Becky Nielsen was waiting tables at an upstate New York breakfast joint when a woman came in and quietly dined alone. The waitress didn’t think too much of the withdrawn customer, until she was gone and Becky discovered the shocking note she left behind, with an admission of what had happened the night before.
The waitress recognized the woman as a regular customer of The Breakfast Spot in the town of Cohoes, but something seemed different about her demeanor this day. As she sipped her cappuccino and nibbled on her breakfast sandwich, she was keeping a secret inside that she decided to let out after paying her bill and leaving a note to her waitress on the ticket.
As Becky cleaned the table where the woman was sitting, she found a note and her heart sank. The customer was in a somber mood after having suffered the loss of a dear friend just hours before she came in to eat her breakfast alone. In her grief, she had a realization that she felt needed to be passed on to Becky.
“Life is short. A friend of mine died last night. Please enjoy a night with someone you love,” the devastated customer wrote at the top of her receipt, along with leaving an extra special tip for Becky to use making memories. Rather than leaving a standard 20 percent gratuity on her $22 tab, the generous customer rounded the total up to $100, leaving Becky with a tip of $77.92.
“I felt terrible about her friend, you know,” Becky told News10. “It’s wonderful to get a tip, but it’s much better to have that person still alive. So very bittersweet.” The waitress plans to use the gift on a night out this weekend with a couple of friends and her boyfriend and cherish ever second of their companionship, in honor of the woman who channeled her grief into generosity. In addition to the tip, the kind deed also left the server with something else.
“You never know what other people are going through in their personal life, so be patient and be kind, and hopefully, good karma will come to you,” Becky added. There are people all around us who at any given time are dealing with death, hardship, and insurmountable struggles we may never know. How they act reflects that, but it is all too often taken as a personal offense to those who can’t see outside of themselves.
This generous woman understands the great value in life that paying it forward and blessing other people in your hardship, is the key to joy. From her example, she’s left a legacy of kindness that she’ll be remembered for long after she’s gone.