"See baby," he yelled through the pass through to our kitchen. "It's just like being at Waffle House." A place I would unashamedly drag him to at two in the morning.
Over his shoulder, he yelled to Betsy (our dog) as if she were his sous chef.
Him (in a thick, fake southern drawl): "Betsy, triple scramble hold the toast with a side of oink."
If you've never experienced a Waffle House, you can live the adventure by going here.
As you'll see, the waitresses are very kind, accommodating people. Our favorite one --Pam-- would not only take our order, she'd entertain us with stories: about drunk folks, famous people, rock bands, and occasionally lipstick.
The best part of the meal (besides the bacon or sweet tea), always came at the end...just as we were getting ready to leave. Pam loved us and almost always provided a generous hug upon coming or going. Right after we'd pay and just before we'd head out the door, she'd always say three simple words.
"I appreciate you!!!" she'd chirp with an enormous smile on her face.
"I appreciate YOU!!" I'd loudly chime back, sometimes bringing us both close to tears.
I knew she meant it and, on really bad days (like when I first got sick), I'd go just to hear it. A strange ritual, when you think about it. But really, just shows what people will do for a bit of kindness.
Although I don't go to diners anymore, I haven't forgotten Pam or her gift of love. Today, grateful to be out of the house, I passed it on to the butcher, the Volvo parts guys in line, and the postal clerk.
"I appreciate you," I said to all of them for a variety of reasons. And you know what? They appreciated me back.
Guess that's one good thing about illness, it makes sweet moments all the sweeter.
Altered Today: Love for people, focusing on others, out of the house.