek, and a very happy birthday, Sofia!