This story begins at The Bridal Salon of San Antonio and hopefully will end in your heart. At the Salon, some days brides cry in our arms as we help them know which dress they love; other days we say a thing or two that helps a mom realize that she is pushing her daughter into wearing the dress that only the mom likes. This day was the Saturday after thanksgiving, and nothing particularly out of the ordinary had happen so far, until one of my team mates came and got me, to talk with her bride. Little did I know that I would get a life lesson in giving value. (Tweetable)
I went into the dressing room where the bride told me she had found the dress, but couldn’t get it now, because her dad “is in the hospital dying.” I said, “Will you take this dress and veil to the hospital and let your daddy see you?” She tilted her little head side ways as she raised her chin to look up at me. Tears filled her tender little eyes. And now tears filled my eyes, because I knew at that moment, the words I spoke to her, were a gift. I was giving her a gift; a memory was getting ready to be written on her heart that otherwise would not have happened.
I hurried her out of the salon with the dress, as she turned and said, “You don’t have my credit card and what if I get it dirty?” I said, “It’s just fabric. We are dealing with a heart here; go show your daddy.” (Tweet That) A few hours later, after getting her brother and family together to film the moment with her dad, the family woke her father, opened the suite doors, behind which she dressed and she walked over to her dad. Her words describe it best.
“My daddy saw me walk in wearing the most beautiful dress. He was really weak. He smiled and just kept looking at me. I held his hand, and he held mine. I asked him if I looked like a princess. He always called me that, a little princess. He nodded. He looked at me a little more, and it almost looked like he was about to cry. And then he went to sleep.”
Three days later her father died, and she shared this story with a newspaper reporter Michael Quintinilla who wrote and published a beautiful article about it. (If you would like to read the article, I’ve provided a link: (Read more) )
My lesson in value giving began days later, after I read about the story in the newspaper. Her Dad…I didn’t think of her dad. When I offered for her to take the dress to him, I was just thinking of her, but it also touched a dying fathers heart.
In addition to touching her dad, a gentleman called the Bridal Salon, after reading the newspaper article about it to tell me that the story restored his faith in mankind. (Tweet That) In fact, the Sunday after he read it, his wife again asked him to go to lunch with someone that he didn’t particularly want to go with and that he always said no too. He reflected, on the story, and decided, “to go give it try.” He said he quite enjoyed himself and that he is now a changed person, who will consider his wife’s request more readily.
Another lady walked into my Bridal Salon after reading the article, and said, “My daughter died in a wreck, and I will never be able to give her a wedding, so I want to contribute the first $100 towards the bride getting her dress.” We wept in each others arms. Before she left, she looked up on a shelf, and there was a picture of her daughters best friend, in a wedding gown.
A tire shop owner was driving on the highway in a hurry, when he passed by a man with a flat. He kept driving, but the story was in his heart, so he turned around and went back the ten miles he had driven away, and helped the man with his tire. It turns out that the 90 yr old man he helped, really touched his heart, because he did not have a cell phone, and had been there four hours; nobody had stopped. The tire shop owner said he will now look for people to help. (Give this a tweet)
Pastor, and New York Times best selling Author Max Lucado used the story as part of his Christmas Sermon, and later included the story in his book called Grace. The chapter he wrote about it is called “Unscrooged Hearts.” (You can buy his book here)
And still, I learned a greater lesson, in value giving: I was reluctant to share the story, but as people who read it called saying it changed their heart, I realized that the story was Gods story, not mine, and I had to put my ego away and be glad to share with people. You see, when I just thought about me, I didn’t want to share it, which was making it all about me, but what I discovered was that a value story once shared, is no longer about the story teller, but about the people it touches. (Tweet Dat Line.)