On their anniversary, parents overwhelmed by gift from late daughter

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Imagine losing a loved one only to find out months later they did something for you before they passed. On December 15th, the Garcia’s 36th anniversary, they went to their usual restaurant — Outback Steakhouse.

“That`s where Nikki liked to go,” said Eddie Garcia, Nikki’s dad.

Nikki used to treat her parents every year for their anniversary — but she passed away in July of 2014 after fighting cancer for three-and-a-half years.

“So this year I wanted to take my grandparents to Outback Steakhouse to remember her, since it`s the second year since her passing,” said Chris Stathopoulos, Nikki’s only son.

Last year, the Garcia’s were too distraught to celebrate.

“Our anniversary is her birthday, so it was very, very hard last year,” added Garcia.

Chris decided to go to dinner with them this year.

“We got seated, and had a wonderful dinner, and the manager came out and brought us desert and told us the bill was taken care of,” Garcia said. “I thought Christopher did it, and he said it wasn’t him, and the manager told us she understands we had a tragedy last year and from that point on my wife was crying, and everything just pretty much went over my head.”

“We got home, I called Jamie to thank her, and she said that wasn’t me it was Nikki, she set it up for last year when she knew she wasn’t going to be here with us,” said Garcia.

Nikki`s sister Jamie, is the only one that knew Nikki paid for their parents dinner last year before passing. Since they didn’t go last year, Jamie reminded the restaurant this year.

“Oh gosh, I was just overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to say, I was kind of numb,” Garcia said.

“That`s just like her, she`s written me cards for when I get married, for when I have my first child, she had my other aunt give me a gift card to go shopping when I got my new house,” Nikki’s son said.

“She was the most thoughtful person in the whole world, she was the glue that held our family together,” added Garcia.

Nikki’s family says they were shocked initially, but say it’s not that surprising, as she was selfless and always putting others first.

“It was just nice that my mom is still taking care of my grandmother and my grandfather even without her being here,” said Chris, “It was just special for me, being her only child, knowing that I had such a great mom.”

“It`s hard,” said Garcia, “And I’m sure our anniversary will be difficult every year for the rest of our lives.”

Had cancer not robbed her of her life, Nikki would have been 44 years old this year.

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