April 21, 2009

The rest of the Story

Todays post comes from my mom (or Grams as you may know her) - I hope you enjoy!

The Rest of the Story……..

We all heard about the Banker from Miami (Leonard Abiss) who sold his bank, received a Sixty Million dollar bonus from the sale and gave it away to all of his current employees. He even went so far as to find 72 past employees. He gave it out based on a percentage of length of time employed at the bank. He did this in November, 2008.




He was invited by Michelle Obama to sit with her during the State of the Union address this year. Prior to the event he was asked by the First Lady to provide her with a list and brief description of the recipients of the money. The first lady chose one of those recipients to be at the event with him.



That guest was Geneva Lawson. She is 72 years old and has been with the bank for 51 years.
She is from Chattanooga, Tennessee. She hasn’t traveled much. Went to Michigan twice, and returned occasionally to Chattanooga to visit her sisters. She and her three sisters grew up in a very loving, but very poor home. Her dad was a coal plant worker and died in his early fifties from an accident in the plant. Her mother worked in the millenaries making socks. Geneva left home right after high school, went to Miami and soon went to work for that bank.

Finding out the night before, making the trip to Washington D.C. on a private jet, staying in a “fancy” hotel, receiving a tour of the White House from the First Lady was a once in a lifetime experience for her. She was the Banker’s boss in the print shop of the bank, when he first started at the bank. She held several teller positions with the bank and is now the Safety Deposit person. They didn’t want her to retire, so when she said she might, they offered her that position hoping she would stay, and she did.

Geneva, (Nita is what she is called) has always been a caring, fun loving, positive, person who has lived a simple, happy life. She makes you happy to be around her.

Nita is my aunt. My mother’s baby sister!

And that my friends makes her my Great Aunt - I think this story is sweet, inspiring and selfless. The part my mom left out is the part about how Nita went without dinner one evening while at the State of the Union - she did not know how to "do room service" as was agreed upon by her traveling partner. We sure take a lot of life for granted. The monies she recieved from her boss for her 51 years of service and the trip of a lifetime were truly life altering for her - smile and make someones day today!

19 comments:

Becky said...

What a wonderful story!! How proud you all must be.

My great aunt owned a brothel in Canton, Ohio. She had a very LARGE parrot that could only speak Italian. To my knowledge, no one ever invited her to Washington... for any reason.

Carrie said...

How cool is that!

The Fritz Facts said...

What an incredible story! What a wonderful man! So nice to hear in times like this.

Allison said...

Wow! What a true testament of paying it forward (or back in this case...or maybe it is forward...oh, heck, I don't know). Whatever it is...that is fantastic. She is a beautiful lady, too!

Megan said...

Wow, what a great story!

Kim H. said...

THAT IS UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!

Grams, thank you for sharing that awesome story -- and how wonderful for your Aunt. I love stories like that.

Hugs!

Grams said...

Thanks for the Post, Terra!

Laura said...

That is the greatest wake up story ever!!! (I just woke up)
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
(Of course there are tears in my eyes- crybaby me.)

Paige said...

What a wonderful story, I cant' believe you didn't mention this to me before. Thanks for sharing your story Grams.

Lindsay said...

First "Grams" thanks for sharing that awesome story! That is so neat that she has been there so long a truly dedicated employee!

That last picture is so sweet you can see the Joy all over her face!

Threeundertwo said...

What a great story! Thank you for sharing it! Makes my day.

Anita said...

Terra, what a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. That is so very cool!

Nancy said...

Found you through a tweet from ThreeUnderTwo. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this story!!

Thank you for sharing :)

Christie said...

That is such a cool story. I LOVE happy endings. The world needs more honest and hardworking people. Hoo-rah.

Bonnie said...

What a wonderful heartwarming story! She sounds like someone I would like very much.

If she's your great aunt then wouldn't she be your grandmothers baby sister?

Courtney said...

terra - what a wonderful story. I have goose bumps. that is way too cool and what a story for the girls too.

jen@odbt said...

Great story! Wish there were more people like your great aunt and the bank owner.

whoopsadasie said...

That was a truly remarkable story! Thanks for sharing that! You do have a GREAT aunt!

thecasualperfectionist.com said...

What a great story!