Monday, November 18, 2013

Inspiration For The Week: Everyone Has a Story

The other week, I heard a story that really captivated me and made me think about my life. I currently am an intern for the Philadelphia Flyers in the Game Presentation Department. One of the duties I have is to deliver birthday packages during home games at TV stoppages. It is one of my favorite parts of the job because you really get to improvise and have fun with each delivery. Two weeks ago, while waiting for a stoppage, I met an usher who really inspired me.

While waiting to deliver a birthday bag, I got talking to the usher of the section I was in. She was joking around with me saying she wants a birthday bag for her birthday in April. After talking for a little, she mentioned she was turning 75 this upcoming year! I said that was awesome and congratulated her. I couldn’t believe she was still working and smiling at every fan that came by. She then said something that caught my attention, “I hope I get a better gift this year than I got last year.” I proceeded to ask her why? And what happened last year? She then went on to say that she had found out she had breast cancer last year.

I truly was stunned.  As I was getting in the zone to get the whole section excited and cheering, I heard this tragic news. I automatically stated I was sorry and I would keep her in my prayers. Right away, she answered with, “Oh, I’m not sorry about it.” Her optimism truly amazed me. She said she has learned so much about her own strength and the strength of others ever since she has contracted the disease. She made a point to emphasize that she was not scared of this disease and it was not going to stop her from living a life she loved. She even went on to say that if the disease were to take her, it was simply God’s plan and it meant it was her time. I was speechless. We went on talking for only a few more minutes, and before I had to leave the section, I told her she truly was inspiring and that I would continue to pray for her.

Back at my apartment that night, I could not get this truly amazing woman out of my head. The fact that she kept fighting against this horrible disease and implementing her optimistic personality into her work amazed me. It really stressed the fact to me that everyone has a story. We might be so focused on the problems we are facing, either personal, physical, or at home, that we often forget that everyone has their own issues that we might not know of.  I took to this heart. My advice for this week is to not judge others, because we never know what they might be going through. This is a hard thing to do, but it offers an intangible reward that has the opportunity to change your life. Hopefully this story will inspire others as it has done for me.
Michael Proska is a sophomore at Drexel University from Springfield, PA pursuing a Sport Management degree along with a minor in Statistics. Along with being a writer for the SMTSU blog, The Sports Complex, he has worked at Drexel Athletics and for the Philadelphia 76ers. Michael is also a member of the Army ROTC at Drexel University and the Secretary for the SMTSU.  Follow Michael on Twitter @mikeprosk.

 Connect with Michael Proska on LinkedIn. 

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