“Call Me When You Get There, Just So I’ll Know You’re Okay.” … Um, Trish — Mardy Just Called, He’s Definitely Arrived, He’s Pretty Okay, and He Wants To Say Thanks For All You’ve Done For Him
If you follow Runde Auto Chat, you may recall a story that we ran back in the spring of this year about Mardy Gilyard, who purchased a new 2010 Camaro SS from Runde’s. At that time, he had finished up at the University of Cincinnati, where he starred as a wide receiver and kick returner. He was on his way to the NFL Draft Combine where he would show NFL scouts just what he was made of.
Everyone in Cincinnati and his home state of Florida already knew that Mardy was a world-class athlete and at the NFL Combine (an invite-only event) back in February, he put his talent on display for the rest of the world to see.
The St. Louis Rams took particular notice of him and, after they failed to shock the world by taking Sam Bradford as the number one overall pick, they chose Gilyard to give Bradford a quick, prime target to throw to.
Well, you’d think that Mardy would be entirely caught up in the lap of luxury, oblivious of the world around him. You’d think he would go on with his life and enjoy his new surrounding in St. Louis and let the past slip into the past.
You’d think that Runde Chevrolet would be the furthest thing from his mind — after all, he was caught up in the spotlight of the NFL and there was a whole new world of opportunity opening up to him with the passing of each day. You’d think that Runde’s in little old East Dubuque, IL would be well out of sight in the rear view mirror of his revved up career. And if you thought that, you’d have been wrong because Mardy doesn’t forget about people who have been put in his path and have done right by him.
Case in point, you may recall if you read our previous blog post about Mardy, that he went through some very tough times as he struggled with financial hardships during his college career. (At one point he had dropped out of school and was living out of his car and working four jobs to try to earn enough money to enroll back in school.) During all this, Mardy’s mom served as the ever-present voice of encouragement and because of her endearment and support he remained positive about the seemingly adverse
(adversity builds character) situation and focused on his eminent return to football and to his education. Mardy’s mom, Trish, puts it bluntly by saying, ” I didn’t raise any quitters.” She went on to add that during the time that he dropped out of school, she wouldn’t let him come home and told him repeatedly that he had to stick it out and finish what he started. She also made sure at that time that none of his relatives were allowed to loan Mardy any money or enable him to pay off the university and return home to Florida. It’s a tough lesson for any kid in their late teens, but tough love won out in the end and it’s one of the major reasons that Mardy is now prepared to rack up some major green (in terms of yardage gained against NFL defenses and dollars earned from salary and potential endorsements).
Once Mardy signed with the Rams, he got in touch with Mark Fleege at Runde Chevrolet. Mark has been one of the top-rated Chevy salesmen in the state of Illinois for many years and he actually was the one who sold Mardy the Camaro earlier this year. (Obviously Mark did something right during the first sale). Mark found out that Mardy wanted to buy a new SUV for his mom. After some thought, he decided to go ahead with a new 2010 Equinox. Mardy has been, and probably always will be, a fan of Chevrolet vehicles.
A plan was mapped out to transport the new Equinox approximately 5 hours down river to St. Louis in time for the Rams’ first preseason game against the Brett Favre-less Vikings. Mardy’s mom was coming up from Florida with a number of relatives to watch the game so Mardy decided it would be the opportune time to surprise her with her new ride. Ironically, Trish’s previous vehicle died about five days before her trip to the Gateway City so the timing of the surprise couldn’t have been more perfect.
So last Friday Mark Fleege set out from East Dubuque in Trish’s new set of wheels. At the same time, the Mardy Gilyard die-hard fan club set out from the Sunshine state — destination: Good Ole St. Louie.
On Saturday before the game, with the temperature in St. Louis rising to a warm 102 degrees, Mardy presented the new Equinox to his mom and the bow on the summed it up nicely reading: “I love you mom.” After a whole lot of commotion and a little disbelief, the tears in his mom’s eyes accurately completed the summation of the moment.
Everyone loves to hear feel good stories. When you think of the “thankless” job of motherhood, it’s kind of a wonder that candidates for the job are still filling out applications. Veteran moms are usually conditioned not to wait around or hold their breath for a verbal thank you from their kids. Instead, mothers become accustomed to the joy that is created by seeing their kids forge ahead and succeed and that joy eventually becomes self-gratitude for all the hours, weeks, years of holding on tight and never letting go.
Like we mentioned before, Mardy Gilyard doesn’t forget about people who have been put in his path and have done right by him. Mardy choosing to say “Thank You” to his mom at this point in his career means he fully realizes where he came from and that he is grateful to the main recurring character in his life story who is primarily responsible for keeping him on his path. On the outside, Mardy’s gift of a new Equinox for his mom means that she can now get from here to there in style and that she won’t have to lose any sleep worrying about her vehicle that just bit the dust. On the inside, Mardy saying “thanks” to his mom means the absolute world to her.