I used to work at this little diner in London, Ontario. It was my first serving job, and I was still getting the hang of keeping my cool no matter the pressure from customers or management. Around this time I had also gotten out of a serious relationship and was feeling a bit lost in terms of direction. I was low. Anyway, I was going through the motions and then I had this table with two parents and their teenage daughter who was in a wheelchair and was non-verbal. It seemed she only really had control over her eyes and left hand. She spelled out on a laminated keyboard what she wanted to order. I remember she was particularly excited when I brought out the milkshake she had ordered. After the meal, as I was clearing their table, the Mom said, “Hold on, our daughter has something she wants to say to you.” She started touching letters on her keyboard, but I couldn’t follow the message because her hand moved really fast. Her Mom said, “She wants you to know that she thinks you have the most beautiful eyes.” I didn’t really know what to say and just stuttered out, “Th..thank you.”

I barely made it to the kitchen with their plates before I started sobbing. I felt like such a fool, wallowing in self-doubt and negativity. In addition to being the nicest compliment I’ve ever received, this young girl’s kind words pulled me out of that slump and made me look at all the good things I had in my life. This was 12 years ago and I still think about that girl and her family. I bet they have no idea of the impact they had on me that day. I hope they are well, with all of my heart.

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Congratulations Steve! Steve wins a Love My Local cheese board for his truly heartwarming story.

Steve is the General Manager of Whitewater Brewing Co.’s Brewpubs in Ontario. Pictured right is Steve with his girlfriend Natalie at a beer and wine show.

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