I’m sure you have known people who have turned their lives around and overcome the hurdles of discouragement that were before them. However, few have been through such a remarkable transformation. With so many stories of hope, encouragement, and inspiring life lessons, one story stood out from the rest.
Wild Child. Restless youth. Unruly. Obstinate.
These words are best to describe Tilly, known for her rebellious streak and reputation as a party girl. Matilde Jane Parker, or “Tilly,” to her family and friends, loved to get herself into unnecessary trouble, and her wild behavior continued to escalate as she became older. She was every mother’s worst nightmare. The lack of discipline and guidance from her parents set no moral boundaries for her to follow. She hated school and everything it represented, even though she performed well with seemingly little effort.
Nevertheless, a time comes in everyone’s life when we all must grow up and leave our childish life behind. Nothing is forever. Matilde began to love, and to learn what it meant to give in and when to walk away. She learned to appreciate her family as she never had before. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. In a blink of an eye, her life dramatically changed. An unfortunate accident claimed the lives of her parents. If only she could turn back the hands of time, she would have done things differently. She resented being forced to grow up quickly to take over their family business, and even after many years had gone by, she still felt the same way.
Then, one day, a frightening experience changed the way she felt forever. She was attacked in the underground parking garage of her building. Grateful that a stranger had come by and rescued her, it changed her perspective on life and made her a better person.
This story is about Matilde’s transition from a rebellious teenager to a philanthropist. It sounds simple but powerful. Who could ever have guessed she would one day become a different kind of superhero—without a mask or costume, helping the poor, the homeless, and abandoned children.
Tilly set up a private foundation aimed at helping deserving individuals with a million-dollar gift and a chance to change someone’s life for the better.
“Dance, dance, dance . . . keep on dancing.” The music played by Chic could be heard loudly. The lights dimmed, and the disco ball rotating above the dance floor spun slowly. A glittering of the lights fell across the room like fireflies. Tilly and her best friend, Angie, were dancing wildly, jubilantly, bumping into each other, screaming with laughter and were joined on the dance floor by a group of college friends. They were in Cabo San Lucas during Winter Break to party.
Tilly needed some fresh air, so she wriggled through the crowded bar with her friends behind her, and went to the pool area where Latin music wafted through the air. It was an infectious music, and everyone started dancing, whether they could dance or not. They could hear people splashing around, even at this late hour—nearly midnight. And what’s a party without drinks? Tilly bought a round of vodka straight on the rocks for the boys while she ordered tequila for the girls. This set off a couple more shots, and by the time they finished, they were all so drunk that they staggered back to their rooms, collapsed onto their bed, and woke the next morning with a hangover. Believe it or not, it was just another typical day in the life of Tilly and her friends.
An heiress and socialite, Tilly was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. She grew up comfortably in an upper class environment, globe-trotting regularly. She was a rich, spoiled college kid with a hefty monthly allowance. She was smart and headstrong, and never took her education seriously, but always performed well with seemingly little effort. Her parents over-indulged her, giving her everything she wanted: money, material possessions, and even rewarding her without any expectations that she would have any responsibilities. They had a false belief that giving into her every whim meant her misbehavior would someday improve. It took a few years, but Tilly managed to graduate with an associate degree in business management while living a carefree life.
Deciding on a vacation destination during summer had always been a challenge for Tilly. There were some great cities to travel to in Asia, but this time, she and her friend were heading to Monte Carlo. Angie’s boyfriend had just broken up with her, in a text message no less, and she wasn’t sure how she was going to face the day, let alone get through it. It was all too upsetting and awkward. She needed to get away.
Seeing her friend’s emotional state, Tilly thought Angie needed to mend her broken heart. A trip out of the country, drinking the best wine, eating exotic food, and meeting great looking guys should allow her friend to focus on herself, forget her ex-boyfriend, and get some much-needed rest.