I was reminded today of the guy who made one of the biggest impacts on my life.
Once upon a time I was a 21 year old in my first real job, with my first apartment, struggling to figure out how to budget enough to have food. I was hungry and having a really hard time.
Dave sat next to me at work and often noticed that I wouldn't eat a meal at all at work. Nine hours, no food. He asked me once if I was hungry, and over the growling of my stomach I just said no. He quickly changed the subject to some joke cracking to keep me from being embarrassed.
A few days before Christmas I came into work, I was particularly down on my luck, using the little money I had for meager Christmas presents for my family I was only eating one small meal a day. On my computer sat a card. I opened the card and a gift card to Wal-Mart slipped out and inside it said. "When you can, do it for someone else. Merry Christmas, Dave."
I figured that gift card was $5 or $10 dollars. I was so excited. I could get some bread and lunch meat instead of peanut butter sandwiches I could have lunch meat sandwiches. I ran to wal-mart on the lunch break got my loaf of bread, some cheap bologna, and mayo and went to the register. I was starving and excited.
That gift card had $50 on it. I cried right there at the register. I bought my items and went back that night for a few more groceries. Including the good cat food, instead of the cheap stuff I had been feeding my cat.
Before that moment I had been a selfish person. I didn't give to charity, I didn't volunteer. I didn't do any of that. If another was down on their luck, my philosophy was, we all go through it, learn to deal. But that $50 and a note that said when you can, do it for someone else, changed my life. I am 31 and I still have that card.
This morning I was stopped at my local Casey's gas station for some breakfast pizza (if you haven't had it, its like heaven) and a girl next to me had forgotten her debit card. She looked nervous and embarrassed. Before I walked away, I plopped down the cash she needed for her item and it reminded me of Dave and how he had changed me.
I volunteer a lot, I give to a few different charities, and I pay for others in need when I can. I'm nothing special, lots of people do those exact same things. But Dave, Dave is something special. He doesn't just do for others. He inspires others to give back as well.
Dave, I don't know where you are my man. I miss you like crazy. Thanks for inspiring me, you are an amazing guy.