Mary Johnson enjoyed her time eating at this restaurant. The 88-year-old woman liked that it was local and looked forward to sitting at a table by a window because of the view.
Every day she went there, she ordered the specials and enjoyed them alone. She felt that this was the best part of her day, but she was kicked out by the manager one day. She had been acting strange but soon realized who she was and wished he could undo what he did.
Despite her age, Mary remained active. She spoke to her family often and spent much time visiting friends.
As much as she enjoyed that, she enjoyed visiting the neighborhood restaurant more. She had spent three decades with her husband going there and wanted to continue her visits. That was before she received the news indicating she couldn’t keep going.
She and her husband had decided to eat at the restaurant when it first opened, so she had not always eaten alone. She and her husband had become regulars and even spent their 30th wedding anniversary there, spending the night dancing.
She was left alone when her husband fell ill a year later and passed away. Things weren’t easy for her, and Mary eventually lost sight of the happy version of herself. She avoided visitors and didn’t eat much. Everyone who knew her grew concerned.
All the staff at the restaurant knew Mary and had grown to love her. They looked forward to her smile whenever she walked in, knowing she was always kind to her servers. They all thought she was a ray of sunshine.
However, they noticed when she came in one day and was nervous. She ate her meal without a sound and left when she was done. But she hadn’t paid. The staff was perplexed, and her waiter rushed after her to ask her about the bill, but he was too late. He decided not to worry; he would ask her about it the next time she came in. But that’s when he found something that shocked him.
She Was Brave
Mary had not been coping well. That was before the restaurant sent her a letter saying they missed their favorite customer and wanted to gift her a free meal. The letter was just what she needed to help her move on from the grief she was feeling.
It was daunting, but Mary was brave enough to leave her house and visit the same restaurant alone. A lot had changed for Mary in the last three months, but she found that the restaurant had remained the same. The aroma from the kitchen smelled heavenly, and an all-round friendly atmosphere was present, but the staff soon realized something was wrong with the older woman.
Mary took her usual seat by the window and was accompanied by the restaurant owner. He had his own experience with loss considering his old age, and considering he had known her for 30 years, he said that he would be there for her.
The evening turned out better than expected, and Mary felt like it had been a fresh start. She felt her old bubbly self returning and began enjoying her daily visits to the restaurant.
Receiving A Call
Mary had done some medical tests the week before and was extremely nervous when she received a call from the hospital. The old woman had no idea what the results would be.
Mary felt a sharp pain in her chest when the doctor told her she had blood cancer. She asked how long she had left to live to which the doctor replied that due to the cancer being in its final stages, she had between six months and a year left to love. She was devastated.
That’s when Mary spent three months away from the restaurant, feeling upset. The restaurant remained the same and had helped her once before when she was overwhelmed with grief.
However, the restaurant had made some recent changes when a new manager stepped in. He was stricter and did not know the history behind Mary and the restaurant. This was a call for something no one would expect.
Happy To Sad
The new manager always seemed stern and harsh with how he talked to the staff. He appeared to hound them whenever they took a break.
The atmosphere in the restaurant had changed from happy to sad, and they noticed a decline in customers. The staff had once worked with smiles, but all of them now bore a frown.
The 88-year-old Mary had gone to the hospital to discuss her options upfront before she came to the restaurant. She hoped to lighten her mood and rid her mind of the negative thoughts. She sat at her usual window seat, and a staff member soon came around with the day’s specials.
Mary wanted a quick chat, but the waiter soon left her table, feeling the manager’s eyes on them. The team had told the new manager about Mary, speaking fondly of her. That’s when he decided he wanted to see her for himself, but not because he thought she was lovely like everyone else seemed to think.
The Real Reason
The manager wanted to see Mary because her unpaid bill was still on the bulletin board, surrounded by hearts and kind words. The staff never asked the old woman to pay it in the end.
The manager approached the old woman and said the restaurant only accepted paying customers. He told her, “it doesn’t matter how nice everyone thinks you are. We are not a charity.” And he asked her to leave, not knowing what he actually did.
At that moment, Mary took out a pen and a piece of paper and wrote on it, then placed the note on the table and left without saying a word.
While the server cleared the table, he saw the note the 88-year-old woman had left behind in the black folder. Curious, the waiter opened the note. He screamed when he saw what Mary had written. What did he just read? Mary’s words would change everything for the restaurant.
A Final Message
The note Mary left behind was addressed to the restaurant staff, saying, “I’ve loved coming to this restaurant for over 30 years. I’ve seen your establishment change everything. Staff left, and new ones came in.”
“Even the menu changed a dozen times, but I’ve always been here. I had such a great time here. Even in bad times, you always supported me.” It was a final message from the old lady to the staff of her favorite restaurant.
Mary continued, “now that I am old and I’ll pass away soon, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you by leaving a sufficient sum of money for you.”
