When a family who experienced a devastating loss went out for dinner on Father's Day, people seated at another table decided to pay for their meal. The gesture meant the world to them.
In 2016 on Father's Day, Daniel and Maxi Cortez took their one-year-old twin girls to the Red Lobster restaurant in Arizona. From the outside, they looked like a happy family of four, but behind closed doors, they had been through a heartbreaking past year.
The family enjoyed a lovely meal and were surprised when their waitress brought over the bill with a handwritten message on it. Daniel and Maxi were stunned by what they read.
A proud father holds his newborn triplets | Photo: facebook.com/Maxi Cortez
THEY LOST A CHILD
On their receipt, someone had written: "Enjoy your babies. They don't stay little long. From the family across from you. God bless you." The strangers paid for their meal, and the Cortez family was immensely grateful for the gesture.
The random act of kindness made their day and put a smile on their faces. The military couple parented triplets through IVF but sadly lost one of their babies in 2015.
A FAMILY OF FIVE
They were happy to celebrate Daniel the following year, but it wasn't easy. The unexpected and anonymous gesture moved them to tears, and Maxi shared just how much it meant to them.
On her Facebook page, she wrote:
"To you we looked like just a family of 4 celebrating the most important man in our lives. Little did you know last year we celebrated as a family of 5."
DEVASTATED BY THE LOSS
After being born, their third baby, Landon, became sick a few weeks after coming home from the hospital. He had bacterial meningitis and was seven weeks old when he passed away, leaving his parents devastated.
“From the time he was born, he never closed his eyes. He just wanted to be awake all the time. It’s like he knew that he only had a short time."
THE KINDNESS IMPACTED THE FAMILY
Maxi revealed that the holidays were always challenging for them, but they had a special day full of joy thanks to the random act of kindness.
The mother hoped the kind strangers would see her message of thanks online and realize the immense impact the gesture had on their family.
ANOTHER NOTE SPREADS KINDNESS
The Cortez family weren't the only ones who experienced a random act of kindness via a message written on a receipt. A pregnant New Jersey waitress was stunned when one of her customers left her a big tip and a sweet note in 2019.
A police officer gave Courtney English $100 along with the following words: "Enjoy your first. You will never forget it." The mom-to-be was saving all of her money in preparation for the birth, so the gesture meant the world to her and her unborn baby.
The anonymous police officer who made English's day was similar to the people who showed the Cortez family some kindness. Both acts were simple but significantly impacted the recipients and showed how easy it is to spread joy and love.