Everyone has heroes. Everyone looks up to someone. Admires them. Wants to be like them. It may be a family member, a superhero (I love batman…), an athlete, someone who fights against injustices. There are all kinds of heroes.
Well, I have a new hero. Not the most likely one but a hero none the less. Her name is Michelle H. I’m not trying to hide her last name for any reason. I just don’t know what it is. Her name tag just said “Michelle H.”
….Several Days Earlier…..Picture the Scene
My son James turned around and looked at me with a pure look of disbelief and amazement. It was priceless. I was watching a tiny part of a little boy’s dream come true. James had just gotten the autograph of his favorite Atlanta Hawks basketball team member, Kent Bazemore. It was like what seemed impossible had just come true. Then, a couple of minutes later up walked, probably the largest person I have ever stood near, Atlanta Hawks center, Dwight Howard. He is a giant of a man. But, he came right up to James and bent down to sign his program. James looked back at me again and mouthed with excitement, “YES”! Then there was 4 time NBA all-star Paul Millsap…..another autograph.
All three of these larger than life NBA stars stopped to give a few seconds to James Hunt! James’ game program became like gold. His mind was blown.
And, my heart was thankful. How did our little $35 tickets get us in front of the front row, right in the path of the Hawks?
That’s where my hero Michelle H. comes in.
You see, our tickets had us sitting in section 210, not the front row of section 118. But, I had a little boy who dreamed of meeting his basketball heroes. So, I asked a Philips Arena staffer if it was ok if we walked down closer to the court. He kindly pointed the way, so we began our journey down…
We cautiously, and to be honest, with low expectation worked our way to the front row of section 118. I know we looked out of place, like we didn’t belong. The truth was, we didn’t belong there. Then, the dreaded question was asked, “Can I see your tickets please?” BUSTED! It was Michelle H. doing her job. She was faithfully protecting section 118 from those who didn’t belong, those who had not paid the price. She later told me that she had been doing that for 11 years. She was a pro.
Before I even showed her our tickets, I confessed, “We don’t belong here. Our seats are in section 210.” I did offer the info that it was James’ first game and birthday and that we just wanted a closer look. As I was about to turn around and sheepishly head back to section 210, she says, “Oh! Your birthday? What’s your name young man?” James just gives her the facts, “James”. Then she kindly says, “This may be your lucky day.” Though she had every right and the authority to send us back to section 210, she brought him as close as she could to where the players would walk by. Now, James was in perfect position to meet his basketball heroes. If he had been any closer he would have been on the court. It was CRAZY! Michelle H. did so much in the simple act of ushering James to the best spot in the house. All she did was say “oh, come stand right over here.”
And, now I have a new hero. I’m pretty sure Michelle H. is not on a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract. But, she was the one who paved the way for James to have a birthday he will never forget.
I didn’t get Michelle H.’s autograph, but should have. I did give her a hug and thanked her over and over. I told her how much this meant to James and that it would have been impossible with her kindness.
So, if you are ever at the front of section 118 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, be good to Michelle H.
Michelle H. is my new hero.