05/02/05 — Angel unaware? Just passing through, stranger starts something

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Angel unaware? Just passing through, stranger starts something

Cindy is not the real name of the younger waitress, and Peggy is not the real name of the older one. They are real people, though.

So is the Cindy’s “angel,” a man from New Bern. No one knows his name.

He came through Goldsboro a week or so back and stopped for a meal with his wife and their daughter and grandchild. Cindy was their waitress.

Cindy has been troubled lately because of Peggy’s condition. Peggy has cancer, and her treatments don’t seem to be helping. Cindy has loved Peggy for a long time, and she boasts about the courage with which Peggy has accepted her illness.

Cindy, despite her concern, is pretty cheerful when she is dealing with her customers in the restaurant, and she must have been at her best when the man from New Bern came in with his family. She chatted with them to make them feel at home, and she played with the baby when she had a minute to spare.

When the family started to leave, the man thanked Cindy and told her he was giving her a tip. When she looked, it was $50.

Cindy was touched. “I had never had a $50 tip before,” she said later.

But she had an idea. She thought Peggy needed $50 more than she did, so she asked the restaurant’s proprietor to hold it in trust for Peggy. She also asked him if it would be okay to ask some others if they would add enough to the fund to make a nice gift for Peggy.

In a few days, the $50 had grown to $1,020, with the difference contributed by customers who know Peggy, by co-workers and by the proprietor.

Peggy doesn’t feel like working much, so the proprietor says she can just work when it suits her. She came in the other night, and the proprietor told her what Cindy had done and presented the $1,020 to her.

Peggy wept. “I didn’t know so many people loved me,” she said.

She should have, though. Over the decades in which she has worked in the restaurant, Peggy has made many friends, and word of her illness had passed among them with sadness.

She has made it a point, while she is still able to be among them, to let them know of her love for them.

Cindy said that when the man gave her $50, she took it as a sign from God that now was the time to do something for Peggy. She said it was as though the man from New Bern was an angel sent to her.

Published in Editorials on May 2, 2005 11:35 AM