That rising sun you see coming up from under the clouds? It best describes Heather as she was entering the bus!
One Friday in October, I was on my way to a marketing seminar. As a regular bus rider, I was about to mind my own business and just plan for times ahead while taking notes, as I usually do.
I didn’t get very far. About two stops after my own, a woman entered the nearly empty bus and she changed my day for the better. Although dressed all black, she was one of these people who can light up an entire room just by entering. Cheerful but not overbearing, friendly but not intruding and radiating with confidence without condescending, she carried a beautiful large tropical flower and walked all the way to the back to sit in the very last row.
At some point, she made a positive remark to one of the other riders, some sort of encouraging wish to have a good day. Because at that time I was already infected by that stranger’s spirit, I seconded, and a conversation began.
That stranger’s name was Heather, and she proceeded to tell me that she was on her way to work. How much she was grateful to have her job, how she LOVED (truly!) loved her job, and how it contributed to a fulfilled life.
Later in that conversation, she told me a bit about her life – the hardships she had been facing from a very early age on.
I will not divulge her stories, but Heather’s trials and tribulations would be enough to send a strong and mentally/emotionally healthy person over the proverbial edge.
We talked some more, and I saw how she used her positive attitude to design her life and make it work to be the best possible for her.
“Today is Friday, so we get paid. I’ll go and buy a new pair of work shoes and a pair of black pants for work. I’m so looking forward to it – it’s the best place to work for. And it has such good food!”
The word “food” will always trigger a response in me, so as a natural reaction, I asked “Where do you work?”
Heather: “At a BBQ place”
Me: “Never heard of it. Where is it?”
Heather: “It’s on Congress, across the entrance of the Mall. They always have a truck parked outside with their logo on it.”
Me: “Gosh, I can’t even think where it would be, I don’t get down that way very often.”
Heather: “It’s all smoked food. We have everything: brisket, turkey, salmon, chicken pork. It is soo good!”
Me: “Sounds yummy, I’ll get my husband to go there with me, he loves BBQ.”
Heather: “Oh, well, here are two coupons for a free sandwich.”
Me: “That’s so sweet, Thank You very much!”
Heather: “Now I gotta go and give the (female) driver this flower.”
And up front she went. Upon her return, I told her that I started a recognition program for kind deeds [the Heart & Dove Awards] and I asked whether it’s ok to include her for a nomination. She agreed happily and even graciously allowed me to take her picture inside the bus. Then it was time for her to exit, we said our good byes and wishes for a super day, and there she went.
Needless to say, I was very inspired by such a beautiful human being. It is a spirit such as hers which gives us the strength and power to face difficulties in our own lives.
Here’s to all the Heathers of the World – the kind, brave and resilient ones!