Close your eyes, and think of your favorite food in the world. Brings back some memories, doesn’t it?
There’s something about that treasured taste that spurs a sense of blissful nostalgia. Even the mere aroma can connect you to happy recollections.
In fact, occasionally, food can do all that and more.
Just ask Julie and Rich Morgan. They currently reside in Indianapolis, Indiana, but as a young married couple, they lived in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Of course, that was more than two decades ago; it was a time when money was especially tight.
So as a way to celebrate every payday, Rich would bring home the pair’s favorite pie from Steve’s Pizza of Battle Creek. They would then sit in the kitchen, savoring the tantalizing taste of pepperoni and mushrooms while enjoying their time together.
Time marched along, and the Morgans made several moves over the years. But even though they wound up in Indianapolis, they never found a pizza that could hold a candle to Steve’s.
Recently, the couple decided to spend Julie’s birthday back in Michigan. Enjoying a “gold standard” carry-out order from Steve’s Pizza was high on their menu of scheduled activities.
But then came an unexpected trip to the emergency room, followed by a five-day stay in the ICU for Rich. The Morgans learned he was losing his battle with cancer, and their highly anticipated Michigan trip would have to be canceled.
Rich entered hospice care, and his loved ones gathered around him to reminisce and reflect. Right around that time, Julie Morgan’s father secretly phoned Steve’s Pizza.
Julie’s concerned dad, David Dalke, was hoping the couple’s favorite eatery might agree to send a card, or simply a supportive text message. Then 18-year-old employee Dalton Shaffer answered the call.
“He said, ‘Well what kind of pizza do they like?'” Dalke told Grand Rapids-based MLive Media Group.
Slightly taken aback, Dalke replied, “Dalton, I want to make sure you know where I’m calling from.” Specifically, the Morgan’s Indianapolis home sits roughly 225 miles away from Battle Creek.
Steve’s Pizza doesn’t normally deliver. But that didn’t stop Dalton Shaffer.
The teen told MLive Media Group that learning about Rich Morgan’s situation made him feel “really sad.” And as he closed up shop on Oct. 13, Shaffer decided the couple deserved to relive some dearly cherished memories.
So he whipped up two 16-inch pepperoni-and-mushroom pizzas. Then he hopped into his trusty Honda Accord and embarked on a pizza pilgrimage across state lines.
Shaffer arrived in Indianapolis around 2:30 a.m. In a subsequent Facebook post, a stunned Julie Morgan explained that the teen refused money for a hotel.
Instead, he dropped off the pies and drove straight back to Michigan. After all, he had a scheduled shift at Steve’s Pizza the following day.
A humble Shaffer recalled that deeply moved family members rushed outside to hug him before he left. “They couldn’t believe I would do that,” he said.
Julie Morgan’s grateful Facebook post began earning thousands of likes and shares the very same day it was posted. Thanking Dalton “from the bottom of her heart,” she described how much joy his selfless gesture delivered.
She also said Steve’s Pizza was every bit as mouthwatering as she and her husband remembered.
Dalke added, “My gosh, we need people like this in the world. We need other people to be this way.”
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