Lizzy had an outpatient treatment today and everything went as planned (thank you, God!). We are always thankful for “routine” and “uneventful” trips to Cincy! But the story of the day is what happened on the way home.
We left the house early this morning in order to get to Lizzy’s appointment on time. After going through the usual routine of vital checks, evaluations, blood level checks and eventually the doctor giving the OK for the chemo drug to be prepared, Lizzy had her treatment and we were finally heading back home around 1:30p in the afternoon. Having eaten very little for breakfast, Lori and I were very hungry and eager to go through a drive-through for lunch (we don’t go inside restaurants any more because of Lizzy’s compromised immune system).
Chik-Fil-A is always near the top of our list when we think fast food, and I knew we would be driving right by a location in Florence. So, we quickly made our way out of Cincy, across the bridge and just a few miles down Interstate 71/75 to Florence and the local Chik-Fil-A.
When we pulled up to the drive through lanes, 2 young ladies were standing by the menu board to take our order. Lori and I each ordered the #1 combo and the nice young lady punched everything into her tablet and told us to proceed forward to the cashier.
As we approached the young man standing outside the pick up window, he came to the car and said “Is the order for Brooks?” I replied “Yes” and he said “Ok, great” and handed me a receipt. He then turned and walked back toward his cashier stand.
I thought it was odd that he didn’t tell me how much I owed – he just handed me the receipt and walked away. So, I eased up to his cashier stand and said “Excuse me, I haven’t paid you yet – I owe you some money”. Very casually and calmly he looked up, smiled and said “You don’t owe anything – it’s on us”.
I’ve been having some trouble lately with my hearing, so I just assumed I didn’t hear him correctly. So, in a questioning voice I said “We don’t owe anything?” and he just smiled and said “No, your meal is on us”
I wasn’t sure what to think. I’ve heard of the program where a car pays for the meal of the car behind them, but that wasn’t the case here. There was no mention of the car in front of us or of some anonymous donor paying for all the drive through cars that day – just a smile and a “You’re meal is on us today”
As we received our food and pulled into a parking spot so I could eat (no eating and driving kids – that’s dangerous!), it began to dawn on me what happened.
When the young lady was taking our order, we were asking Lizzy if she wanted something. Lizzy was in the back seat in her car seat and she had taken off her head covering, so her beautiful bald head was shining brightly in the afternoon sun. It’s obvious to anyone who sees Lizzy that she has a medical condition, and I think because of the bald head, most people would assume she has (or had) cancer, which is an accurate assumption. The young lady noticed us talking to Lizzy and she looked in the back seat and saw those big, beautiful brown eyes and those long eyelashes and I think she quickly surmised the situation. I noticed as she was typing in our order that she bent down beside the car, and I think she was typing in the complimentary meal code and didn’t want us to see it.
So, by the time we pulled up to the cashier young man, everything had already been taken care of, our meal was comp’d and we were blessed yet again.
So, to the Florence, KY Chik-Fil-A, a heartfelt and sincere THANK YOU for an act of kindness that touched our hearts. And thank you for creating a culture in your organization that empowered that young lady to see a situation and have the power to make a decision to Comp a meal. And thank you young lady, whoever you are, for touching the lives of a family who is trying to put the best face possible on a really yucky situation – you’re act of kindness and thoughtfulness and generosity touched us in a way you may never know this side of heaven. Thank you.
And to all of you reading this – if you are ever near Florence, KY, be sure to stop by the Chik-Fil-A, give them some business, and tell them Thank You from the Brooks family.
UPDATE: we just found out that the young lady who took our order and comp’d our meal is named Liz – how wild is that?!! That’s such a God thing!!! Thank you, Liz – you ROCK!!