Timmy kept a positive attitude through out his life because that is what his parents had beaten into him.
There is irony in promoting positivity through beatings, but Timmy knew his parents' hearts were in the right place.
"Never complain. Put a positive spin on everything. Pretend to be cheery, especially when you are at your darkest. People appreciate that."
So he did. It was his life's mantra.
In high school, Timmy was a violin prodigy. A juvenile virtuoso whose destiny was laid out before him in gold. His fellow musicians respected him deeply because they recognized his talent. They understood it.
Others, however, did not.
Being in the band was not the best way to gain respect in the general population. Athletes were merciless to Timmy. Called him a wimp. A loser. Taunted him long and hard in public at every opportunity.
But Timmy handled it well. He ignored them when he could, smiled as best he could and told his friends "they don't mean anything by it. They are just trying to discover their own identity."
Even when they hauled him off the steps of the bus as he prepared to go home. Bullied him into a blind alley just behind the convenience store and stomped his left hand. Broke it severely to the point of non-recognition.
Six months later when the bandages were removed and it was confirmed that Timmy would never play the violin again he said: "I'm OK. Music is not the only way to make a living."
His studies had fallen behind as Timmy appeared unable to concentrate, but when he graduated he got a great job with a printing company. Running a printing press.
The work was hard, the hours long and the atmosphere brutal but Timmy was proud to be a worker bee. He felt a part of something.
He was always on time, never took a second extra on break, ate his lunch silently and did everything his bosses asked.
Even when they appeared to be rude. He understood they were under a lot of pressure.
He met Zelda at the Acme Printing Company and could not believe his luck. She was a raving beauty. What was she doing in a place like this?
He didn't understand it. He was also blown away when she agreed to date him.
Somehow they clicked. It didn't make sense but there it was. They were in love and they got married.
A spectacular marriage it was. Flowing along nicely, the envy of every other couple around them.
Ten years on the job and Timmy got laid off. Zelda had stayed home that day, making good use of her sick time to just take a break.
Timmy walked through the doors of the Acme Printing Company at 6:00 a.m., and was walking back out at 6:15.
In a bit of a daze.
But he thought to himself "They are only doing what they have to do. I will be alright. I will land on my feet."
When he got back home he found Zelda in bed with his best friend John.
She looked at Timmy with contempt.
And said "Are you really so surprised?" Timmy said "We were going to have children together. Build a family."
Zelda said "I would never have children with the likes of you, loser. How could you not feel that? Get the hell out of my house."
Timmy looked at John who said "You were never no friend of mine, buddy."
Timmy staggered away but thought to himself "I have known love. I am a lucky man."
He squeaked by on unemployment, living in a one room apartment on the dark side of town. Until unemployment ran out.
Eventually Timmy was evicted. He lived on his wits and on the streets.
Still, he told himself "The weather is good most of the time, I am getting plenty of fresh air and some people are very generous with their dimes."
Life on the streets was hard. Timmy got knifed. Timmy died.
Zelda, who felt the tiniest bit of complicity in Timmy's untimely death, buried him on the dark side of the cemetery where the weeds grew best.
A friend of hers, a stonemason, inscribed the tiny headstone with the words Timmy always told her should be there.
"Things are looking up."
Timmy had finally gotten it right.
Editor's note: This heart warming story was inspired, in part, by Bob Dylan's song "It's All Good" - a brilliant satire of a ridiculous phrase.