by Jason Ward
My wife Christy is the kind of person who meets people easily. At the movies I get snacks while she finds seats in the theater. By the time I get back with popcorn, she introduces me to the people sitting next to her.
She found our second dog by striking up a conversation with a man at the store. He had just moved into a condominium and didn’t have room for his yellow Labrador retriever. It just so happened we were looking for another Lab. If she were in sales, people would call her a networker; in her case, she just enjoys meeting new people.
On June 9, 2004 a hailstorm hit the Denver area in Colorado, and property damage totaled over $150 million. I was at work during the storm when Christy called from a store parking lot. She was under an overhang watching the hail batter the cars. “You wouldn’t believe how bad this is,” she said. “It’s coming down so fast I can barely see the cars”.
A few seconds later, “I didn’t think it could get worse, but it is,” and she described golf-ball-sized hail pounding the lot. “There aren’t any leaves on the trees any more.” She could only watch as cars were dented and windows shattered. The storm was so loud I could barely hear her over the phone.
Then — thinking ahead — Christy went back in the store and bought a disposable camera to take pictures of the storm and the resulting damage for the insurance claim that would need to be filed.
While taking pictures, Christy noticed one elderly woman who looked like she needed help. The windshield of her car had spider web cracks. Christy took pictures of the lady’s car and shattered windows, got her phone number, and promised to call when they were developed.
Two days later, Christy kept her word. She called the woman to get a mailing address to send the duplicate pictures. Instead of the quick conversation she had planned, Christy spent over an hour talking with the woman, giving her advice on how to report the insurance claim and how to make sure she got a fair deal on repairs. As a result, Christy put off errands she had been planning that day. The woman appreciated Christy’s effort so much she asked to take her out to lunch.
Our car took about $10,000 worth of damage during the storm. While the storm was at its peak, Christy was upset about the damage to our car. But instead of moping in her own misfortune, she took the opportunity to help someone else. Her generous spirit is why I was first attracted to her ten years ago and why I love being married to her today.