When Lee Ballantyne dined out alone for the first time since losing his wife to cancer, he would never have expected it to end like this.
The Ontario native lost his wife of 43 years on December 30 and was dining alone for the first time without her.
He was so inspired by a happy couple dining across from him that he penned a special note on a napkin explaining why he wanted to pay for their meal.
"You don't know me, but my beautiful wife of 43 years died last week. Tonight I dined alone for the first time. You remind me of us many years ago," the note read.
"Please allow me to buy your dinner. It will put a smile on Carol's face and make me happy ... for now."
A photo of the napkin was uploaded to Reddit, which led people to question whether it was real or a hoax.
User Axe34, who claims to be Mr Ballantyne's son, responded to a number of trolls and tried to prove the note was authentic.
"Mom died on Dec. 30. Dad went to dinner last night [Tuesday] and then told me this morning about what he did," the post read.
"A friend sent us the link to the photo that had been uploaded here. It's all true. That's my dad's abysmal handwriting."
"I'm posting a link in the hopes it might help some of those so quick to dismiss the loss of a loved one see that not only is the story true but it's about real people dealing with a devastating loss."
Sadly, he said he wasn't going to show his father the Reddit thread of support and questioning because "it wasn't what he needed to see right now".
Long-time friend and journalist at The Intelligencer Chris Malette also confirmed the authenticity of the note and hit out at some of the "soul-sucking and vile" comments.
"Many of us struggle with the loss of a loved one. Lee and Carol were an inspiration in coping - most always, at least to us friends and family - with a smile and a kind word, caring always about how the rest of us were faring," he wrote.
"Now he moves on to a new chapter in his life without his dear wife and it's heartening to see he's taking the next steps on the wings of an angel.
"Nice work, old son. Internet trolls aside, your gesture was an inspiration and brought a smile to this crusty curmudgeon's day."
Carol Ballantyne had been diagnosed with lung cancer in September and had previously battled other illnesses before she died.
In her obituary, she was described as a "loving and nurturing mother and grandmother... who had three sons and five grandchildren, her pride and joy".