Brad’s Bar-B-Que in Oxford, Alabama is the go-to spot for an unforgettable dining experience. But for 80-year-old Eleanor Baker, the restaurant is more than just a place for scrumptious food. Her recent visit to the place turned out to be pretty extraordinary, thanks to three young men who went out of their way for her.
Eleanor is a widow who lives with her dog.She has a big family but most of them live out of town so she’s used to doing things on her own.While it’s never a big deal to Eleanor to be dining out alone, it affected Jamario Howard who was about to eat with his friends.
He describes how uncomfortable he gets when he sees people eating alone so when he saw the widow, he knew right away what he had to do. He approached Eleanor and said,
“I saw you sitting over here alone. Do you mind having some company?”
Eleanor was more than happy to share a table with the thoughtful young man, too. Jamario recounts how the 80-year-old widow responded.
“She said, ‘Go right ahead,’ and then I introduced myself and she introduced herself. And it’s just kind of how it all got started.”
It was a touching moment that many people can surely learn from.
Eleanor describes it as a “nice, pleasant evening” and the three young men agree. They enjoyed her company as much as Eleanor enjoyed theirs. Tae Knight shares how that was all the friends talked about when they left the place. JaMychol Baker adds,
“When you make that kind of connection with somebody, it’s hard to let it go.”
It was a simple act of kindness that greatly impacted the four who were just out to enjoy dinner. Jamario shares,
“I already feel like we’re her grandkids. I used to say when I was younger, and I still say today, I want to change the world somehow. And I don’t know how. I’m not rich. I’m not famous. And I’m not very smart either, so I can’t be president. But we can show the world it’s alright to be kind. And then, before long, maybe the world will be a much better place.”
The beauty of the moment led Eleanor to believe that God sent her to the restaurant for that exact purpose – to once more witness love and kindness through strangers.
It can be quite difficult to believe there’s still some good out there, especially in a world brimming with chaos, confusion, and hate crimes left and right. But hearing Eleanor’s optimistic take on the unforgettable dining experience serves as a wonderful reminder for us all that there is a lot to be grateful for and look forward to.
Simple joys are always around, waiting to surprise us. We just need to keep our minds and hearts open, and be willing to always pay it forward.
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