— -- When Debbie Riddle and her husband Shaun ate at the West Side Café in Fort Worth, Texas last week, their server Kayla Lane recognized them.
Lane had specifically remembered their newborn baby Glory, and she asked after her.
That’s when the Riddles told Lane that Glory had recently died.
“I just said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, and I know sorry doesn’t mean much because everyone is saying it, but that’s all I can say,’” Lane told ABC News.
It was then that Lane decided to pay for their meal, something she regularly does for customers in need of some kindness.
“They were very calm, nice and understanding -- not angry. They said, ‘Thank you for remembering her; that means a lot,’” Lane recalled. “That was amazing to me that they didn’t get angry; just pure compassion and love, and it was amazing.”
Lane didn’t want the Riddles to know she had personally paid for the meal, so she signed it from “West Side Café,” even telling the Riddles when they insisted on at least paying tip that the restaurant had taken care of that, too.
“It was really touching and moving that they had cared so much,” Debbie told ABC News. “It was such a simple act that they had no idea what a huge impact it would make on me and my husband.”
So touched by the gesture, Debbie posted a photo of the check to Facebook, and it has since been liked more than 14,000 times and shared more than 9,000.
Later, the Riddles found out it was Lane herself who had paid for the check.
“That just made it even more special. Kayla is a college student, she’s only 21, she’s putting herself through school, she owns her own home,” Debbie said. “It’s just amazing, and I was just so touched and so moved that a complete stranger remembered us and our baby, much less took money out of her own pocket – and she didn’t want any recognition.”
According to Lane, this is something she and West Side café do frequently for their customers.
“We are a family at West Side; we care so much about our customers. We’re all a family – not only the coworkers, but our customers as well. It’s just what we do; we perform acts of kindness every day,” Lane said. “I’m very grateful that the Riddles are being supported by it. I was very worried about them.”
The Riddles are glad for the attention their story is getting for one reason: to help others.
“We want to let people know there is hope for people who have lost children,” Debbie said. “There are so many kind people in this world. It just moved us.”