A Texas woman was entering a restaurant when she noticed an older lady coming up behind her. She politely held the door, never imagining it would set off a life-changing chain of events. But, when she heard the other woman’s remark, she had to speak up.
Brooke Ochoa of Louise, Texas, was entering a restaurant for lunch when she saw an older lady approaching from afar. Brooke decided to bestow some southern hospitality on a fellow citizen, and the 30-year-old patiently waited so she could hold the door for the other woman. While some might call the gesture an act of kindness, it was just good manners and a show of respect. What happened next, however, is another story.
After the two women entered the restaurant, Brooke, who was by herself, heard the other woman make a remark to the waitress, according to NY Daily News. Although she initially hesitated, Brooke was compelled to speak up. What unfolded from there was recalled in a Facebook post by Brooke, which quickly went viral. And, it’s easy to see why.
“She was very thankful and sweet,” Brooke wrote, explaining how the woman reacted to her politely holding the door as she entered the unnamed restaurant. “She then told the waitress, ‘table for one,'” Brooke recalled. After hearing those words, Brooke admitted that she initially “waited and hesitated” before deciding to walk over and bestow a true act of kindness on the other woman.
“I’m eating by myself too would you like to have lunch together?” Brooke recalled saying to the woman as she extended an invitation to dine with her, according to Today. Not only did she take Brooke up on her offer, but the lady, who Brooke learned was named Delores, was “ecstatic!”
After being seated together, the two talked at length during their meal, according to ABC 6. Their conversation revealed the sad details of Delores’ life and the difficult time she was going through. “Come to find out, she spent the last decade living with her mom, who recently passed away, and her aunt, who recently was put into a nursing home,” Brooke wrote. “She has been having a hard time being alone.”
Dolores was extremely grateful to have someone to talk to. “She just kept smiling and saying thank you for listening to me, which made me smile too!” Brooke admitted. “Her words healed my heart just as much as I healed her lonely one,” she added, calling her impromptu invitation “by far the best decision” she had “made all year!” But, their story doesn’t end there.
Brooke and Delores both enjoyed the encounter so much that they decided to have lunch every Thursday from that point on. It’s unknown how many lunches that turned out to be, however. Brooke later updated her post, revealing that Delores passed away soon after, making the story all the sweeter.
Thanks to the love and compassion Brooke showed her, Delores was able to escape the loneliness she had been feeling at the end of her life, as well as touch many lives in a positive way. With millions of likes and hundreds of thousands of shares and comments, the brief encounter struck a chord across the country as it reminded us that a true act of kindness can pave the way for a much-needed friendship.
Two people, who may be complete opposites, can forge a meaningful relationship with one another. All it takes is reaching out when someone appears in need. The best present we can give is often our presence. An ear to listen doesn’t cost a thing, but the results can be priceless. Brooke found this out when a little voice inside her prompted a simple offer that turned out to be exactly what both women needed — just in the nick of time.
That’s the power of God. Neither knew Delores’ days were numbered as they sat down together, but we shouldn’t have to know such a thing to extend a small part of ourselves to another person. It’s all about opening doors when we are gifted with the opportunity to be the answer to someone’s prayers. Brooke Ochoa heard that call when she was compelled to offer a stranger a little company. In honor of Delores, let’s hope others read and remember this story and are willing to do the same.