The smallest gestures of kindness often have reverberations of impact that we cannot anticipate when we make them. What we might take for granted as courtesy, goodness, or nothing special could mean the world to someone who needs a shot of caring, of compassion, of hope.
CBS Dallas-Fort Worth recently covered a story about such a gesture made by Kayla Lane, a waitress at West Side Café, a little diner in Fort Worth, Texas. Like many of those in the service industry, Ms. Lane gets to know her regular customers pretty well, so when Shaun and Debbie Riddle came in without their newborn daughter, Glory, she naturally inquired as to how the young family and the baby had been.
"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,'" Lane told Yahoo News. "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."
But then Kayla Lane went a little bit further.
At the end of the meal, she handed the couple a note that simply read:
"Your ticket has been paid for. We are terribly sorry for your loss. God Bless. – The West Side."
She even refused to take a tip.
"She said, 'No, no, don't worry," Shaun Riddle told CBS-DFW, "The company took care of it."
But that, as it turns out, was a white lie. The company confirmed that she paid for the couple's meal out of her own pocket. Apparently, she's known for doing that.
Later that night, Debbie Riddle shared a picture of the note on her Facebook page, adding:
"We eat at West Side Café on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth quite a lot and last month sometime we took our new baby, Glory. Well, we just went there this afternoon and our waitress Kayla remembered us and asked where our baby was. Sadly, we had to tell her baby Glory passed away and is with God now. She felt so horrible for asking but she was so sweet," she wrote.
"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."
We hope they will too.
Leave notes of kindness of your own for Kayla Lane at West Side Cafe's Facebook page.
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