WSVN — Two strangers brought together by one special note of thanks. It is an act of kindness that has touched a police officer and brought comfort to a young woman. 7’s Rosh Lowe shares their story in tonight’s edition of The Lowedown.
Sunny isles Police Officer John Childress: "God works in mysterious ways."
Do you believe in fate? Officer John Childress does. Childress is a member of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department.
On Sept. 3rd, he was taking his dinner break at Tony Roma’s restaurant. And what happened to him that night changed his life.
John Childress: "When I read the note, both me and the waiter were unbelievably touched."
This is the note he’s talking about:
"Dear law enforcement officer, my fiancé, Deputy Jacob Calvin, was killed in the line of duty in June of 2014. Thank you for all the sacrifices that you make every day. I somewhat understand the challenges that you face every day. The thin blue line stands strong. Take care and be safe. Thanks again, Sam."
Sam, a total stranger, had paid his bill. But Sam was gone.
So Officer Childress turned his attention to Deputy Calvin, the man mentioned in the note.
He found out Deputy Jacob Calvin patrolled a rural area north of Indianapolis. The deputy was responding to a call when he ran off the road. He was killed when his patrol car flipped. His death devastated a tight-knit community.
Tim Clouser: "It was unfortunate to the loss out here. It’s a tragedy, especially for a small community."
Officer Childress now desperately wanted to find Sam, and his chief was determined to help him.
Sunny Isles Police Chief Fred Maas: "We reached out to the sheriff of the county up there, and he knew exactly who we were talking about. In fact, his comment to me was, ‘That sounds like Sam.’"
Her name is Samantha Hawkins. Officer Childress now had the chance to thank her through FaceTime.
John Childress: "It really touched me, that you would do something that nice for me."
Sam Hawkins: "Absolutely, absolutely. I’m glad that it made such a difference."
Sam turned pain into purpose.
Sam Hawkins: "I wanted to let him know, I understand that it’s not easy. It’s not easy what you guys go through every single day."
It may seem like a small gesture to pay for a meal and leave a note.
Sam Hawkins: "I believe that God brought me in that situation."
But that one act of kindness is helping her heal. She misses her fiancé every moment.
Sam Hawkins: "I miss him, and I wish that he could come home. I wish I had five more minutes with him, and just that I’m so proud of him."
Sam, despite her own pain, was thinking of someone else without any thought of even getting a thank you.
John Childress: "It was unbelievable, because that night, I remember saying, ‘I’ll never see that girl again. I’ll never be able to say thank you.’"
One day they hope to meet face to face. Until then, they join together in what they both believe was fate.
Sam Hawkins: "I believe that Jake brought me to that situation."
Fred Maas: "It was very special to see those two connect, and who knows what goes from there."
Sam has been invited to return to Sunny Isles Beach by the chief. We will be there when Sam and Officer Childress meet face to face in the coming months.
Rosh Lowe, 7News.