The spirit of generosity is not just awake during the holidays, but everywhere, all year round. Anonymous good-hearted strangers hand out unexpected gifts to unsuspecting people without a word. Such acts of kindness can come at just the right time, without the giver even knowing just how much of a difference they’re making.

We’ve seen the stories of servers receiving huge tips, or military members receiving gifts from mystery donors. There are even more instances of meal tabs getting picked up by unknown strangers, making someone’s day-– or year for that matter.

On Father’s Day of this year, one family experienced being touched by a random act of kindness in a moment they really needed it. Dan and Maxi Cortez of Cabot, Arkansas went out for lunch with their one-year-old baby girls. The military family had a wonderful time celebrating the day at Red Lobster.

When it was time to pay the bill, they were handed a receipt with a note written on the back of it:

“Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy your babies, they don’t stay little long! From the family across from you, God bless you!”

Image of anonymous note.KARK 4 News
But the sweet gesture stirred another set of emotions for the family, waking up and brightening a part of them that had been glum. Because although it was the second Father’s Day for this military dad, it was the first one without the couple’s son.

Maxi gave birth to a set of triplets in May, 2015: the two girls, and a boy named Landon. Landon passed away at seven weeks old after being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. The family was celebrating and grieving at the same time when they were out at Red Lobster that day, so their meal being taken care of was quite the pleasant surprise.

According to a story published on Arkansas Matters, Maxi had this to say:

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. . .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.

Image of Maxi and Dan Cortez.KARK 4 News
In the hopes of finding the anonymous do-gooders, Maxi posted a message on Facebook thanking them for their generosity. She noted how big of an impact the simple kindness had on their family, bringing them a little bit of comfort and healing. As much as they miss their son, they haven’t taken his short time here on Earth for granted and are cherishing every second with Harper and Harlow too.

Image of Cortez babies.KARK 4 News
When tragedy strikes, sometimes the smallest things can become the biggest rays of sunshine. For the Cortez family, a “new spark” was lit by this small act and helped ease their pain on Father’s Day. As far as we know, they still haven’t found the family who touched them that day, but would still like to express their gratitude by sharing this story. What do you think of this kind gesture? Have you ever been touched by a stranger during a difficult time? Share with us in the comments!