For seven years, a WWII veteran named Walter “Buck” Swords was a regular at Luby’s, a restaurant in Brownsville, Texas. He had a reputation for being difficult, complaining so often and loudly that none of the waitresses wanted to attend to him. None, that is, except for Melina Salazar.
For almost seven years, Melina Salazar has done everything possible to smile and attend to all the needs of her most loyal and grumpy client. She always made sure his food was as hot as he wanted it to be, even if it meant he burned his mouth.
One day, Buck just didn’t show up at Luby, or the day after that, or the day after that. Melina was afraid that something was wrong with him, and sure enough, there was. She read Buck’s obituary in the newspaper as clear as day, and sure enough, he was sadly dead.
Melina went through the shock of her life when a lawyer came into Luby on her shift about five months later, just before Christmas. The lawyer said he may not have shown it, but Melina’s kindness and smiles had meant a lot to Walter. So much, in fact, that he had left her not only his 2000 Buick but $ 50,000 in cash as well!
Turns out, Buck really noticed Melina’s kindness. In fact, he mentioned her name in his final will. Melina was utterly overwhelmed by the generosity of a man who always seemed so grumpy and irritable!
Not only was she super happy to have received the gifts from him, but she was also thrilled to know that her hard work and kindness clearly paid off. It always pays to be good and kind to people; Melina has an excellent spirit.
It’s not always easy to treat others with kindness and respect. It can be challenging when the other person doesn’t reciprocate our kindness. Still, Melina’s story definitely shows that it’s worth being nice to others.