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Mom Pays For Couple's Meal at Red Robin

How a Devastating Encounter with 1 Stranger at Red Robin Changed the Way This Mom Parents

Before her kids' school skate night, Ashley Wadleigh decided to take them out to eat at Red Robin. The Iowa mom specifically asked for a server she used to work with, and the hostess sat them at a table that was very close to another. Ashley shared on Facebook that the woman at that table immediately looked uncomfortable and held her hand over half of her face like she didn't want to see Ashley's family.

After the woman's husband left their table and whispered something in the server's ear, the couple was immediately moved to another table far away from Ashley and her family. "Now this wouldn't be the first time someone moved when they saw three kids sit down by them, but I couldn't help but be angry," Ashley wrote. "Like, what do you think my kids are going to do throw food? Stab you with a fork?"

When their server returned, Ashley couldn't help but feel annoyed by the situation and asked if the strangers moved because of her family. "He bent down to the table and said, 'They recently lost a child.' In that moment I felt so ashamed. My heart literally skipped a beat," Ashley explained. "I felt horrible for her and I felt horrible for judging her. So, I did the only thing I could think of: I paid their bill and asked the server not to tell them who it was."

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This grieving mom must have figured out where the act of kindness came from though, because as Ashley was leaving, the woman stopped her. "Trying so hard to hold back tears she said, 'Ma'am, I didn't want you to think because . . . ' I interrupted and since I was about to cry myself, I just gave her a hug and she whispered, 'Thank you.'"

After Ashley wished them a goodnight, she realized that as awful as she felt about their loss, she was also grateful that this encounter happened. "It reminded me to never snap judge someone — you never know what others are going through," Ashley wrote. "It also reminded me to live every moment with my children and to savor the good and bad because they are here and they are mine."

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