This is a story of courage and caring. A story that began 9 years ago. “My mom’s name was Becky so we just thought it would be a unique connection that we would take her to a place called Beck’s.” explains Jim Neikirk whose mother had suffered a stroke and was battling dementia, “My mother passed away in May of 2010 just two days after she turned 93.”
But the Neikirks kept walking through the doors of the Beck’s Prime in the Woodlands every Saturday. By then Jim’s wife, Beth, had been diagnosed with brain cancer. Yet, they kept coming to a place that now felt like a second home. The strangers behind the counter had become familiar, welcoming faces.
“She’s just one of those people that you are draw to, that you want to be like. She comes out still all cheerful. She’s dressed really nice. She seems happy and I don’t know if I could do that.” says longtime Restaurant manager Cristella Cardenas. She has been witness to Beth’s slow decline and wanted to reach out. Cardenas came up with the idea of a charm bracelet. Eagerly, cashiers Jennifer, Daniella and twins Shawonda and Lawonda got on board. All individually chose charms and recently presented the gift to Beth.
“They were all smiling and excited and kind of jumping up and down.” noticed Jim as he pushed Beth’s wheelchair into the restaurant. He was stunned by their generosity. “She got tears just thinking that people would do those nice things for her and of course, I got tears in my eyes watching her.”
What’s amazing is through all the years, they never knew each other’s names. What the staff at Beck’s Prime did know is that the brave woman who always had a smile reminded them of the kind of person they want to be. So, they gave her gift of friendship.
“Brain cancer is treatable but not curable.” says Neikirk who recently celebrated 41 years of marriage to Beth, ” We know where we stand, we know where we’re going.”
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