It was a frigid morning but he was happy to have the hot coffee at his favorite diner. The old rock music played softly from the jukebox and the place was relatively empty.
He had already eaten a late breakfast, or early lunch as he sometimes called it. He devoured a plate of eggs, bacon, and syrupy pancakes in seconds. But when a young boy handed him a note, his life would never be the same.
Protect And Serve
Eddy Macintoch was proud of the service he did in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. He grew up in the city and was happy to be a law enforcement officer there.
Eddy had served for long enough to be very familiar with the town. But nothing could have prepared him for what he would uncover one chilly morning.
An Ordinary Morning
It had been an ordinary morning for Eddy. It was a rainy Tuesday so he ran his walk short and went back to have a hot shower.
After he was cleaned up he put on his uniform and drove to work. He skipped breakfast, knowing he didn’t have enough time to eat. He could always eat something when he found a gap in his day. But he had no idea what was coming.
Getting To The Station
When Eddy got to the station he noticed that it was a ghost den. No one was there except the receptionist. It was a cold day and no other officers had come in yet.
Eddy make a checklist of everything he had planned and left the station. He was going to patrol his normal route in the city. And thankfully, he’d find time to eat a late breakfast.
Just as Eddy had hoped, the patrol ran smoothly. By ten, he had cleared most parts of the parish, and as it approached eleven, he knew that he would have breakfast, just as he had planned earlier.
As soon as he could, Eddy made his way to his favorite diner. Once he was there, he greeted the owner with a big hug and sat at his usual booth near one of the windows. As he read through the menu, something caught his attention.
The diner had no one in it. Even though it was almost midday! The diner counted on lunchtime being the busiest part of the day. Thoughts ran through his head as he wondered what the problem was.
He peered around the room until his gaze landed on a young woman eating breakfast with what he assumed was her son. The only other people in the diner were two bikers day drinking at the bar. But there was more to it than that.
Eddy raised his eyebrows when noticed something about the bikers. They had patches on their jackets that depicted a fist against a red oval. There were blurred words surrounding the red oval. Eddy couldn’t see them clearly, but he knew what they read.
As an officer, Eddy had run into many biker gangs before. He’d met benevolent bikers and others who only wished to cause trouble. But what group did these bikers belong to?
Angels On Motorcycles
Just as Eddy got his breakfast he mouthed the gang that they were affiliated with, “BACA.” Bikers Against Child Abuse, they were a wholesome organization that he’d helped in the past.
He ate his breakfast while thinking of when he had put his leather pack on and ridden with the gang to make a stand against child abuse. Those were his glory days. He smiled as he continued to devour his meal. But he had no idea what was coming.
As the bikers left, Eddy greeted them. He had already eaten most of his food, but his stomach wasn’t full yet. He gave the waitress a knowing look as he asked for another round of coffee and pancakes, asking for some extra bacon.
Once he received his meal, he savored every bite. But as he was clearing off his second plate, he realized something about the table with the woman and boy.
He Knew Her
He recognized the woman! Her name was Heather Jennings, and Eddy had given her a ticket just a few days ago for parking illegally.
She was furious with him, but he was just doing his job. Eddy couldn’t have known that that last parking ticket would send Heather over the edge.
Too Obvious Not To Notice
The woman was discussing something with the boy, staring directly at Eddy. There was a sparkle in the boy’s eyes that Eddy couldn’t place. Something was afoot.
Eddy finished his breakfast and requested his receipt, but instead of bringing the piece of paper to him, the waitress shuffled over to the woman’s table first.
Little did Eddy know, the boy at the table with his mother was extremely conflicted. He’d recognized the cop instantly and knew he was the one who had contributed to his single mother’s financial hardships.
At just nine years old, he wanted to approach the police officer and confront him about all his mother’s parking tickets. He’d watched his mom struggle, and this cop had only made things worse for them.
Heather Jennings was a single mother with two kids and life had not been good to her so far. Just a few days ago, she’d received the tragic news about the untimely passing of her own father.
While it was hard enough to organize the funeral amid the grief and attend the funeral ceremony, things got even worse when a cop gave her a parking ticket on her way out the cemetery.
For Heather, the timing of that fateful parking ticket couldn’t have been worse. She didn’t have the money to pay it, so she called the authorities and tried to get it thrown out in court.
However, things took an ironic turn when she got another parking ticket when she was leaving the courthouse. And things only got worse from there.
From Bad To Worse
Although Heather thought things couldn’t get worse for her that day, they did. When she got home from the courthouse, her landlord was waiting for her. When the landlord informed her that he was evicting her and her children, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
Heather had tried to rectify her housing issue in court as well, but all she’d come home with was another parking ticket stuck to her car.
The Whole World Was Against Her
Heather was trying to make ends meet, but it felt like the whole world was against her. She’d received three parking tickets in a row, had been in and out of court, and she’d also just lost her father.
