There is a fantastic little Chinese restaurant in Kanata called the Maple Court Dining Lounge. It was the only Chinese take-out I ever had growing up and my husband’s family went there often as well. Inside, there is a nightscape picture of Hong Kong along one wall and Joe can point out the apartment building he lived in for a while when he was a child.

My brother and his girlfriend were in there a few days ago enjoying the lunch buffet. When they asked for the bill, the confused waiter told them it had already been taken care of. He gestured to an empty table where a kind looking couple had sat during their meal.

“They paid for you,” the waiter explained, “did you not know them?”

In fact, they didn’t. My brother remembers that the woman at the table had looked over at them and smiled widely, giggling to herself as she and the man she was with – presumably her husband – collected their things to leave, but he’d brushed it off. Now, it makes perfect sense.

Thank you to the mysterious people who took care of a young couple’s meal. It was a small gesture, but one that brought our family great joy. It’s such a treat when, after being chipped away by all the slights and cruelties in the world, your faith in the generosity of the human spirit can be restored, even just a little.