Since the beginning of our marriage, Greg and I have instilled this practice of doing a Random of Act of Kindness. Sometimes we plan out our day knowing we are going to find someone in our lives that needs a little encouragement and do something special for them. There are other times, where we didn’t necessarily plan for the act of kindness, but we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Only God could have orchestrated this story ~
On a date night in May 2005, with 4 month old Stone along with us, we decided to eat dinner at Carrabbas that night. We were given a table near the kitchen. Stone was snoozing away in his little car seat carrier. We knew we had a few precious moments before he would wake up so we quickly put in our order and started chatting about our day and catching up on life.
After a few minutes, we noticed a table to the left of us. A family of 5. The parents were having a in-depth conversation. The oldest child was doing his own thing. Their youngest was not the happiest with being in his high chair. The middle child, a young girl about 4 was curious. She was curious mostly about Stone. She kept coming over to our table and peeking to see if Stone was awake. She was so sweet. Finally after the 3rd or 4th time, she wanted to know Stone’s name. We told her. Our food arrived. Their food finally arrived and she went back to her table to eat.
As we finished our meal, Greg looked at me and said, “I think I’m going to pay for their dinner.” You could just tell those parents were having a deep conversation and that there was something heavy on their heart. Our waiter was their waiter. We told our waiter what we wanted to do, and a few minutes later he came back with both of our bills. Trusting that the waiter was an honest fella and wouldn’t pocket the gift & charge them too, we quietly got up from our table and left the restaurant. When we got to the car, we were thankful for the opportunity to follow through with what we hoped would be an encouragement to that family.
Don’t worry, that’s not the end of the story…grab a snack & come back ~
Fast forward 3 months. It’s date night and this time Stone stays home with his older brothers & our awesome sitter. Of course, we had been to other restaurants for date nights during the past 3 months, but we decided to go back to Carrabbas again.
We had not been back since that night in May.
We arrived and there was a wait this time. That was fine with us because we were kid free for a few hours. We were standing and talking to each other and I noticed a somewhat familiar face. Trying not to stare, I watched this man walk up to the hostess stand and give his name to the hostess. Looking back to Greg, I whispered to him, “I think that’s the dad.” Greg looked a little confused and I continued, “When we were here the last time, the family with the sweet little girl, we paid for their dinner. I think that’s the dad.” Greg shook it off.
It couldn’t possibly be them.
Our table was ready and we sat down and ordered our food. We were catching up on life and enjoying the quiet moments without kids.
While we were eating our salads, we looked up and there’s a woman standing beside our table and somewhat nervously she said to us, “Do you have a son named Stone?” With his signature one eyebrow raised expression, Greg said, “Yes, we do.” She replied, “I think you paid for our dinner here a few months ago.” Greg said, “Well, that was supposed to be a secret.” Greg smiled and we introduced ourselves to each other.
She explained more details about that night in May ~ her husband’s brother had recently passed away and they had just found out that her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. She said, “Thank you so much. Your gift to us that night made us come to a realization that everything was going to be ok.”
Since that day, our families have become very close. We started having dinner together once a month, doing life together, celebrating milestone birthdays with a Bon Jovi concert. The list is endless. They may think that we blessed them that day, but really, we’re the ones that have been blessed by their friendship. We will never take for granted the prompting that Greg had that night in May 2005.
Only God could have orchestrated this story.