Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teen at Jimmy John's Leaves Mother in Tears After Simple Act of Kindness Stops Crying Toddler


An Ohio mom stopped in a local Jimmy John’s to grab dinner after a long day, but soon her toddler son began to cry. That’s when a teen worker displayed an unexpected act of kindness that left the mom in tears.

Sometimes children, no matter how much of a blessing they may be, don’t care if they’re in public before they break down from being tired or a little under the weather.

It can sometimes create an awkward situation for parents who want to console their child while also not disturbing the surrounding environment.

Linnea Wolf, although sitting across from her miracle child, felt the weight of this struggle in the middle of the Clevland-area Jimmy John’s.

She told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, that she and her husband suffered through multiple miscarriages beginning early in their marriage. Eventually, the couple began to build their family through adoption, but still wanted to raise biological children as well.

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Linnea Wolf and her husband began to build their family despite their struggles with infertility. (Courtesy of Linnea Wolf)

Wolf visited several doctors and specialists who were unable to explain the reason behind the traumatic losses until after all four adopted children were older. She visited a specialist who told her that there were two easy solutions to her fertility issues.

She became pregnant and finally, after 15 years, she felt hope that she would finally be able to give birth to a healthy, little girl named Shiloh.

Because Wolf was in her 30s, she had to see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and on her 14-week appointment, she was given devastating news: Shiloh was showing signs of a serious birth defect.

“Our joy was turned overnight into grief and fear and disbelief,” she told Liftable.

Later tests proved that little Shiloh had Turner syndrome and after much research, Wolf and her husband decided to continue with the pregnancy even though her chances of survival were small.

They continued to hope that they would finally be able to bring a biological child into the world.

In December 2015, Wolf sat down for dinner and felt Shiloh’s heart stop.

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“It’s a moment I can’t explain, but she kicked a fierce kick, and then I knew,” she said

Doctors confirmed the heart-wrenching reality the next morning and scheduled the inducement. All of the pain and grief she had hidden for 15 years from the past miscarriages settled heavy on her heart that day.

“My faith was gone, any sense of joy, hope, happy emotion of any kind was gone from my soul, and I didn’t see it ever returning,” Wolf told Liftable.

“While I laid there in labor for over 24 hours, all the babies I had buried pain and grief for all the years before were surfacing in my heart. I was breaking, and I was dying with my daughter that day. That was it, I was broken, and I was never going to recover. I hated God, I hated the world and above all else, I hated myself.”

She was understandably confused and angry at God for allowing so much pain and so much loss, but it was that anger that led her into the arms of God.

“After Shiloh, and in my hatred for God, I began speaking to him in a whole new way,” she said. “It wasn’t ritual or habit, it was genuine and raw and real. It wasn’t what I was supposed to do. It was what I needed to do. I was pissed and needed him to know it! I discovered that it was the first time through all the years of ‘praying’ that it was the first time I had found myself speaking to God from my heart not just my mouth.”

“Through my anger for Him, I found him, truly found him for the first time. I’m still working through that anger, years later, but now it’s like when I’m angry with anyone else I love. We tend to have bigger emotions when someone we love hurts us than when someone else does because we love them,” Wolf continued.

She still was dealing with her grief when her first granddaughter was born; she couldn’t bear to hold her. But soon after her oldest daughter told her she was pregnant for a second time, Wolf began to feel “off” herself.

She went to the doctor and was told that she was pregnant again! With close supervision from specialists, the pregnancy continued to go well but Wolf said despite her outward appearance, she kept waiting for the baby boy to die as too many had before.

But he kept growing.

On March 25, 2017, little Liam was born and Wolf’s 17 years of waiting had come to an end. He was her miracle.

Linnea Wolf waited so long to hold her biological child in her arms. (Courtesy of Linnea Wolf)

On Feb. 20, 2019, Wolf spent the day with Liam, now almost two years old, running errands. He had just gotten over a cold and didn’t nap well that day, so when they stopped at Jimmy John’s to eat a quick dinner it wasn’t a surprise when he began to cry.

She told Liftable that she had “torn feelings” between wanting to console her son, having 10 minutes to eat her sandwich and not wanting to disrupt others.

But before she even had the chance to try to console Liam, a quick-thinking teen named Barry Coleman jumped to the rescue. Coleman told WKYC that he had a younger brother who loved the viral song “Baby Shark” so he figured that the crying toddler would, too.

Coleman changed the music on the speaker, which almost immediately changed Liam’s mood; the toddler began smiling, clapping and dancing along to the song.

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Wolf told Liftable that she heard Coleman tell his co-workers, “See! I told you!”

“I teared up and just sighed in relief,” she said. “And then videoed my son doing the baby shark dance to his favorite song while we were able to finish our meal and actually breathe between bites.”

Liam in a shark costume. (Courtesy of Linnea Wolf)

Wolf told WKYC that the small act of kindness gave her hope that her little miracle will grow up in a world that will continue to be defined by kindness.

“This world is filled with negativity, and it’s easy to focus on that negativity when it surrounds us,” she told Liftable. “The more we allow ourselves to focus on hatred and division, the more that is what we put out.”

“Kindness shouldn’t be so rare that it’s newsworthy. Let’s make kindness the new normal.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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