Back in March of 2016, Sean Whalen, a single father, took his son out to a Chinese restaurant to eat one night and encountered a waitress who reminded him of someone from his life.
Whalen’s waitress was a single mother, and to Whalen, she reminded him of his mother, who struggled at times to put food on the table for him and his brother.
In a Facebook post documenting his encounter, Whalen recounted how after his mother and father split up, his mother worked multiple jobs to survive.
“I still to this day don’t know how she did it. I have no idea how she didn’t throw in the towel at times. I would have. I remember vividly walking past her room countless nights seeing her on her knees praying. I can only fathom what those conversations were like between her and God,” the post read.
Whalen wrote how the waitress “struck out like a sore thumb” in the Chinese restaurant because she was white, and throughout the meal Whalen got the sense that the waitress didn’t want to be working, but she had to.
“It tore my heart out. I thought of my mom, and I saw the same hustle in this woman that I saw in my mom. A single mom. Maybe by choice. Maybe not. But working on a Wednesday night to ensure she can put food on the table and shoes on the kids feet,” he wrote.
Whalen was so moved by this encounter that he left her a very generous tip.
“I hope this small gesture with my son tonight brightens this woman’s life so she can wake up tomorrow and fight a good fight,” he wrote.
It’s acts of kindness like this that should renew our faith in humanity. Whalen didn’t know who this woman was, but thanks to the hard work his own mother did to support him, he knew what she was going through.
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