Strangers Give Dad a Note at a Restaurant About His Twins – Little Did They Know One of Them Had Passed Away
A random act of kindness helped the Cortezes cope on a really hard day.
It’s easy to believe someone else is happy and shiny at first glance, especially when they’re out and about with their family on a special day like Father’s Day. But we never really know what someone else is going through, as this story about random kindness reminds us.
A Celebratory Dinner
Dan and Maxi Cortez decided to celebrate Father’s Day with a Red Lobster dinner in Arkansas in 2016, so they packed up their little girls, Harper and Harlow, and headed out.
The military family enjoyed their meal with their precious one-year-olds; to many, they probably looked like the picture-perfect family.
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Perhaps that’s why some random strangers who saw the family decided to pay for their meal. The couple didn’t know that, of course, until they got the check. “Enjoy your babies, they don’t stay little long. From the family across from you, God bless you,” read the back of the paid receipt.
It was a kind and heartwarming gesture to be sure, but the strangers had no way of knowing just how much this simple act would actually mean to the family members, who were going through so much more than they let on.
A Heartbreaking Turn
In a since-deleted Facebook post, Maxi explained how she and her husband should have been celebrating Father’s Day with three children.
“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,” she wrote, as per LoveThisPic. As it turned out, the couple had struggled with infertility for years. When they went through IVF, they got lucky on their first transfer — with triplets.
Maxi delivered three healthy babies: Harlow, Haper, and a baby boy named Landon. However, shortly after bringing the babies home, the parents realized something was wrong with their son. They brought him in and he was diagnosed with Citrobacter koseri bacterial meningitis. He later died at just seven weeks old.
“The holidays are always the hardest,” Maxi continued, as per Little Things. “Without knowing any of this, you paid for our meal. You might never know our story or the impact [that] something so little could [have on] our lives. I’m writing you to thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” she continued.
“I hope this post reaches you, so one day you might know that what might seem like a small gesture of kindness to you, made celebrating my wonderful husband just a little bit easier this year!”
Always Lead With Kindness
The strangers who decided to pay for the Cortezes’ meal that day had no way of knowing what a challenging year the couple had been through. These parents are grateful to have two healthy daughters, but losing a child is heartbreaking, especially for parents who have tried to have a baby for so long.
It just shows you that leading by kindness is always a good choice because, under the surface, you never really know what someone else is going through. Dan and Maxi probably looked like any new parents do: happy, tired, and excited to be out celebrating a special day.
But underneath those emotions were grief, disappointment, and heartbreak. So someone doing something unexpectedly kind for them gave them that extra boost they needed during a difficult time.
It’s a story that motivates us to do kind things for others. Maybe that means paying for the order behind us tomorrow at the drive-through, sending a friend unexpected flowers or a meal, or even volunteering time at a local charity or fundraiser.
Unfortunately, everyone goes through complex and challenging times. But by practicing universal kindness and compassion, we can all do our part to infuse those dark times with a little bit of extra light.