Most Americans live in large cities and its suburbs, but a bustling metropolis can sometimes have a way of leaving you feeling empty on the inside. It’s not until a you travel outside the city limits that you realize what the concrete jungle has been missing out on all this time. It turns out that the heart and soul of the country is still living in rural America.
Although Rocky Point, North Carolina is a tiny pinprick on Google Maps, its residents have a big heart that make the township seem larger than life. It’s in unassuming places like these where you’re most likely to find the best kept secrets in the world.
Farris Leonard was lucky enough to come across one such hidden gem when he grabbed a bite to eat one day. It came not in the form of nuggets of gold or sparkly diamonds, but what he dug up was certainly worth more than all the material wealth in the world.
When Farris got a hankering for a real bacon cheeseburger, he knew exactly where to go. The Lanes Ferry Dock & Grill serves up some yummy down home-cookin’ and it’s always crowded for that very reason. Thankfully, he got lucky and was able to nab a small table as soon as he arrived.
But, just as he was getting ready to dig into his mouthwatering burger, Farris noticed a sudden movement out of the corner of his eye. An elderly gentleman was getting ready to place an order at the counter, and he was pointing to the empty seat next him. Farris didn’t need to know any sign language to understand what the older man was asking.
He saved the seat for the stranger, but it wasn’t until the man sat down and handed him a note that Farris began to realize just how precious this seemingly insignificant moment actually was. He knew it was important to share with the world what had happened.
A staff member came up to Farris and told him that the elderly man couldn’t speak or hear very well, so he communicated by passing notes. When the gentleman finally took his seat, that’s when the real fun started! On his Facebook page, Farris said:
“As we sat and passed notes, we filled up both sides of his paper, I only wondered the things he had seen. Well he met JFK, in the ’40s he went to Arizona and it was 120 degrees.”
In a cheeky tone of voice, Farris said that yes, they actually wrote about the weather! More importantly though, the two had a great lunch and “talked” like old friends.
As Farris sat there, he hoped that he was making the day go better for the 93-year-young gentleman. But, then it occurred to him that he didn’t have to wonder what was going through the man’s mind. Farris passed him one final note:
“‘Sir I want to thank you for letting me sharing lunch with me. I must go now but I want you to know that you made my day a better day. Take care of yourself.’ You should of seen his eyes and smile as he read it. He embraced his heart and gave me a handshake that was real. We hugged and took a picture.”
Farris says his story may seem insignificant, but he wants to share just how significant it was for the both of them.
“This story is not about what I did but about what we all can do. With a little time, a lot of compassion and not being about “me” and “I” so much, we could help make and be in a better place.”
In the end, Farris said that passing notes with the gentleman was priceless. If only we could all be so lucky to have such a wonderful chance encounter! But, actually we can – all we have to do is look outside ourselves, and heartwarming moments like these are just waiting to be found.