Friday, July 18, 2008

Breakfast and a love story at IHOP

One morning last week Ray, Sofia and I had breakfast at IHOP in Issaquah, just across the parking lot from our motel.

We were ordering our breakfast when an elderly gentleman came over to the table and set a card on the table in front of me and said, "I'd like to treat you to breakfast." It was an IHOP reward card that offered a free breakfast when all the dots had been punched, as this one had. He went on to say, "I lost my lady a year ago, so I have no one to treat to breakfast. I'm retired and have more money than I'll ever be able to spend, so you folks have a nice breakfast. One of 'ems on me." We thanked him profusely and he went back to his table to read his paper and finish his coffee.

Pretty soon he finished up and came back over to our table. He had a photo to show us. "Here's a picture of my lady. She was 19 when this was taken, just a couple weeks before we got married." The photo was very old and cracked from riding around in his wallet. A small black and white snapshot of a pretty young girl in a '40s style bathing suit. "She was lovely." I said. "Yep," he said. "I'm the luckiest man in the world. We were married for 64 years. We had 9 kids, 18 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, and none of 'em ever did drugs. My daughters smoke, (sadly shaking his head) and that breaks my heart—but no drugs."
He told us how he had first seen his wife at a dance at the lake and had gone to the dance pavilion every weekend for the next two months, hoping to see her there again. Finally she was there and he got up the nerve to ask her to dance and ended up driving her home. They sat in his car in her parents' driveway and talked for hours. "That was the beginning." he said.
He carefully returned the photo to his wallet. He gave us a big smile and patted Sofia on the head. "Yep, luckiest man in the world. I don't know what she saw in me. Now, you folks have a nice breakfast." And he was on his way.


  1. what a nice story, he just wanted someone to talk too. Sad we don't spend more time with our elders just listening or taking out to lunch thats what most of them want our time not materialistic gifts.

  2. Anonymous6:41 AM

    Certainly a Pay-it-Forward moment.


  3. I have tears in my eyes.....what a great story!


    ps: I'm gonna try my darnedest to embarrass the heck out of Gerrie...but is that possible and am I really up to the challenge??? LOL

  4. I bet you felt good all day after that chance encounter.

  5. Anonymous8:48 AM

    What a nice story. I always feel so blessed when a stranger lets me into his life like that. I'm sure he saw two kind and generous people well into their own 64-year story.

  6. I agree with Beck!! And don't tell Judy how to embarrass me!!

  7. Anonymous3:10 PM

    How beautiful

    susan in spokane

  8. fantastic story, thanks for sharing

  9. Oh, that's wonderful. Brings tears to my eyes, too.

  10. Anonymous7:57 AM

    What a memorable breakfast. I'm glad you shared the story. Keep reminding Sofia of that breakfast so that she can pass on the story, too.