When I think of a hero I immediately think of someone who is strong, intelligent, and daring. Upon closer examination, many different qualities than these become apparent. Courage, honesty, bravery, selflessness, and the will to try are just a few of the overlooked qualities of a hero. The definition of heroism changes with the context and time. Below is the story of my hero...
I'm sure you know by now that I have been without a car for exactly 2 months. This week I will be filing a lawsuit against both NTB and Mazda in hopes that one of these foolish companies will step up to the plate and take responsibility for the $8500 in damage they have done to my vehicle. NTB is in the same parking lot as my company. Therefore, almost our entire staff gets (well, used to get) their oil changed by them. They always knew who we were (because we all wear black suits and heels) and they gave us 10% off all oil changes. Well, when all this happened to my car I began to boycott NTB. I wrote all over their facebook wall, their twitter account and also wrote a "press release" to my entire company as to why they should NEVER EVER take their vehicle to NTB and how they completely ruined my car. (If NTB is wondering why sales are slow lately, they can thank me!) Since then, everyone at work is constantly showing genuine concern for my situation, and it is truly appreciated. It's humbling to know that people are thinking about you.
Well, on Friday I was making small talk with our president, Mrs. Monica Luedecke, and was telling her that I would be filing a lawsuit against both companies, would be without a car for another 6 months and that I had decided to just flat out buy another vehicle (yes, have 2 car notes...crazy...I know!) She sighed and apologized that I was having to deal with all this at such a young age but she had a good feeling that everything would get settled. She went back to her office and I continued to work. Just as I was about to clock out on Friday afternoon, I noticed Monica was back in my neck of the woods. She had a sly smile on her face as these words came out of her mouth...(not word for word but you'll get the point real quick):
Monica: I talked to Leroy (her husband) and I have an offer for you. Don't feel obligated to take me up on this offer. You can tell me 'yes' or 'no' and it won't be a big deal. Amanda (her daughter) bought a car last weekend. She was driving a 2001 Lexus prior to and when she bought her new car she didn't want to trade it in. Leroy and I don't feel like messing with taking pictures, posting it on a website and having strangers come to our house to drive it. We know you are in desperate need of a car so we would like to give you Amanda's Lexus.
Me: (gaping mouth) What?!
Monica: It's a little silver car with black interior. It's old and there are a few dents in the back but it has two new tires and it's just going to sit it our driveway. The only thing I ask is that you can't pay me for it and you have to drive with me out to the Woodlands to pick it up.
Me: Well what do you mean? I have to give you something for it. And are you kidding? All materialistic-ness (if that's a word?) aside...it has 4 wheels and an engine! I could care less what it looks like! But still...I have to give you something for it. You can't just give me a car.
Monica: You can give me $1 for it. You can buy me a Starbuck's. Take my cell phone number. Go home and think about it. If you decide you want it, just call me and we can go pick it up this weekend.
Me: Umm. Ok! It's most definitely a 'yes' but can I think about it a little more and call you later?
Monica: Yes. Call me later.
I got home. I thought about how miserable and stressed out I had been over the fact that I had to rely on my mom to take me everywhere...to and from work, to and from my apartment, to and from seeing Beau...it was getting old. Fast. And the fact that I was moving home made my situation even worse. I would be stuck in Katy every day with no car. Beau would be at his house in Bellaire, which is a pretty good hike and our time seeing each other was going to be hindered. Not only that, but try planning a wedding with no means of transportation! It's all I can do to get to the bank these days...So I called Beau and told him about this "offer". He always explains the pros and cons of everything to me but this was a simple one for him. He confirmed that it was a "no-brainer" and to take Monica up on her offer. So I did.
I called her later that afternoon. She didn't answer so I left a message. I went about running my errands when my phone rang. It was Monica! She was so happy to hear that I wanted to take her up on her offer-I could hear it in her voice. We made arrangements to meet Saturday morning.
Saturday morning came and I met Monica so I could ride with her out the the Woodlands. I could not express enough how much I had appreciated her and how I could never repay her for what she had done. Soon enough, we arrived at the dealership the car was at. Monica had talked the car down so much I was anticipating seeing what the car actually looked like. They pulled it around and there it was. A 2001 Lexus IS300...it was adorable! It was silver with black interior. Sure, there's a little ding on the trunk and another one by the back tire but it's a car and it runs GREAT! The air conditioner is as cold as all get out, it's great on gas mileage, and IT HAS A FULLY FUNCTIONING ENGINE! Amanda got her last few things from the inside and Monica signed the title over in my name. As if she hadn't already done enough for me, she made sure I had quarters for the beltway. Monica was beaming. Don't get me wrong I was absolutely thrilled as well but I truly think Monica was more happy to sign the title over to me than I was. It's amazing how the act of giving can touch someone's life so much.
I drove off and felt as if I were in a dream.
Not because I had a car again. Not because I had my "freedom" back. But because someone who I haven't known for very long at all just did the most selfless thing anyone could have ever done for me. How thoughtful of Monica to think of me. Little old me.
I always find myself bragging about my company. If you ever have to opportunity to step foot in to our building, you would know right off the bat what I'm talking about. Not only is the building pristine, polished and immaculate and so well furnished, but the way our businesses are run would absolutely blow you away. The incentives and opportunities that are placed in front of me on a daily basis would be enough to make anyone quit their job to work at mine.
As if I can't say enough about where I work...I can't even begin to talk about the people I work for. I started at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center July 22, 2009...not even a year ago. You could say I'm at the bottom of food chain...well...not really...but I'm still "new". (I could definitely see myself in a leadership role one day but there's still time for that...)But like I was saying...I still feel like the "new kid on the block" and here the president of my company has just handed me a vehicle.
I don't know how or why such wonderful people like the Luedecke's were put into my life but I am forever grateful for them and what they have done for me. There are no words that can express my appreciation for them. They are the most kind, generous, un-selfish family I have ever met and I am very lucky God has put them in my life. Monica is truly a hero to me and someone I will forever cherish. I don't know how I will ever physically repay Monica for what she has done for me but I hope one day I can do something like this for someone else.
I doubt they will ever read this but if they do...Thank you. Monica, you are my hero and someone I will admire forever. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you. You have given me the inspiration to one day pay it forward to someone who is in as dire need as I was.
As the tears well up in my eyes, I leave you with my all time favorite Mariah Carey song, Hero:
"And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you"
Thank you, God, for the wonderful people like the Luedecke's that you have put in my life. I am truly blessed.