Woman Offers to Share Meal with Lone Elderly Lady, and Their Lives Changed Forever

March 6, 2019 Updated: March 7, 2019

With the exception of family members, it’s not often that friendships cross the generational divide. And more’s the pity: a gesture of friendship between the young and the elderly can be life-enriching. It may even make someone’s day.

Brooke Ochoa, of Louise, Texas, discovered firsthand the healing power of a kind gesture. Heading into a restaurant for lunch, she noticed an elderly woman approaching and reached out to hold the door open for her. The woman thanked Brooke, was greeted by restaurant staff, and asked for a “table for one.”

Brooke Ochoa, a solo diner on a mission to spread kindness (Photo courtesy of Brooke Ochoa)

It’s an increasingly frequent occurrence to see people dining alone in restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. But on this occasion, Brooke, 30, was also a solo diner and took the opportunity to make a connection. Speaking to Today, Brooke recalled approaching the elderly woman’s table and asking: “I’m eating by myself too, would you like to have lunch together?”

The older woman, Dolores, accepted Brooke’s offer graciously. The two began talking, and it quickly transpired that Brooke’s extension of friendship towards Dolores came at exactly the right moment. Dolores had been having a difficult time in her personal life.

Dolores’s words “healed my heart,” Brooke says (Photo courtesy of Brooke Ochoa)

Brooke chronicled her lunch with Dolores on Facebook: “She spent the last decade living with her mom,” Brooke wrote, “who recently passed away, and her aunt, who recently was put into a nursing home. She has been having a hard time being alone.” Dolores opened up to Brooke about her recent bereavement and her declining family situation. Dining alone, it seemed likely that the sweet, grieving woman may have had nobody else to talk to.

“She just kept smiling and saying thank you for listening to me,” Brooke continued, “which made me smile too! Her words healed my heart just as much as I healed her lonely one.”

Brooke is grateful that her story “touches so many lives in such a positive way” (Photo courtesy of Brooke Ochoa)

At the end of their meal together, a solid friendship had been forged. A small act of kindness on Brooke’s behalf had led to a genuine connection across the generation gap. Reaching out to a stranger, one may find they have much more in common than they originally think.

Brooke and Dolores made a pact: they would have lunch together every Thursday from that moment on.

Shortly after the women’s first meeting, Brooke posted an update on her Facebook page: “Delores passed away soon thereafter this post. I am delighted that it still touches so many lives in such a positive way.”

*UPDATE* *UPDATE* *UPDATE*Delores passed away soon thereafter this post. I am delighted that it still touches so…

Posted by Brooke Ochoa on Thursday, 6 August 2015

Her Facebook post went viral racking over 2 million likes and has been shared over 271,000 times.

Social media users went on to praise Brooke for her wonderful act of kindness.

One user wrote: “You are a good person to extend your kindness to a stranger. Sometimes we don’t know how rewarding a good deed really is.”

While another commented, “Beautiful story..thank you for sharing.”

“Thank you for sharing your story it shows that there are alot of good people in this world. You made Delores very happy and that was a good thing now she is in heaven with here [sic] mom,” a third one wrote.

Photo courtesy of Brooke Ochoa

Whilst their Thursday lunch dates will be sorely missed, it is a beautiful thing indeed that Brooke had the chance to connect with Dolores before she passed. Had she not reached out that day in the restaurant, the two friends might never have made their profound connection. And that’s something to be thankful for.

Kindness costs nothing. Neither does company, and a great conversation. May solo diners everywhere—actually, make that all of us!—take a leaf out of Brooke’s book, and know that a small act of kindness can go a long, long way.

Share this heartwarming article with everybody you know who values kindness!