Written at the bottom with a pen was the request that the manager won’t get a penny from her money and that she would report him to the owner. Turning the note, the waiter saw the ridiculous amount of 462.1 million bequeathed to the restaurant from the old woman.
An Old Client’s Request
The waiter couldn’t believe his eyes and handed the note to the owner. He burst into tears as Mary and her dear husband had been like family to him for over 30 years, and he knew he wouldn’t see her again.
Then after a brief phone call with Mary, the manager was immediately fired. But that wasn’t the only instance where a restaurant worker collided with a long-time customer. A similar case took place a few miles from the restaurant.
The incident involved an older man who had been frequenting a diner for over forty years. A war vet in his town, the man, was a childless widower who had always seemed to have bad luck.
The man, Mr. Roger Meyers, had spent the better part of his eighty-seven years trying to make other people happy. But now, in his old age, he was starting to realize a terrible truth.
Roger found it hard to make everyone around him like him. Giselle, his late wife, had always told him that you couldn’t make everyone happy.
Yet Roger spent decades of his life trying. But he’d get the worst experiences each time, eventually turning him into the worst version of himself.
The Changes In Him
Roger had once been an ever-smiling individual. He was known to have a good heart and to love helping people whenever possible.
But once the people of his time learned about his goodness, they started using him. By his sixties, Roger was tired of it. Without his knowledge, he was slowly changing.
Roger turned cold from all the experiences of his life. He couldn’t count the time he’d been hurt by those he held close or betrayed by those he loved.
Such experiences are enough to turn anyone’s beating heart into stone. Roger was no exception. But although he was slowly changing, he still fought to be good for one reason.
A Good Heart
Giselle, Roger’s wife, loved him because of his good heart. Seeing that being a stand-up guy made her smile, he worked hard to keep the encroaching darkness at bay.
But although the two’s life as a married couple was perfect, disaster began showing its ugly face, slowly chipping away at Roger’s goodness.
Starting A Family
The first iteration of bad luck came when Roger and his wife decided to have kids. But a few years into trying and failing, they visited the doctor only to discover they couldn’t conceive.
Heartbroken, the two worked hard to find other ways to have a child. They landed on adoption, a process that would see them have two wonderful boys. But trouble was far from done with them.
Roger was off fighting for his country when his wife sent him a heartbreaking letter. Both of their sons had been involved in an accident. They didn’t make it.
As any serviceman would, Roger did his best to complete his tour before rushing home. His kind heart was slowly withering. It would turn into dust at the final hand that fate would deal him.
A Sad Reality
Roger spent a few months with his wife before she fell ill. But he wouldn’t lose her the way he lost his kids.
They fought for many years, but eventually, Giselle succumbed to her condition. Seeing himself with nothing, Roger became a former shell of himself. The darkness that had long wanted to swarm his heart finally got it.
Visiting The Diner
Among the many things Roger had loved to do with his family before they passed away was visiting the local diner for lunch.
His sons had loved the waffles at the diner, and Giselle adored their stake and eggs. As they had made countless memories here, Roger spent decades of his time there. He had no clue what awaited him.
After losing Giselle, Roger was lost in his own world. He was always quiet whenever he visited the restaurant, sitting in a dark corner to enjoy his food and leave.
If anyone approached him, the servers included, he’d yell at them rudely, asking them to leave him alone. After a while, the diner knew him as the grumpy old guy who was always rude. Most people avoided him. Well, most people but Alexa.
Alexa was a university student new to the town. She worked most afternoons after attending her classes at the local college and always made an effort to talk to Roger.
At first, Roger tried to employ his usual tactics to scare her away but realized that she was as stubborn as he was. It wasn’t long before they became good friends.
Although Roger maintained his nasty attitude, he realized that Alexa always talked to him. She would smile and ask about his past. She was interested in his stories, asking about his wife, kids, and days in the military.
What’s even more interesting, Roger found himself loving her company. She was like the granddaughter he never had, and he was beginning to realize this.
Better Days Are Here
Roger’s visits to the diner became more frequent as he finally found someone he could talk to. For more than two decades, no one had taken the time to sit with him at the restaurant.
But although life was finally starting to look up for Roger, and he was beginning to forget his long-time pain, disaster struck.
The End Is Here
Roger was eighty-seven years old when he had his first stroke. He woke up at the hospital a few hours later, exhausted and in pain. Knowing he didn’t have much time left, he asked the doctors if he could make one final phone call.
Alexa, who had been working double shifts throughout the week, was worried sick. Today was the fourth day her friend hadn’t walked through the diner’s door. Was something wrong?
The Suited Man
A few weeks passed, and a suited man walked through the front door with a briefcase. He called for Alexa and informed her that he was Roger’s lawyer.
He shared that Roger had passed on peacefully after writing a small note that he wanted her to have. In it, he thanked her for helping him forget his pain. He was leaving her his house and vintage car, hoping she could make memories there as he had.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.