Losing a child is the most devastating thing a parent could ever go through, and I would imagine that when that child is part of a multiple birth, that pain turns into confusion, as you’re both grieving the loss of a child and celebrating the birth of others.
For Maxi and Dan Cortez, they unfortunately knew these confusing emotions all too well, as one of their triplets passed away just seven weeks after their birth. The Cortezes, a military couple from Cabot, Arkansas, had been struggling to conceive so they decided to try IVF. They were over the moon when they found out that they were expecting triplets, and on May 27, 2015, Landon, Harper, and Harlow were born.
The babies all spent three weeks in the NICU, but then got to come home. However, after a couple of weeks, Landon began to act strangely. Sadly, he was diagnosed with Citrobacter koseri bacterial meningitis, and he passed away not long after.
For months, the Cortezes grappled with their new reality of losing a child, but on Father’s Day they decided to go to Red Lobster as a family outing. It was one of their first outings since losing Landon, and the fact that it was Father’s Day made it a little more emotional.
When it came time to get the bill, Dan asked the server to bring it over. However, he wasn’t expecting to see what was handed to him. On the bill, there were some words scribbled.
“Enjoy your babies,” the words read, “they don’t stay little long. From the family across from you, God bless you.”
The entire bill had also been paid.
Maxi and Dan were totally stunned. Not only did these strangers pay for their meal, they had no way of knowing how much their words meant to this family who was trying to deal with their grief. Maxi wrote about the note on Instagram, thanking the kind strangers for what they had done.
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 affect 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!
For these strangers to do something so kind a pure for another family, knowing nothing about what they were going through, is absolutely incredible. I wish there were more people like them in this world.