Society
Society

Navy Sailor Pens Open Letter To Stranger Who Paid For His Family's Meal (Video)

| by Dominic Kelly

A sailor was shocked when someone anonymously paid his family’s tab while out to dinner for his daughter’s birthday. To thank the person, he wrote an open letter on Facebook.

Lt. Commander Bashon Mann, who works at the Pentagon, took his family to a Maryland restaurant to celebrate his daughter Sabine’s sixth birthday. The little girl asked her dad to wear his uniform to dinner, and because she never really gets to see him in it, he obliged. While they were eating, an anonymous person asked a waiter to give him or her their bill so that it could be paid for, but advised the server not to tell the family whom it was. Mann says that he is beyond grateful for the person’s generosity.

“First, I offer my apologies. You see I am not sure how I ought to refer to you,” wrote Mann in his open letter on Facebook. “I looked feverishly around the restaurant … but the waiter refused to tell me your name.”

Mann went on to profusely thank the random person for their act of kindness and explained that he has had a rough couple of years.

“Things have been difficult the past couple of years and it’s a longer story than you probably have time for,” Mann wrote. “Thus, you are asking yourself why am I telling you all of this? I’m longwinded, can never tell a short story. You see “ “, it’s just that you caught me flat footed. And maybe that was your intent. You don’t know my inner struggles, and I don’t know yours. Perhaps that is how it is meant to be; perhaps that is the blessing inside the blessing – one I shall just have to accept and learn from. That despite heaviness, strife and anguish it is the openness of ones heart that allows for the good to spread, for healing to be felt. It has been hours now and I have not stopped thinking about the profoundness of your actions Wednesday evening at Mi Rancho. And, I suspect it is going to take me some time to figure out how I shall properly respond. How do I take your action and create an equally compelling and forceful reaction. How do I pay it forward?”

Mann went on to commit to the unknown do-gooder that he would make sure the act of kindness is passed on to someone else.

“You don’t know a single burden I may carry or what I may have been going through today, nor do I know the travails of your daily journey; but when I reached my car to begin my drive down Georgia Avenue, I fought back tears as I tried to keep myself together and take in your kindness at its root,” the sailor wrote. “You presented me with hope and faith; you were a blessing tonight at Mi Rancho and I will not soon forget your overture. I need you to know that I won’t block the flow of generosity; I won’t halt your abundance of goodness.”

Mann has previously used his Facebook account to pen 40 letters in 40 days to his two young daughters as a way of passing on moral lessons to them as they get older, and letter number 40 was turned into the video below, straight from Mann’s YouTube channel.

Here’s Mann’s entire letter to the anonymous person who paid for his family’s dinner:

Dear “ “,

First, I offer my apologies. You see I am not sure how I ought to refer to you. The waiter was instructed not to disclose whom you were when I asked to know. But wait, let me back up a little bit and explain myself. “ “, you didn’t know this but today was my youngest daughter’s birthday. Her name is Sabine, and this beautiful little pack of dynamite and hug muscle turned 6 today. When we asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday dinner, she said without hesitation, “Mi Rancho!” It has become a bit of a birthday destination ritual for our daughters to visit Mi Rancho as these little puellas have become enamored with their birthday sombrero tradition and fresh from the oven sopaipillas, coated with honey and confectionary sugar. They are hooked. So we now realize that each birthday heretofore will undoubtedly be spent at Mi Rancho in Silver Spring, Maryland. I am guessing “ “, that you are already undoubtedly familiar with the fantastic menu at this establishment.

November 19, 2014 was not an especially peculiar day for any reason, it was rather cold in the nation’s capital but other than the usual beltway driven, dog chasing its tail political nuance that occurs here on a daily basis this was simply not unlike any other day as far as I could see. “ “, I suspect you saw it through a completely different lens however, just my hunch. I do want you to know that I walked into that restaurant this evening wearing my Navy service dress uniform because my daughter asked that I dress up for the occasion of her birthday dinner. I was more than happy to oblige. You see, she does not get to see me in uniform very often, and I was proud of her that she would ask to see me in what Daddy goes to work in. After all it is my work that tends to keep me from seeing them as often as I, and THEY would like. However, all other melancholy realities of life put aside, when we walked in Mi Rancho Wednesday night all was good. We were together, we were smiling, we were ready to celebrate Sabine.

“ “, my parents George and Linda Mann could not make it down from New York for this birthday dinner, though they made sure they were present in spirit. My mother, the saint she is had made sure to reach out to me just days before to tell me she would send a check in the mail to cover the cost of dinner.

“ “, I am 41 yrs old, so when I tell you that I sometimes hang my head a bit when Mom & Dad say they got “it”, well you’ll just have to understand though tremendously grateful for the blessing of parents with the energy, ability and will to share so lovingly, there is the small sting of humility and a burden I feel I place upon them from time to time. Things have been difficult the past couple of years and it’s a longer story than you probably have time for. Thus, you are asking yourself why am I telling you all of this? I’m longwinded, can never tell a short story. You see “ “, it’s just that you caught me flat footed. And maybe that was your intent. You don’t know my inner struggles, and I don’t know yours. Perhaps that is how it is meant to be; perhaps that is the blessing inside the blessing – one I shall just have to accept and learn from. That despite heaviness, strife and anguish it is the openness of ones heart that allows for the good to spread, for healing to be felt. It has been hours now and I have not stopped thinking about the profoundness of your actions Wednesday evening at Mi Rancho. And, I suspect it is going to take me some time to figure out how I shall properly respond. How do I take your action and create an equally compelling and forceful reaction. How do I pay it forward?

After the fulfilling dinner was consumed and dishes cleared from the table, after dessert was served, birthday songs sung, candles blown out, ice cream and sopaipillas consumed did the waiter lean over my right shoulder ever so gently to speak. “Sir, your check has been taken care of this evening, and thank you for your service.” I looked feverishly around the restaurant, scanning each patron for a telling glance. I needed to know who did this – who was kind enough, generous enough, and human enough in this day and age to reach into their pocket and pay for a mother, a father and their two daughters to have a birthday dinner at Mi Rancho.

The waiter refused to tell me your name “ “, he heeded your instruction and failed to budge. I’ll never know who you are. I’ll never be able to personally thank you for doing something I may have merely only thought of in passing, something I may have never done on my own accord. Something I could only wish I had the fortitude and bravery to have done a long time ago.

“ “, you don’t know a single burden I may carry or what I may have been going through today, nor do I know the travails of your daily journey; but when I reached my car to begin my drive down Georgia Avenue, I fought back tears as I tried to keep myself together and take in your kindness at its root. You presented me with hope and faith; you were a blessing tonight at Mi Rancho and I will not soon forget your overture. I need you to know that I won’t block the flow of generosity; I won’t halt your abundance of goodness.

Thank you “ ”, you are my “friend.”

Source: The Blaze / Photo Sources: The Blaze, YouTube