A Single Mom Was Surprised By a Massive Act of Kindness at a Popular New Hampshire Restaurant
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
There's no denying that the world is a volatile place right now. It's not at all outside of the norm to be walking through a store and see two strangers screaming at the top of their lungs at each other, and, if all the videos that go viral on social media are any indication, get physical.
Simply put, the world is a pretty toxic place right now.
And speaking of social media, you only have to scroll for about 5 seconds (or less) before you're met with comments on a topic that aren't so much about the actual topic, but rather just pure vitriol tossed from one keyboard warrior to another. Simply put, the world is a pretty toxic place right now.
That's what makes the pure, good things like this stand out even more.
Ralphie's Cafe Italiano is on Route 28 in Salem, New Hampshire
Erin Gardner is a single mom living in Salem with her 9-year-old son, Cam. This past Friday night, she did something that she does quite often for her and Cam -- wrapped up her work day at Patriot Nissan, and went next door to Ralphie's to order takeout for her and Cam. While she was waiting for her food, she sat at the bar and ordered a drink.
Erin started talking to a random couple seated next to her.
As posted by Erin in the Merrimack Valley Eats group on Facebook, while sipping her drink, the couple seated near Erin started engaging her in conversation.
"I never even got their names, but we got to talking about how I’m a single Mom who works 2 jobs and I’m taking my son to Disney World for the first time for his 9th birthday in 2 weeks."
It was actually Erin's second attempt to bring Cam to Disney World
On top of being a Disney fan, Cam is also a wrestling fan. Back in 2020, WWE Wrestlemania 36 was scheduled to be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on March 26. So, Erin decided to plan the most epic trip for Cam -- not only would he be live in attendance for Wrestlemania, which is known to fans as the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, but she was also going to take him to Orlando right after to check out Disney World.
But, like most things in 2020, the pandemic crushed both of their hopes and dreams, and the trip was canceled.
Erin surprised Cam with a brand new Disney trip on Christmas 2021
In what was one of the most adorable posts to social media on Christmas Day last month, video was taken showing Erin watching Cam unwrap his last Christmas gift, which included a mask that said "Birthday Boy" in Disney font, a stuffed Mickey Mouse dressed as Santa, some Disney t-shirts, and a box that changed it all for Cam and had him smiling ear to ear when he opened it...
That's when Erin received a surprise of her own
During the conversation with the couple, Erin said she received a phone call she had to take, so excused herself from the bar to take it. Upon returning, the couple had already left. Erin finished her drink and went to pay the bill for her food -- except she wasn't able to.
The bartender had explained to Erin that while she was on the phone call, the couple, still names unknown to Erin, had not only paid their own tab, but had also paid for her and Cam's dinner and her drinks. No note left, no message left to be delivered, they simply just paid Erin's tab and left.
They kept it anonymous -- they did it because they genuinely wanted to do something helpful to someone who clearly does any and everything for her son. They didn't do it for the recognition.
And in today's world, THAT'S the type of stuff you won't hear reported on. Because it's actually something that reeks of positive. For all that couple knew, Erin was at a struggling point in her life, that one simple gesture of kindness could have turned it all around for her. And the best part? They kept it anonymous -- they did it because they genuinely wanted to do something helpful to someone who clearly does any and everything for her son. They didn't do it for the recognition.
And that's when it means the most and has the biggest impact.