Words have not come easy these past few weeks.
I began to fear that I had spent money for a blogging platform, to write three articles, and to never use it again.
So I tried to force writing, any sort of writing, to just put out into the world again to make myself feel complete in some aspect.
No matter how hard I’ve tried to write, to pull from anything, nothing came out.
Everything felt so forced and nothing was fitting right, nothing was even scratching the surface of what I had to say. What I’ve experienced in these past few weeks. So I will pick up from one of the most recent stories I can share that spread a positive light on my life in ways that are unexplainable and I still think about to this day.
A few weeks ago we had a full reservation sheet in the dining room in which I worked at. No walk ins were permitted, and only the people that had reservations could be seated on this night.
That was when an older man and older woman walked up to the podium, asking to be seated. They told us they didn’t have reservations, but they were staying in the hotel that night. We told them that we were sorry, but it was reservations only, and sent them on their way.
Awhile later, while tending to my other tables I saw the same man from previously wander up to the hostess stand. After some discussion, our hostess walked up to me, explaining
“It’s his wifes birthday, can you take care of them?” she asks.
I looked over the four tables I already had to take care of, and even though I knew more reservations were going to come in, I nodded my head “Yeah, I can take them.” I say to her.
What I expected was to have a table like usual. I would take their drink orders, their food, bring them their food, ask if they wanted desert, send them on their way, and get them in and out as quickly as possible.
It is the unexpected that grace our lives in the best ways, as I would soon find out.
Whenever I walked up to them, they greeted me and told me their names after I told them mine. They told me again, that it was his wifes birthday, and I wished her happy birthday.
Right off the bat, I knew that they were talkers, and even though I was busy, even though I had a lot going on, I stayed to talk to them.
The conversation started off light, asking me where I went to school, what I wanted to do, the usual conversations that you typically get out of a waitress that gives you more time than their other tables.
Eventually they ate their food and told me how amazing everything was, continuing to thank me for getting them in even though we were busy.
In those few moments, they radiated such positivity, a positivity that I needed in these times and they didn’t even know it – and neither did I at the time.
Remembering the birthday, I offered the woman a complimentary dessert of her choosing, on the house due to the kindness that they displayed and how happy they made my heart feel again for the first time in a long time.
They asked me if they could move somewhere warmer, and I agreed, no longer caring about the amount of people coming into the dining room or waiting to be seated.
When we moved them, they began to speak about what desert they wanted and I promised them I would get them whatever they wanted and that I was going to make it special for them.
Ultimately, the woman decided on a desert, and her husband decided that he wanted to splurge and eat ice cream for the first time in over seven years.
Whenever I went back to pantry, I had them decorate the plate with a ‘Happy Birthday’ message on the plate, and came out candle and all. I served the dessert and together her husband and I sang happy birthday to her.
The room was dark and even though I hate singing, singing in front of others, none of it mattered anymore. The glow of the birthday candle meant so much more than a birthday anymore, it was an act of kindness and a sign of hope that things would get better for me.
After we sang happy birthday I left them alone for awhile and came to check on them, asking the man how he enjoyed his ice cream. They again told me that he hadn’t eaten anything like that in seven years. I asked him why, if there was any reason.
He opened up to me, saying that he was a cancer survivor and that today was actually the ten year anniversary of his surgery to remove his cancer, joking to me about how the anniversary happened to land on his wife’s birthday as well.
In those moments I felt everything about tonight slowly click into place and my hear swelled, tears forming in my eyes as I spoke to them about my mothers recent diagnosis and how she was also on a road to recovery, that it touched such a tender spot in my heart.
That was whenever we began talking, he got my address, and said he would send me and my mother a book for us to read.
I opened up to them about the struggles I was facing with my anxiety and my depression and how much their kind words truly meant to me, how the little things like this meant so much in my life, in ways they had no idea of even fathoming.
After they left, he had tipped me more than the price of the bill, and handed me an extra eight dollars in cash and told me to use it to buy my favorite dessert from where I worked.
Like that they were gone again, and before I knew it they had checked out before I got to see them again.
Little did I know, and little did they know, was that the following weeks would be some of the worst in my life.
In these weeks, I would struggle to find light again. I would struggle to find a purpose outside of the darkened tunnel I had been placed in. My fight was slowly wearing thin and it was the lowest point I had ever reached in the entirety of my life, after struggling with depression and anxiety for so many years.
In my darkness, in the tunnel, I found a light again and fought through.
Just yesterday, I came home to a package.
Two books for me to read, the other for my mother to read.
“Getting Well Again.”
Today I walked into my bedroom to see another small letter. I am uncertain as to if I missed the letter in the first initial package, or if it arrived today.
I sat on the floor bawling my eyes out as I read the contents of the most thoughtful letter that had been sent my way in the longest time.
They talked to me about the things I had told them in passing. How I wanted to be an FBI agent, how they believed in me, the things that I had told them in confidence that they gave me advice on. Things I had even forgotten that I said to them were written on the contents of a card that meant so much to me.
The two strangers that I thought were just going to be another table that I had to deal with on a busy night, turned into an experience that I will forever cherish and be grateful for.
I am uncertain if they realize the impact of their actions or how badly I needed to read the words from them on days like this one, days where I feel both happy and sad. Overwhelmed and relaxed.
People come into your lives for a reason. That night I was busy, stressed from life outside of work with relationships, and I was anxious over what was to come. These people, who were not supposed to be there to begin with, happened to come in and I got the blessing to take care of them.
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, I like to believe some higher force was acting through them on the night that they came into my life, and left again, but left with such a strong impact that I now have the blessing to carry with me for the rest of my life.
As I was clearing their table, I found a note to me written on the back of a receipt.
“Thank you for your grace, humbleness, and sense of humor.”
This receipt I now carry in my waitressing book, to see and be reminded of the people that made such a positive influence on my life when it was most needed.
As I sit with their cards, letters, and book sitting around me, I am reminded of the love that radiates from people.
There is a lot of good in the world and even though it is hard to see, it comes out when most needed and most unexpected. A lot of time, the bad, the negative, the hurt, and the ugly are seen and are brought to us head on, face to face. They wear us down, they tug at us until we have no more fight, and the good in the world comes out in the strangest and unexpected ways.
The good is our guiding light to get us through the bad things and to guide us into a light worth living again.
Even if it is just a push or a nudge into the right direction, those are the movements and gestures that send us spiraling and leaping into things much greater than the darkness that has sucked you in time and time again and drug you down.
Step into the light, into a life worth living again.