A sweet story behind images of an elderly man and his waiter on Facebook went viral this weekend.
Lisa Meilander, a preschool teacher from Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania, shared a post on Facebook Saturday evening, Aug. 17, about a younger server’s act of kindness that so struck her.
Meilander was eating dinner with her family at Eat’n Park restaurant in Belle Vernon, when a 91-year-old World Ware II veteran, known as Frank, sat down to eat his meal alone.
Dylan Tetil, a 24-year-old restaurant server, knelt down to take his order because the gentleman has hearing troubles. He then sat and chatted with him once his food arrived.
Moved by the moment, Meilander snapped photos of Frank and Dylan Tetil. She shared two pictures of the unlikely encounter on Facebook where her post garnered 160,000 likes, 11,000 comments, and 46,000 shares.
In her post, Meilander wrote, “The man apologized for not hearing too well. He had forgotten to put in his hearing aids. He talked about how he lost his hearing during his time in the war. He was 91 years old with many stories to tell. Dylan patiently listened giving him his full attention.”
“Eventually the man apologized for talking so much. ‘I’m alone now,’ he said, ‘and I don’t often have someone to talk to,'” he continued. “Dylan smiled and said he enjoyed listening.”
“After the man received his food, Dylan came back to say he was on a break. He asked if he could sit with the gentleman as he ate,” the post said. “As we left the restaurant the two of them were conversing and many people seated nearby were smiling.”
Meilander said she tried to pay for Frank’s meal but someone beat her to it. She decided to post something because she felt Tetil’s actions deserved some recognition.
“I’m just happy he’s getting all this attention. I’m just the messenger,” she said.
Tetil has been working at the Eat’n Park for three months but had never seen the man before.
Despite the age difference, Tetil said he felt a connection with the customer. “He was very interesting, very kind, very respectful,” he said. “Just one of the nicest people I’ve met in here really.”