Author Topic: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab  (Read 366 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« on: January 14, 2014, 10:48:04 PM »
Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
Brooke Lefferts TODAY contributor
 
4 hours ago


Lee and Carol Ballantyne


When a recently-widowed Canadian man dining alone picked up the tab for a couple sitting nearby last week, he never expected his act of kindness to go viral.

But someone snapped a picture of the sweet note he left explaining why he'd taken care of the bill, and when the photo made its way to Reddit, it quickly spread, touching people around the world.

Lee Ballantyne, 65, of Barrie, Ontario lost his wife, Carol on December 30th. He was eating by himself at local restaurant Cicco’s when seeing the couple next to him reminded him of his late wife, which inspired his spontaneous act of generosity.

“I just wanted to write what I felt at the time so I scrawled it on a napkin,” Ballantyne told TODAY.com.

"You don’t know me, but my beautiful wife of 43 years died last week," read his handwritten note. "Tonight I dined alone for the first time. You remind me of us many years ago. Please allow me to buy your dinner. It will put a smile on Carol’s face and make me happy… for now."

Ballantyne handed the note to the waitress and asked her to put the couple’s bill on his credit card before leaving. The waitress asked Cicco’s owner Lindsay Weiss to help her present the unexpected gesture to the diners.

Weiss said the reaction was emotional for everyone. “They [the couple] were beyond touched and grateful. I cried. The waitress and chef cried. It was one of the kindest gestures I’ve ever witnessed,” Weiss told TODAY.com.

Ballantyne was surprised to get a phone call later that evening from the diner who'd received his note. The man thanked him for the meal and expressed his condolences, and said he and his wife would like to take Ballantyne to dinner in the near future.

Several Cicco’s staff members posted the note on social media to spread news of the good deed, and in just a few days, it had spread across the Internet as hundreds of thousands of people were moved by Ballantyne’s act. 

“It was just a simple gesture and it seemed like an ideal time to do that. I guess I had a selfish motive, I wanted to make myself feel good. And it did for a while. It still does,” Ballantyne said.

Carol, who was 62 when she died, had experienced several health problems in recent years. She was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia five years ago, and suffered from chronic bowel obstructive disease, which required her to be fed intravenously for more than a year. In October, facing lung cancer, she chose to undergo chemotherapy treatments but her immune system was not strong enough to handle them.

Lee and Carol had three sons and five grandchildren. The family was astounded by how quickly the photo of Lee’s note spread online, where it has been viewed over 800,000 times, prompting news stories across the globe.

Ballantyne says the family is grateful for the opportunity to share Carol’s memory with the world.

“My wife’s strength and joy of life is now known to millions of people just because of that gesture so I accomplished something there. I’m glad people got to know a little about Carol,“ Ballantyne said.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline happyg

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Re: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 11:19:05 PM »
Great story. I bet his life is filled with friends. No one can replace his wife, but they can help fill the void.

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 11:22:33 PM »
Great story. I bet his life is filled with friends. No one can replace his wife, but they can help fill the void.

Yep... brought me to tears.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline happyg

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Re: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 11:27:14 PM »
My mother is selling her house and moving back here to be near us kids and grandkids. A man, who is a disabled vet and his wife fell in love with it, but couldn't afford the price.  Mom came down $20K to help them be able to afford it. They are going through the paperwork now, and I hope they get it. She always had a soft spot for our soldiers, and since the 1960s has sent packages to soldiers. At one time, she was sending so many, she recruited us kids to help.

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 11:27:59 PM »
My mother is selling her house and moving back here to be near us kids and grandkids. A man, who is a disabled vet and his wife fell in love with it, but couldn't afford the price.  Mom came down $20K to help them be able to afford it. They are going through the paperwork now, and I hope they get it. She always had a soft spot for our soldiers, and since the 1960s has sent packages to soldiers. At one time, she was sending so many, she recruited us kids to help.

Your mom sounds like a wonderful person.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline happyg

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Re: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 11:44:41 PM »
Your mom sounds like a wonderful person.

She is. She's 86 and could pass as one of our sisters. She has always done for others without batting an eye. We were poor growing up, but after we left home, my parents lived comfortably. When Dad died, he left Mom well off. She had no idea that he invested money over the years. On one hand, she was mad because she wanted things, but didn't think they could afford it. She told me she felt guilty for being mad at her dead husband.  None of us knew he left her so good, so told her to spend our inheritance. That way, we'd have nothing to fight over.  :silly:

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 11:48:04 PM »
She is. She's 86 and could pass as one of our sisters. She has always done for others without batting an eye. We were poor growing up, but after we left home, my parents lived comfortably. When Dad died, he left Mom well off. She had no idea that he invested money over the years. On one hand, she was mad because she wanted things, but didn't think they could afford it. She told me she felt guilty for being mad at her dead husband.  None of us knew he left her so good, so told her to spend our inheritance. That way, we'd have nothing to fight over.  :silly:

He was smart to tell her to spend it...   amazing how best friend sibblings fight when money is involved.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline happyg

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Re: Widower surprises couple by picking up their tab
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 11:56:01 PM »
He was smart to tell her to spend it...   amazing how best friend sibblings fight when money is involved.

Dad didn't tell her to spend it. We kids did. I guess I didn't make that clear. I don't think we would fight over money. We are all close and help each other. But, you're right, you never know.


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