Mom will be 82 Friday. She’s tough—gardening, walking, and taking meals to old people. What’s the best gift for her? How about a surprise party delivered by her granddaughters?
In the fall I took charge of Mom’s prized end tables, the first pieces of furniture she and Dad acquired after their wedding. They were a gift from Grandpa “Pop” Nichols, and after 3 boys and years of wear, the tables needed work. They’ve been refinished, waiting in my living room, for my next trip to WV. What if I could surprise her, return the tables, and celebrate her birthday in the same trip?
I needed a story to ensure Mom would be home. I told her I had a friend who would be in Charleston. Next, I said John drives a truck. He was at Amanda’s wedding. He would drop off her tables between 1 and 3. All of these statements are true, and apply equally to me or my friend John. It took time to spin the yarn. It had to be believable yet mixed with enough misdirection to give Mom no clue what was afoot. She can sniff out a bluff.
We watched the weather reports as the recent storms approached. There was a window Monday, and we aimed for it. Michelle’s work schedule included that day off, and she was happy to go. Amanda decided she would close her shop and join us for a 1 day trip. What a blessing to have my grown-up daughters in their respective car seats singing at the top of their lungs. It was quite a road trip.
Imagine the look on Mom’s face when she opened the front door and saw me standing there. I couldn’t tell if it was disappointment, since she was expecting a handsome stranger, or a premonition that something was not right. I sent her to the back door where she expected to see her tables. She opened the door to find Amanda and Michelle standing on the porch. On cue and in perfect harmony they delivered the magic words, “Hi, Grammy!”
Gotcha! You never saw this one coming, did you Mom?
Shawn provided a beautiful cake and we picked up a couple of pizzas to complete the celebration. The visit was short but sweet. Too soon we departed but we made another memory for Grammy’s treasury. Those gifts never wear out.
Happy birthday, Mom!