Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Generous Suprise Gift from a Stranger

Yesterday, Brielle and I were sitting in the waiting room of the service department of our car dealership waiting for some work to be done on the rear hatch of my vehicle. I was editing some writing from two of my writers group friends for our group meeting tonight while Brielle read a book and played with her iPod. Nothing out of the ordinary (although I hate when something needs fixed on my vehicle).

We had been waiting about 45 minutes when a unassuming man put his hand on my shoulder.

"Do you ladies like Taylor Swift?" he asked me.

I noticed the tickets he held in his other hand. My immediate thought was, "OK, what's the scam here." But, I resisted the urge to say that out loud.

"Yes...," I replied cautiously.

The Surprise Gift
Taylor Swift tickets!
"Well, here," he said handing me the tickets. "Here's two tickets to Taylor Swift's concert." With that he just started to walk away.

"Wait," I said looking incredulously at the tickets.

"I just wanted you two to have them," he said. "I know they're hard to get and thought you might like them."

I'm not sure exactly what I stammered out after that. I was just shocked that a stranger would simply hand us (two strangers) tickets to a popular concert.

"Why would you do that?" I remember asking (like a complete idiot).

He said something about being there at the dealership often (but he wasn't wearing the usual black shirt emblazoned with the dealership logo) and he saw us sitting there and wanted us to have the tickets.

I thanked him, still dumbfounded at what just happened, and extended my hand. He introduced himself (first name only) and I introduced myself and Brielle who just smiled and waved at the man.

Then he walked away.

I sat there staring blankly at the tickets. Brielle asked me what they were and I quickly tried to sign to her. She got so excited when I told her they were tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert. "Cool," she signed to me bouncing up and down a little in her seat.

I put them away in my wallet and tried to go back to work editing my friends' writing. Failure. My mind simply glazed over the words.

I hoped I might be able to compose myself to actually talk to him again. I saw him working at his laptop in a small empty office just behind the waiting area, but he was coming in and out of the office often. I might not be able to catch him. I quickly penned a short thank you note on the blank pad I had with me. I included the web address for this blog in case he might like to know more about the family that benefited from his generosity.

Sure enough, as soon as I finished the note, our vehicle was ready. I handed the note to Brielle and she put it on the desk next to the laptop in the empty office. The man was nowhere in sight.

I drove home in a daze.  Several times I caught myself driving too slow for the posted speed limit.

"Who does that?" I kept saying out loud on the way home.

"Wow," Brielle repeatedly signed back to me.

We were home just 10 minutes when my cell phone rang. It was the service advisor who helped us with our repair.

"Oh, great," I thought to myself. "Is there some other issue with my vehicle?"

The man on the phone told me that the man who gave us the tickets had two more tickets he wanted to give us so the whole family could go.

"What?" I asked incredulously. "We really appreciate the tickets, but that man seemed like someone who could find two other people who would love those tickets."

"Ma'am," the man said. "He really wants you to have these. You need to take them."

As if I wasn't shocked enough as it was, this stopped me in my tracks. I asked the service advisor if he knew the man who gave me the tickets. He told me it was the man who owns the company, the man who owns almost a dozen car dealerships across Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

Wow. I knew this dealership was a primary sponsor of the local Miracle League baseball organization. Although it's not the one Brielle participates in, I respected their support of the program. Maybe this man just has a heart for special needs children and noticed us.

This morning, Brielle wrote the kind man a thank you note and drew him a picture. I tucked it in a thank card I wrote and off we went back to the dealership.

As if one set of tickets weren't enough!
I found myself nervous as I entered the service department. The service advisor immediately recognized me and gave me an envelope with two more tickets to the concert (though on a different night). I asked if the president was around so we could thank him again in person.

The man and I had a great conversation right there in the service bay. I discovered his son graduated from the same college Ashley is attending and they have a dealership right down the road from the campus. He went on to give me his email and personal cell phone number telling me to stay in touch. (He even offered us something special for next year, but I won't share the details just yet.)

Hours after this whole event transpired, I am still in awe. Who does this sort of thing anyway? Sure, sometimes we get an opportunity to buy discounted tickets to family events like the circus or Disney on Ice. We might get preferential seating or be at the head of the lines at Disney. But tickets to a major artist just handed to us???

One of the chapters in my book is titled, "Someone is Always Watching." So often, I feel like we're in fishbowl and draw unintentional attention by others, even at the grocery store. But this experience shed new light on those feelings. I now have new material to add to that chapter and you can bet that the generous man will get a signed copy of my book as soon as it is published.

I am comforted knowing generosity and kindness are still alive and well in this world.

Thank you, Mike!

What fun our whole family is going to
have that weekend in April!


  1. Awesome blessings for you and your family!

  2. Oh my gosh! What a wonderful gift and a wonderful man. It's gifts like this that mean the most.

  3. I figured out how to make my comments show up!!!

    Have a GREAT time!


I love to read comments! Feel free to include a link to your blog or social media accounts so that I can hop over for a visit!