On Friday, Oct. 4, I took my mom and stepfather to a doctor in Altoona.
They both had been having health problems, and Mom needed to have a test at the doctor's office. When the appointment was over, my stepfather wanted the three of us to have some lunch. So we went to the classic restaurant in Altoona, Tom and Joe's.
We had "breakfast for lunch" that day, and it was very good.
My mom and I left the restaurant and got into my car for the ride home. My stepfather stayed behind to pay the bill, and he was in there for an unusually long period of time. I was just about to go back in and check on him when he appeared beside my car with a big smile on his face.
My stepfather would often wear a cap signifying his military service in the Korean War where he proudly served as a paratrooper. He was wearing the hat that day at Tom and Joe's.
When he went to the cash register to pay, an unknown patron walked up to him and told him that he would pay for our lunch, and he thanked him for his military service.
My stepfather, John Trusz, was so touched by this very kind gesture. Well, on the following Sunday, my mom was hospitalized. Early Monday morning, my stepfather had a heart attack at home and he was hospitalized, also.
Mom was discharged on Tuesday. The hospital volunteer and I took her to see John before I drove her home.
John died about two hours after we left.
I am writing this letter with the hope that the man in the restaurant who paid our bill sees this letter and realizes just how much his random act of kindness meant to an 84-year-old Korean War veteran and his family.
Life is so short.
When the opportunity to help others comes along, we must act quickly because we may never know the positive lasting impact of that kindness.
One more thing:?My stepfather called me the evening before he was hospitalized and told me that he had been so touched and surprised by the gesture in the restaurant that he forgot to tip the waitress.
He wanted to drop it off on Monday before we went to the hospital to visit with Mom.
I will take that tip to the restaurant soon.
Diane J. Andrews