But the universe wasn’t done making life hard for Heather yet. The day after her father died, she found out that her son was sick.
Heather took her son Donald to the doctor and couldn’t believe what his treatment was going to cost her.
After paying off her parking tickets, going into overdraft for her son’s medical bills, and scraping to secure a deposit for a new place to rent, the struggling mom only had 15 dollars to her name. At an all-time low, she decided to take that last 15 dollars and treat Donald to breakfast at Denny’s.
The Source Of Her Misery
As Heather sat in the booth at Denny’s with her son, she looked over and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Sitting there calmly eating breakfast was a major source of her misery – it was none other than the cop who had given her all those parking tickets.
Ironically, Donald wanted to be a cop one day. But he recognized the man as the one who had caused his mom so much pain and knew he had to do something.
A Turn Of Events
Eddy’s eyes narrowed as he watched the woman and the boy converse with the waitress, who’d handed them the receipt Eddy was sure was supposed to be his.
He didn’t know what to make of the situation yet and thus sat back to assess everything before stepping in. Was the child in danger, or did the woman need some help he could offer? Eddy was deep in thought when he saw the boy approach him.
He Comes To His Table
As the boy’s mother looked on, the boy silently walked over, handed Eddy his receipt, and took a few steps back.
Eddy didn’t know what to make of the strange gesture at first, but quickly realized that his bill had been paid for. But there was more. Across the receipt was a message written by the boy. Eddy’s lips parted as he read it.
“I want to be you when I grow up,” the message began sweetly enough. “Thank you for your service, Donald.” Eddy was completely taken aback.
The cop’s breath caught in his chest. He had to do something. His immediate reaction was to return the favor somehow, but then he remembered who the boy’s mother was.
Overwhelmed by the message, Eddy lowered to his knee as the boy reached up to hug him. “Hi,” Eddy greeted him, and the boy responded with a bright smile.
“I’m Deputy Eddy Macintosh, and you must be Donald!” he exclaimed as he released the boy. Above them, Donald’s mom smiled proudly. What she revealed made Eddy’s eyes run wet with tears.
A Giving Soul
“He’s always talking about how he’ll be a great deputy when he grows up,” the mom said. “He saw you and insisted on paying for your breakfast.”
But that wasn’t all that she revealed. Little Donald’s birthday was less than a week away, and he’d used the money he’d been saving for the occasion to pay for Eddy’s meal. Eddy’s heart melted at this revelation, and he did the only thing he could on the spot.
Before he’d gotten a change to speak with Heather, Eddy asked the waitress to take a picture of him and Donald. He also shared what happened with his fellow officers and family members.
Donald, despite the fact that the officer was partially responsible for his mother’s shortcomings, was thrilled to get a chance to speak to one of his heroes. But what Eddy did next was about to change everything.
Heather also posted the photo of her son and Eddy on her Facebook account, accompanied by the caption “One proud Momma. When your child asks if we can pay for an Officer’s Breakfast!!!! Writes him a message on his receipt.”
But Heather could never have imagined how much traction her single photo would get. Before long, her post had spread like wildfire.
The reactions Donald, Heather, and Eddy received for the Facebook post were totally overwhelming. People applauded Donald for his kind gesture toward the police officer.
Even though he had been the cause of his mother’s hardships that week, the little boy saw the bigger picture. But, although Donald took action to connect with the police officer, it was all part of a bigger plan.
The positive feedback for the now-viral post just kept rolling in. Despite her hardships, it was obvious to most that Heather had raised her boy well.
But it was only when the post made its way around other officers that things became wild. Eddy posted the photo on his own social media page, where it took the police department by storm.
“Well Noah you touched all of our hearts today,” LakeLand PD wrote on their Facebook page. “Your support means so much to all of the men and women who put on the uniform every day. We wish you the happiest of Birthdays!”
But Eddy wasn’t done. Now that he knew her situation, Eddy felt absolutely terrible. He knew he had an obligation to give something back to Donald’s struggling mom.
Eddy contacted the captain of the Lakeland Police Department and begged him to drop some of Heather’s unpaid parking tickets.
Of course, the captain was touched when he heard the story and decided to waive all of Heather’s fines. But it wasn’t just the captain who was touched by what had happened in Denny’s that day.
It wasn’t long before Donald’s heartwarming note had spread to police departments in almost every state.
Police officers from around the country took to social media to thank the boy for his act of kindness, and they all told him he’d make a fine officer one day. But the story wasn’t over for Eddy yet.
Changed His Life
The moment Donald handed Eddy the note, the gesture changed his perspective on life forever. “It meant everything,” Eddy said.
“It meant that I’m supposed to wake up every morning and put on this uniform and go out there and do what I do. You know? It means that I need to keep trying to be a good example to all these young guys.”