Acts of Kindness
Grieving waitress gets emotional finding note from customer on bill
It wasn't until after the stranger left that Heather noticed her handwritten message.
Irene Markianou
12.28.22

A few years ago, Heather Schelsteder experienced the pain of losing someone close to her for the first time in her life.

Unsplash - Ben White
Source:
Unsplash - Ben White

The woman, who at the time worked as a waitress at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Texas, lost her grandmother, with whom she was very close, just before Thanksgiving that year.

This loss hurt her in a way she could never have imagined, and she was actually struggling in the weeks- and even months- following her grandma’s passing.

YouTube - Humankind
Source:
YouTube - Humankind

In early January the following year, something special happened. Something that made Heather realize that there is still good in people.

So, one day, a woman with two children entered the diner and sat at table 43. As they were scanning the menus, Heather started chatting with the woman for a while.

YouTube - Humankind
Source:
YouTube - Humankind

She found out that the customer was actually a criminal psychologist struggling with grief and challenging days ahead.

As the stranger explained to the waitress, she mostly met people for juries, but she also interviewed soldiers coming back from war, who had PTSD.

This was actually very hard for her because her own brother had lost his life in a war.

Unsplash - Kevin Schmid
Source:
Unsplash - Kevin Schmid

And that’s how the two women started realizing they had something in common. They were both in grief for someone they loved.

Whether it’s a sibling or a grandparent, losing someone you love is always hard to cope with.

And both women knew that very well, so they kept talking, until the next customer arrived.

YouTube - Humankind
Source:
YouTube - Humankind

“We both started getting teary-eyed, and then we’re both like trying to blink it away, and then it just kind of went from there,” Schlesteder told KHOU-TV at the time.

“We just kept talking until the next table came in and she got up and left.”

So, the women didn’t get the chance to chat anymore after Heather got busy with other customers, and she didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye, but the stranger had left a note for her.

YouTube - Humankind
Source:
YouTube - Humankind

Soon, Heather realized that the woman had left a $100 tip for a $27 meal. She couldn’t believe her eyes.

And, although she was grateful for the woman’s generosity, what had more impact on her was the note she had left for her.

“Have an amazing new year. It gets easier,” the note read.

YouTube - Humankind
Source:
YouTube - Humankind

The waitress found the woman’s words so heartwarming. They really made her feel better.

“(The customer) made a difference,” she said. “She made me realize there are still people out there that do care. Thank you. I didn’t get to thank her,” she added.

Indeed, it seems that the customer had been through the stages of grief that Heather was going through at the time, and she knew that, although it’s hard, the pain kind of gets softer as time goes by.

And she wanted Heather to know it.

Unsplash - Priscilla Du Preez
Source:
Unsplash - Priscilla Du Preez

What a blessing for Heather to start her year with such a beautiful encounter.

Watch the waitress talk about it in the video below!

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By Irene Markianou
[email protected]
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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