“I’ll Try to Do This Without Crying, But …”


Source of Photograph:


On 31 August 2013, Ashley England and her family ate at the Stag-N-Doe pizza restaurant in China Grove, North Carolina. During the dinner, her eight-year-old special-needs son, Riley, became, in her words, “a little rowdy.” Ms. England said, “He threw the phone and started screaming. The past few weeks have been very hard and trying for us — especially with public outings. Riley was getting loud and hitting the table, and I know it was aggravating to some people.” Then a waitress told her, “I’ll try to do this without crying, but another customer has paid for your bill tonight and wanted me to give you this note.” The note read, “God only gives special children to special people.” Riley has a severe form of epilepsy that resulted in seizures that started when he was 18 months old. Because of the severe form of epilepsy, Riley cannot speak, resulting in frustration for him that causes him to engage in rowdy behavior. Ms. England said, “Until a person has walked in the shoes we have walked in, they have no right to say one thing.” Because Riley is non-verbal, Ms. England has never heard him say to her, “I love you.” She said about other parents, “They take just a simple ‘I love you’ from your child for granted.” WBTV (Charlotte, North Carolina) reporter Brigida Mack asked her, “Because you have never heard that from your son?” Ms. England replied, “Never. Never.” She said about the kindness of the mystery Good Samaritan, “To have someone do that small act towards us shows that some people absolutely understand what we are going through and how hard it is to face the public sometimes. They made me cry, blessed me more than they know — I felt like out of all the rude negative comments that we are faced with — these outweighs them. The people who care!” She added, “Little did he know what struggles we had been facing lately and this was surely needed at that moment. Thank you!”

For Further Information: Chris Dyches, “Family speaks out after mystery diner’s good deed, encouraging note.” WBTV (Charlotte, North Carolina). 2 September 2013; updated 4 September 2013


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