LEHI — The Texas Roadhouse in Lehi isn't usually open for lunch, but on Monday, Kevin and Bethany Tenney served up pulled pork sandwiches and a side of chips during a special lunchtime opening.
In doing so, the husband and wife hoped to "Brighton for Christmas" the lives of several grieving families. The inspiration behind their efforts is their late daughter.
"Our daughter's name was Brighton," Kevin Tenney said. "That's what she was. I mean, she was just incredible."
Nearly two years ago, in January of 2016, 4-year-old Brighton died unexpectedly from complications related to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
But Bethany Tenney, Brighton's mom, said Monday's lunch was aimed at helping grieving families get through what can be one of the hardest times of the year.
"For us, I think especially the first Christmas after (Brighton's death) ... you don't want to do anything. You don't care," Bethany Tenney said. "I always tell people I turned into kind of a Scrooge, where I don't care about the holidays anymore.”
With help from others, the Tenneys identified four Utah families who are grieving, then invited them and others to lunch at the Texas Roadhouse Monday. The money they raised by selling tickets for meals will also go toward helping those families.
“Holidays are so difficult 'cause you think about your child that you've lost, and it's ... it's just something that you don't want to really think about too much," Kevin Tenney said. "It is better to think about helping someone else."
Kevin and Bethany know that by helping other families, they too can overcome their own grief during what's still a difficult time of year.
“It gives us something to focus on, instead of focusing on, you know, that we're upset and we're sad," Bethany Tenney said. "You put so much energy into helping other people that it brings you happiness."
Along the way, the Tenneys hope their little girl can continue to "Brighton" up lives.
If you'd like to support the Tenney family's effort, you can find more information on the Brighton A Day Foundation's website: brightonaday.org.
Contributing: Jordan Ormond