After finishing up their meal at a Red Lobster in Arizona, a couple and their 1-year-old daughters received a mysterious note on their receipt from a stranger, but there was something the mystery author didn’t know when they chose to send the young family a message.
Daniel and Maxi Cortez had enjoyed a night out, celebrating with their little girls when they wrapped up their meal and waited for the check. However, instead of a bill, the couple was handed a receipt with a cautionary message on the back of it.
The bill had already been paid, and a stranger left some handwritten advice for the young husband and wife. The message read, “Enjoy your babies. They don’t stay little long. From the family across from you. God bless you.” The couple was astounded that someone would randomly pay for their meal. Additionally, what was intended as a simple word of wisdom had a much deeper meaning to the Cortez family.
What the kind stranger didn’t know was that the picturesque husband, wife, and two girls used to be a family of five until tragedy struck. Although many assumed the girls were twins, Daniel and Maxi Cortez were actually the parents of triplets, but tragedy had struck.
“To the family in Red Lobster who sat across from us today,” Maxi wrote on social media. “You never ask a question we never spoke a word. Yet you did something for us that we will never forget. When the waitress handed us your note the tears began to fall. 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. You see this past year we lost one of our triplets!”
Just one year earlier, Daniel and Maxi suffered the loss of their triplet, Landon, who contracted bacterial meningitis and passed away at only 7 weeks old. The sweet note had brought back all the emotions of their short time together.
“The holidays are always the hardest,” she continued. “Without knowing any of this you paid for our meal. You might never know our story or the impact of something so little could effect our lives. I’m writing you to thank you from the bottom of our hearts! I hope this post reaches you, so one day you might know that what might seemed like a small gesture of kindness to you, made celebrating my wonderful husband just a little bit easier this year!”
Daniel told KARK that the loss had been extremely difficult and that they have been trying to do exactly what the note suggests — enjoy the time they have with their daughters.
“I got my girls, and I’m happy, but if I had all three I’d be spectacular,” said Daniel.
Despite having him for less than two months, Daniel and Maxi Cortez expressed how Landon had impacted their family. From the moment he came into the couple’s lives, he already had so much personality.
“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,” Maxi recalled. “Our family at one point was complete. We had our whole family at home together only to turn around and have one of the biggest pieces of our heart torn away. It’s the hardest thing any person would have to go through. Just to see someone reach out to complete strangers and show a little bit of kindness.”
Daniel and Maxi Cortez hope that the anonymous giver will see their message of thanks. The patron might have thought that they were just doing a good deed, but it meant far more to the couple than just a free meal.
The couple’s story proves that even a small act of kindness can mean the world to someone else. We never know what someone is going through. So, going out of our way to bless even a complete stranger can have a bigger impact than we’d imagine.