This week’s Well-Wisher post is dedicated to a complete stranger who turned 20 today (3/1/2014)! How do I know this? Lets rewind about 12 hours. A couple of friends and I were on our way to an album release party, but instead took a detour and ended up at Merry Ann’s Diner in Urbana instead. Quick S/O to the amazing staff at Merry Ann’s Diner in Urbana. Y’all are the absolute sweets and ROCK! In the midst of our delicious fries and GIGANTIC milkshakes, a gentleman walks into the diner and sits in the far booth in the back. He is alone and has a backpack. Next thing I know, Happy Birthday is being sung as the gentleman has a birthday hat on.
Of course my friends and I cheerfully join in (off-key!) and the moment passes. As we are about to leave and pay for our late night snack, I notice that the gentleman is alone. HOLD THE PRESSES. It just did not make any sense. Not too long ago, a couple of people were singing happy birthday to him, but he is sitting alone? I was beyond confused and had to figure out what was up. I proceeded to ask the lovely waitress and her response melted my heart.
This gentleman, Jackson, is a regular at the diner. He comes in late at night, orders coffee and food, does his work until 3 am and his birthday is tomorrow. The part that melts my heart is the impact he has had on the people around him and the bonds that he has built with the diner. Most people these day would not make the effort to connect with others, let alone have a group of (basically) strangers go out of their way and make an effort to celebrate their birthday early so it does not interfere with their other plans.
After hearing the lovely story, I immediately gallop over and meet the amazing birthday fella!
I think you are the most amazing person I have met in a very long time.
Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity, showing me the magic of friendship and human connection, and most importantly letting me take your picture.
May every year of your life bring you new friends, greater wisdom, renewed hope and just enough light to stir your soul, tame your demons and fan the flames of love.
You deserve it!
Happy 20th birthday!