Yet again, the kindness of strangers comes at the most unexpected time.
This latest heartwarming story began when Jamie Huestess and her family stopped for a meal at their local Cracker Barrel, where her son, Ian, had just experienced a meltdown. Ian suffers from autism, and while he usually does well at sit-down restaurants, this time, the overwhelming stimuli caused him to act out. Jamie's husband, Chris, quickly left with Ian, and Jamie opted for a to-go meal before meeting her family at home.
"After Chris and Ian left, our waitress came to ask if we were ordering," Jamie wrote on the Love What Matters Facebook page. "This was probably her fifth or sixth time stopping by the table. I said, 'Yes, a to-go order, just for me.'"
Surprised by her singular order, the waitress, Kailyn, asked if Jamie's husband or son wanted anything. Jamie explained that her son had autism and that he had reached his limit after a long day of errands. Exhausted herself and worried that others in the restaurant would misconstrue her son's outburst, she started to break down in tears.
"By this time, I was crying and having a moment, not because I was embarrassed that my son is autistic but because he is a good kid, and I didn't want anyone to think he was just a spoiled kid being a brat,” Jamie explained in the Facebook post.
Kailyn assured Jamie the order would be ready in no time. And when she brought out the packaged food, she told Jamie that the meal had been "taken care of" and was free of charge.
But the waitress' kindness didn't stop there. Attached to the bag was something far more special than a simple receipt: a handwritten note from Kailyn.
"Your child is amazing, mommy," read the note. "Be strong; keep your head up. You are doing a great job. Have a great night. Your server, Kailyn.”
Extremely touched by the gesture, Jamie now proudly displays the note on her refrigerator as a constant reminder of optimism.
"In the midst of my own meltdown, she reached out with words of encouragement and a kind heart," Jamie reflected.