Both my rehab boys were waiting for me before our class yesterday. It was clear that 83-year old Dick was finally feeling better after his radiation treatments as he began to notice pretty girls again. When one walked by us, he would stop mid-word and just smile. Yes, he was back.
Then he told us a story:
He and his wife were stuck in traffic last Friday evening due to the fatal traffic accident near my home on their way to dinner at the harbor. I was worried about him as he is on oxygen, is diabetic and his wife is wheelchair bound. He needed food. I had them turn around and sent them to the place where mom and I get fish tacos after having our toes nails done.
They arrived, ordered calamari and shrimp and settled in. While they finished eating, the waitress let them know that another couple had paid their bill. Dick made his way over to their table, dragging his large green oxygen tank behind him. He thanked them then asked what made them do it. They replied that they just wanted to so something nice for someone.
He told them he had to go back to his table as his eyes were bothering him and beginning to water. He was teary. He was very touched.
After sitting back down, he said to his wife, "We have to pay this forward." And with that, they began to look around the restaurant and their attention was drawn to a young couple with a baby just arriving for dinner. "Them," he said.
He waited for them to get settled and order then called the waitress over to tell her they wanted to pay the young couple's bill. He was surprised when the young mother and baby came to their table. She told them that they had a "very difficult week" and decided to just get out and that this meant so very much to them. She had tears in her eyes as she spoke which means Dick and his wife had tears and there were hugs all around.
Turns out the first couple was there because of the accident (they were also on their way to the harbor for dinner) and Dick was there because of the accident and the young couple was there just trying to find a bit of sunshine in their lives. Funny how life works.