The unsuspecting duo’s lovely exchange touched the hearts of thousands.

The idea of growing old comes with many fears and anxieties. When most of us consider what we are most afraid of as we age, it is being alone. For one elderly man in Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania, this fear was becoming a reality.

Instead of letting it get him down, the man made a special connection that went viral and resonated with thousands on social media.

How an Elderly Customer and a Waiter Became Unlikely Friends

Lisa Meilander was eating with her family at Eatn’ Park restaurant when an elderly man named Frank came into the establishment. At 91-years-old, Frank was unaccompanied and sat at a table waiting to be served. His waiter, Dylan Tetil, came up to the table and began chatting with Frank and taking his order.

Frank apologized to Dylan because he had forgotten to put in his hearing aids and was having difficulty hearing. Nevertheless, Frank and Dylan got to talking. Their conversation was so animated that Dylan decided to sit down with the older gentlemen, which is when Lisa snapped a few photos. 

Why an Elderly War Veteran Broke into Tears at a Restaurant

Frank began regaling Dylan with tales of his time in the war, which was when he originally lost his hearing. Frank had lived a very full and exciting life, and he had many stories to tell. The conversation got so emotional that Frank shed a few tears, grateful that he had someone to talk to after being alone for a while.

Even though he keeps active and is an avid bowler, many of Frank’s closest friends have passed away, and he did not often get the opportunity to reminisce. His gratitude also touched Dylan, who was on the verge of tears after their conversation. Lisa shared the moment on social media, where it went viral, attracting 157,000 likes and 46,000 shares. 

He was actually crying when he was talking to me, when he was talking about the war. It just really hit a soft spot in my heart, honestly. I almost cried, and I’m not a crier.

Dylan Tetil

Sometimes Doing a Simple Kindness Goes a Long Way

Dylan did not have to do anything especially difficult or selfless to touch Frank’s heart and be there for him when he needed company. All he needed to do was sit down, listen, and be open to a connection with the elderly man. That small act of kindness ended up reaching almost 200,000 people.

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be a good listener
“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett