Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 10, 2015

Our Family’s Unsung Hero

If there is such a thing as the “white sheep” of the family, then our family’s white sheep is my oldest daughter, Niki. From the time she was a kid, she has had a “think of others” kind of spirit. She has a compassionate heart and cares deeply about others — especially those who are weak, in need, down and out, and vulnerable. She will go the second mile and beyond to help others without any thought of recognition or reward.

Niki and Cheryl
One of my favorite memories about Niki is about a phone call I received from her while she was on a student mission trip to Houston’s Third Ward in the mid-90’s. Our team of students was serving with a partnering assistance ministry. When Niki found out they needed a computer desk she acted without hesitation to meet the need. Our phone conversation:

“Hey Dad, can you be at the house later this afternoon?”

“I think so, Niki. What’s up?”

“The ministry we are helping is sending some guys in a truck to pick up our computer desk.”

“What?” I replied in a surprised tone. “Do you mean the brand-spanking-new computer desk that I just bought for the upstairs loft area?”

“Yeah,” said Niki. “That’s the one!” She continued, “The people here are doing a good work, Dad, and really need a computer work station more than we do, so I told them they could have our desk.”

Not knowing whether to be upset or happy about Niki’s generosity, the Lord immediately impressed upon me to embrace the moment and celebrate Niki’s thoughtful act of kindness. And, so I did. I met the guys at the house later that afternoon and helped them load the desk.

That’s just one of many similar experiences. I could go on about Niki finding homes for appliances, furniture, toys, and more. Or meeting people in need and finding a way to help.

When my son, Jonathan, decided to compete in the Texas Water Safari and needed a team captain, he enlisted Niki. Being a team captain for a safari team is demanding and exhausting. Team captains must meet and check-in their respective teams at all timed-checkpoints along the 260-mile race route, handle all logistics, and a lot more. Team captains get very little sleep and even less recognition but without them it would be impossible to finish the race. Niki has also served as my team captain on the safari and will do so again this year. I would never even consider doing the race without her.

Niki and Gina
Niki has also been the quiet but creative force behind weddings, birthday parties, and all sorts of celebrations for family and friends. She is really good at that kind of stuff and prefers to be behind the scenes. And, she works with Alzheimer’s patients — something that I would find extremely hard to do. She does these things well because she cares and because the inclination of her heart is to help people in need, no matter what. My mother was the same way and would be so proud to see the person that Niki has become.

Today is Niki’s birthday. And although she tends to shy away from recognition, she deserves to be acknowledged for her kind and compassionate heart. She is a good daughter and older sister and friend. Happy birthday, Niki. Your Mom, Jonathan, Gina, and I love you.


Responses

  1. Thank you Daddy! I was very lucky to have parents who taught me to see the needs of others and do what I can. I love you!

    • Thanks, Niki. Love you and your heart for others. Hope this is a great year for you. Looking forward to the safari.

  2. Happy Birthday Niki! Robbie mentioned to me that you are very good at caring for others. He has seen you in action. Omar, you have a special family.

  3. Happy Birthday Niki! You are a special part of the Garcia family! Love you!

  4. Oh my! I’ve always thought of Nikki in a special way! Thanks Omar for sharing about this wonderful heart that God entrusted to your firstborn. I did not realize that Nikki’s birthday was today! Haley’s will be tomorrow on the eleventh & Macey celebrated hers on the third of March… Tell her Happy Birthday & she celebrate many more! God bless you all.

    • Thanks, Janet. Appreciate your kind words.

  5. Oh my! I teared up just a bit here. Niki I have seen your compassionate, kind heart many times in the years that I have worked for your Dad. And, I’ve seen you work tirelessly during the Texas Water Safari making sure you are at checkpoints well before your team arrives. You care for others very well Niki so today I give you 2 thumbs up and a virtual hug! Wishing you the happiest of birthdays! Love you!

  6. Happy birthday Nikki! Ps. Omar you are a great inspiration to your family and to the rest of us!

    • Thank you, Pastor Robert. Please give our love to Rose and the family and the wonderful people of Miracle Center in Uganda.

  7. Niki…your words of kindness and hugs of love made our hearts so happy this past weekend! We are so proud of the woman you have become. Blessings sweet one~

  8. I had tears in my eyes reading this blog! You are so right…Niki has such a genuine and caring heart. She will always be the “sister” I never had! We have fought hard and loved hard just like true siblings. She is a constant in Macey and Maddie’s life and I don’t know what we do without her. So giving and so genuine. She has been there for me and she is always available to lend a listening ear or helping hand. Through out the years….she has always been available to my girls. They look at her as their, “cool aunt!” Much closer than cousins. I love her so much and my life is a better life for having her as my family. So proud of the person she is and she is someone I want to be more like. Great tribute to a much deserving girl!!!!!

    • Thanks, Reecie, for your sweet and kind words and for loving Niki.


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