A friend recently invited me to a wedding between a couple who were both marrying for the second time. The Catholic ceremony was modest, and attended mostly by those who knew the bride (Martha) and groom (Daniel) well. After the exchange of the vows, the couple organized an early dinner with drinks and music at a local Mexican restaurant specializing in seafood.
Martha is from Venezuela, but has lived in the United States for more than a decade. Her mother re-married Texan, and soon the entire family settled here in San Antonio. Martha has two kids from her previous marriage, and she’s had steady employment for several years. While she has work, the income earned is just enough to pay the monthly bills.
After her divorce, she met Daniel, and he immediately became engaged with her children. Daniel works as an assistant manager at a local hotel, and earns the going rate. From an economic standpoint, the family has the bare necessities, but far from the luxuries.
Several years ago, Martha heard that a friend from Mexico was looking to re-locate to Texas. He had the appropriate status to work in the United States, but had limited resources to make the move. He had no place to live, and he didn’t understand the local business culture that well.
Looking to lend a hand to her friend, Martha offered Abel the opportunity to live in her home while he looked for a job in his industry. Abel immediately took advantage of the offer, and worked waiting tables at a local Mexican restaurant. He wanted to learn the ins-and-outs of the business.
Back to the Wedding Party
At the restaurant, several people grabbed the mike and congratulated the recently married couple. The champagne was flowing, and the spirits in the room were great.
Speaking last, Abel confidently approached the center of the room, and made the following remarks while maintaining eye contact with Martha:
Several years ago, I reached out to Martha. I let her know that I was having a tough time finding work in Mexico, and I wanted the opportunity to start brand new in the United States. Martha didn’t hesitate, asking me to come live with her until I could land on both of my feet.
It took me nearly two years, but I finally was able to save enough money to open this restaurant. As you can see, we worked very hard to make it look nice, and you will soon taste the food. I’m sure you will love it!
I would like to tell you that none of this would have happened without Martha reaching out to me. To Daniel, I must tell you that you have married a wonderful, beautiful, and caring woman. Without Martha, we would not be here today. I’m glad that I can repay her by welcoming her and everyone here to my home today.
As I witnessed this talk, I was amazed how one kind gesture can lead to big things. By Martha helping a close friend, Abel was able to realize his dream. In doing so, he has an establishment that provides value to our entire community.
When we help others succeed, we actually help ourselves. This is nothing new, but still impressive.