Doing something nice for someone takes effort. Not many people leave their house in the morning expecting to brighten someone else’s day, especially not if you’re just out running errands. How many people do you expect to need a helping hand while standing in line to pick up your dry cleaning, after all? But this couple stumbled across an elderly woman who looked like she could use a little bit of kindness, and the best part is that they’ll never know what happened next.
As my partner and I were out running errands, time got away from us. We realized that we needed to eat. We stopped at a local hamburger/ice-cream shop and ordered lunch. It was Sunday, late afternoon. Together we watched a woman, who was probably in her 80’s, come in and order some food.
She was dressed in what was probably her very best and was alone. The woman set everything up around her and you could tell that this meal was a real treat for her. My partner went and talked with the people who worked there, asking them about the woman. They said she came in every weekend, ordered the same meal and always was alone. They knew she lived alone and that this meal was a special treat she did for herself at least once a week.
Our hearts were touched by this older woman even though we never spoke. When we paid our check, we also paid for hers and then left enough money to pay for that older woman’s meals at least three more times.
The staff were surprised and so tickled by what we did. We didn’t want the older woman to know what we did, so we just left. It would have been wonderful to see her reaction when they told her what we did for her. I know we touched the hearts of the staff and I am sure we touched the heart of that older woman. It always feels so wonderful to do something so unexpected for a stranger!
They don’t know her story. They don’t know why she comes to this specific restaurant and dresses up in her best. They don’t know her name or if she needs their help at all, but that wasn’t the point. The gesture of caring for her, and providing a meal (several, in this case) was enough for them. Letting her know that “someone” still cared for her, they didn’t need much reassurance beyond that, and it’s a beautiful way to live.
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