I arrived in Australia on the 9th of October. We had orginally planned to celebrate my dad's birthday on the 10th, his actual birthday, but my mum had made plans to take my dad to the coast for his birthday, despite my sisters best efforts to persuade her to do otherwise. So instead we celebrated on Sunday after church.
My parents came over about 4:30pm. As the time drew close I got more and more nervous, anxious, and excited, all at the same time. For those of you who have planned or assisted in surprising someone, I am sure you can recognize that feeling. I am not sure which is worse--to be the one waiting to surprise those intended or to be the one who gets surprised. The anticipation continued to increase as I also realized that all I had been working towards over the past 6 months was about to come to light.
After trying to decide the best way to surprise my parents we settled on a treasure hunt through the house. I hid in the closet in the spare bedroom (now my room) while my sister Nadia, and her husband, Mark, led them through the house. We placed clues in each room as to my presence in being here, but they were pretty subtle. Afterall, we didn't want them guessing outright that I was the surprise prior to them finding me.
They started off in the office where they found a pile of "American Candies." I could hear my dad through the wall and I had to fight hard to contain my laughter because he thought that the candies were the surprise. Then they headed to the back room, where my luggage was stowed. Dad got close to thinking that might be the clue, but mum got distracted by the baby bassinet in there, thinking rather that Nadia and Mark's surprise was baby news.
I thought I was going to fall apart in the closet as I listened to them talking and walking around the house. I knew from the moment they opened the door to my closet that that was it--and that my life would again start moving forward. I also knew that they had no clue at all about what was about to hit them.
The last stop was my room... and well the video best captures that...
(The Big Surprise)http://www.youtube.com/v/GnTAybPnf9g
I love seeing the excitement on my sisters face as she is leading my parents around, because she knew, just as I did what was coming. I also love the part where my mum almost misses the wall when she falls back in surprise. My parents reacted exactly as Nadia, Mark, and I called it. A little bit of shock, and lots of hugs and tears.
I am not going to lie. Saying goodbye to you all was incredibly hard, and even more so to do it without breaking into tears. I could not have made it though without your help and support. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this surprise for my parents a reality. It is something they will remember and I will remember for a long time. Perhaps that is the reason we keep on planning surprises--because they have such a lasting effect upon us as we recall the feelings we felt when the plan and the moment came face to face. It truly made all the secrets and story telling worth it.
I'll have lots more to post. So tune in to keep updated!
I miss you all.
Nadia, Dad, Me, and Jay