Victoria Michelle and her daughter Maia-Elaine Abigail walked into the Casa Maria restaurant in Watson for a very special mother & daughter Valentine’s dinner.
But it wasn’t just dinner, their table was full of plenty of other surprises.
The week before Valentine’s, Michelle took to Facebook asking for suggestions where she could take her daughter for a special Valentine’s meal but under $30
KIRAN: Did you expect what came your way?
MICHELLE: No, not at all. Means a lot. It’s all for her.
A young man named Anthony Sanders tagged the owner of Casa Maria Fahim Jamil saying he would direct them to the restaurant and for Jamil to send Sanders the bill.
What you may not know though is Sanders himself is fighting an uphill battle. His mother has stage 5 cancer while his father has stage 4 cancer. Both are in bad shape and Sanders’ customers just held a benefit fundraiser to help pay their hospital bills. So, when Sanders could easily say he has to spend all his money on his parents, without hesitation, he stepped up. That’s because he said he’s a father himself and his 5-yr-old’s favorite restaurant is Casa Maria.
But when he tagged the owner, Jamil took it one step further saying the mother and daughter had a Valentine’s dinner on Casa Maria.
“I’m from Afghanistan, Kabul. I’m sure you can see what’s going on in the news. Helping her out today means a lot because I can’t even reach out to my own people to help them back home so this means a lot. At least I can help my community the people who need help,” said Jamil.
“I’ve been going through a lot lately so this means the world to me. I live on a fixed income, raising her alone. No help from her dad and my house is falling down around me. Everything, just ain’t going the way it needs to go and this is the silver lining on everything that’s going wrong right now,” said Michelle.
This mother’s sole reason to try to make Valentine’s special? Her 3.5-yr-old daughter Abigail.
“It means the world to me to see my baby happy. It means the world to me,” said Michelle.
Michelle told us she was raised very poor and even now, she’s on a fixed income but is doing everything in her power to ensure her daughter has a better upbringing than she did.
“Coming from the same background as what she said and being on this side of the table it means a lot,” said Jamil.
What Jamil means by that is he too was raised very poor back home in Afghanistan. He said when he did move to the Unites States nearly 20 years ago, he started by cleaning dishes. Today, he owns his own restaurant & is constantly giving back to his Watson community. Plus, he has a son himself so knows what it means to see a child smile.
But this Valentine’s wasn’t just from Sanders and Jamil, many in the Watson community stopped by the restaurant to drop off presents for Maia-Elaine Abigail.
“Thank you so much. Y’all just don’t know what this means to me. Being a single mom isn’t easy. I love my daughter to death. I’ve been with her for her whole life. I’ve had one break in almost four years. To be able to do something like this, it means the world to me,” said Michelle.
After they opened presents, everyone left the two alone to have a special evening be it with coloring or figuring out what to try off the menu. After all, this was Michelle’s first time at the restaurant. She said every time she would go shopping, she would look over at Casa and say to herself that one day, when she could afford it, she would try to eat there. Now, thanks to Jamil, it’s reality.
“Thank you so much. You just don’t know what you did for a single mother. You don’t even know me. I could be a serial killer and you found it in your heart to make a Valentine’s Day extra special for my daughter and myself,” said Michelle.
Giving this mother and daughter a night they’ll always cherish years and decades to come.