When Dan Cortez and his wife, Maxi, celebrated Father’s Day, the couple wanted nothing more than to spend some quality time with their two sweet daughters, Harper and Harlow. The parents, who both work in the military, took off their uniforms for the day and went out to eat at a restaurant. Dan and Maxi took their 1-year-old daughters, and the family ate well and had a lovely time. Looking at them, you’d think they were just another happy family. When the waitress brought the bill, Dan saw that someone scribbled on the back of the receipt: “Enjoy your babies. They don’t stay little long. From the family across from you. God bless you.“ And to Dan and Maxi’s surprise, their bill had also been paid for. But the good-hearted strangers had no idea that the Cortez family were missing one of their own that day. All was not as it seemed…
On Father’s Day, Dan and Maxi Cortez took their 1-year-old daughters to eat at their local Red Lobster restaurant. To outsiders, they looked like a happy family. But when the couple saw what someone wrote on the back of their receipt, they couldn’t hold back the tears.
“Enjoy your babies. They don’t stay little long. From the family across from you. God bless you,” the anonymous well-wishers wrote.
Maxi felt compelled to write about the unexpected event on Facebook:
“To the family in Red Lobster who sat across from us today. 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! The holidays are always the hardest. 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!
Please share so maybe they can see this!!”
After struggling to have kids, Dan and Maxi Cortez decided to try IVF (in vitro fertilization). It worked, and Maxi became pregnant with triplets.
On May 27, 2015, little Landon, Harper, and Harlow came into the world via caesarean section. The children were all healthy and went home after three weeks in the hospital. But two weeks later, Landon suddenly felt ill. Dan rushed his young son to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
The doctors did everything in their power to save him, but Landon died in the hospital at just seven weeks old. This year was the family’s first Father’s Day without her beloved boy.
Just as the anonymous note said, Harper and Harlow will grow up quickly and create their own lives. But Landon will always be a little baby in parents’ hearts.
“I got my girls, and I’m happy, but if I had all three, I’d be spectacular,” Daniel told Arkansas Matters.
“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,” Daniel said.
Dan and Maxi were stunned by the unknown family’s friendly gesture at the restaurant. But it came when they needed it most. Now, the grateful couple is sharing their story in the hope that they can find the family who paid for their meal.
Want to help the Cortez family find these kindhearted strangers and help us honor Landon’s memory? Please share this with your friends on Facebook!
Published by Newsner, please like
Published by Newsner, please like