The Short of It
After a waitress at their favorite restaurant learned parents Debbie and Shaun Riddle lost their 9-week-old baby, she picked up their check for them. The Riddles say this act of kindness meant a lot to them.
Debbie and Shaun are regulars at the West Side Café in Fort Worth, Texas. When they arrived for dinner, their waitress, Kayla Lane, recognized them and went over to say "hello."
"I said, 'Didn't y'all have a baby with you last time?' And they looked at each other and were quiet, and then Shaun looked at me and said, 'She passed away four weeks ago,'" Kayla told Yahoo Parenting. The baby had died in her sleep of still unexplained causes. "I didn't know what to say," says Kayla. "I just said, 'Oh my gosh, I am so sorry and I know you are hearing "sorry" so much that it's just another word, but I really am terribly sorry.' There's nothing anyone can say to make that better, especially someone like me who has never had a child or lost a child. So I just served them with the best service I could."
At the end of the meal, the couple was given their bill with no charges on it, just the message, "Your ticket has been paid for. We are terribly sorry for your loss. God Bless. –The West Side."
That night, Debbie wrote on her Facebook page:
"When it was time for us to pay our bill, Kayla brings over our receipt. She didn't even want us to tip her because she said the company took care of her tip as well. We hear so much negativity on the news, and so that is why I felt led to share this story in hope that Kayla and this restaurant will get some good recognition."
When the truth came out, it was found that the restaurant hadn't comped the couple's meal. Kayla had picked up the tab herself, and this isn't the first time. She's bought meals for military, police and firefighters in the past.
"Normally, I pick up the check for people who are underappreciated," she says. "Knowing that I can do some small thing—it might just be a $15 meal, but to them it's 'Oh my gosh, someone paid for my meal.' I feel like I am putting it out there that society is still OK; the world is OK; there are still plenty of good people out there."
And Kayla's one of them. She gave just a small bit of positivity and hope for a couple that, I'm sure, have extremely heavy hearts, and that has made a big difference to them. What an inspiration!
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