Kindness & Compassion

The Napkin

One morning at the restaurant, I spotted an elderly couple sitting nearby. When her paper napkin fluttered to the ground, the man leapt to his feet and ran to the woman’s side, picked up the napkin and carefully tucked it under her chin. She was eating oatmeal, and I guessed the man didn’t want her pretty white blouse to become soiled.

Then I noticed the woman’s right hand trembled with every bite as she tried to guide the spoon into her mouth. Her left arm was motionless.

The napkin fell a dozen times, and a dozen times the man was instantly on his feet to retrieve it and place it back where it belonged. His gaze never left the woman. Neither of them spoke.

When the waitress refilled my coffee cup, I whispered to her did she know the couple. Quietly she responded, “Oh, yes, they come here for breakfast every day. She had a stroke awhile back, poor thing. Her dear husband always eats first.”

–By Ron Cooper

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