Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and after we've gobbled up all that turkey, the Christmas season will be upon us. This is the time of year when we throw the biggest spotlight on kindness, and although being kind should be its own reward, there are times when this beautiful human act results in unexpected rewards.

That was certainly the case for a Texas woman a few years ago whose kindness toward and patience with a seemingly grouchy World War II veteran resulted in a surprise act of generosity in return.


Flash back to November of 2008.

After seven years waitressing at Luby's restaurant in Brownsville, Texas, Melina got a surprise she was not expecting. She was able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas early that year. It was served right to her, on her job. We're revisiting Thanksgiving past today with a feel good story where it literally pays to be kind.

Who Can Relate?

If you've ever been a server, you definitely have gotten your share of  many different types of customers. I served for over a decade myself, and I've seen and dealt with a lot. We've all had that one (or several) special customer that is just something else. Have you ever had a Walter Swords though?

There's Always That One (Or more lol)

Well Melina did. She'd been working at Luby's for 16 years. She served the same grumpy old man for seven of those years. Cranky, rude, and insulting was a few of the words the servers there used to describe Walter "Buck" Swords. An 89-year-old World War II vet who came in very regularly to the restaurant liked his food a certain way, and had to have it very hot. Nobody wanted to serve him when he came in.

Thanks And Giving

Over time, he just became Melina's customer. They grew to understand each other. Although he was "very mean," she said she never has a problem serving Walter with a smile. She also had no idea that one day she would inherit such a gift from him.

Melina noticed Walter wasn’t coming in like normal. She was flipping through the local newspaper obituary section one day and seen Walters name. Of course sad, Melina carried on. A week later she received an unexpected visit from a lawyer during her shift at the restaurant. To her surprise Walter left her $50,000 and a car because she was always so nice to him. Say whaaaat? How amazing is that? $50,000 and

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Service is in my DNA. It doesn’t cost a thing to smile and treat people with kindness. Not because you're looking for something in return, because you never know just how far a smile can impact someone else’s day, or life. Her story was told in an interview. You can watch the video below. Be kind Central Texas. The streets are watching. How would you have reacted?

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