A week after his wife of 43 years, Carol, lost her battle with lupus and lung cancer, Lee Ballantyne, 65, dined alone for the first time at Cicco's Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in Barrie, Ontario. When he spotted a young couple enjoying a romantic meal together, he initially felt jealous — but then realized the reason was because the couple reminded him so much of his relationship with his late wife.
Lee and Carol Ballantyne (photo via Facebook)
"Watching them smile and chat as they studied the menu at first made me envious, but the longer I watched, the more I came to realize they are on the same journey as Carol and I experienced over the years," Ballantyne told the Daily Mail. The high school sweethearts were married in 1970 and together have three sons and five grandchildren.
Ballantyne tracked down the couple's waitress and paid their bill, leaving them this note:
Though Ballantyne thinks paying the bill was a bit "selfish" his his part — "I wanted to feel good, and I did," he said — we think it's an incredibly sweet gesture and a beautiful tribute to his everlasting love for his wife!