A surprise from far away

I’m usually not one for surprises, but this one was good!

Last week, we returned from celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving and arrived home to a pile of mail and a yard full of leaves.

Sam sent us a text asking us to Skype with her at 11:30 pm our time. I don’t know about you all but I’m getting old, and 11:30 is way past when I really want to start a Skype call. But for my college daughter on the other side of the country, I’ll stay up.

She then added, “I know it’s late but I have someone I want you to meet.”

You are now all thinking what Dave was thinking, “WHAT????”

And he began firing off the messages, “What’s his name? How old is he?” Sam answered back with a name and age 19. Followed by, “No more questions, Dad. You’ll meet him tonight!” Which of course sent Dave into a torrent of questions and quick sent texts.

From the get-go I thought this was odd and not at all like Sam — UNLESS it was a joke to get her father going. Which if anyone knows anything about my hubby’s side of the family this possibility is completely and utterly conceivable and probable.

{The Surprise: Sam was flying across the country with the whole idea of sending her parents into a momentary state of shock.}

We had no idea she was coming. We knew she had a midterm break, but she had informed us she was going to a friend’s house. That fell through, so she planned, schemed and secretly plotted with her friends to pull off this surprise.

That evening, Dave and I lounged on the couch watching Netflix and both commented on how low the 11 PM flight was coming in as we watched it fly over our backyard — not knowing our daughter was on board.

With my pj’s on, I settled into bed and readied myself for Sam’s skype call.

But an odd thing happened about 11:28 PM.  A car pulled into our driveway.

We heard doors open and close. Dave and I looked at each other: “Who’s here?”

Dave bolted out of bed and ran down the stairs.

“Where’s he going?” I thought. “He’s going to miss Sam’s skype call!”

{He later told me, “As soon as I heard the car and looked at the time, I knew it was Sam!” }

The front door opened and I heard voices. Loud, exuberant talk along with commotion and movement.

Now as a ministry family, we get calls and visitors at all times of the night and day.

So in full disclosure, I thought: “Oh, great! Someone’s here and they sound like they’re drunk. I’m gonna have to get dressed and go downstairs. AND I’m going to miss Sam’s skype call”

I headed toward my bedroom door; it whipped open and there stood Sam, “Hi, Mom!”

You might think I jumped up and down in excitement and covered her with hugs. But you would be wrong.  Instead my jaw dropped to the floor and I stood there in disbelief.

Me: “What are you doing here?”

Sam: “I came to see you.”

“How’d you get here?”

“I flew.”

“You flew??? — I thought you had a chemistry exam today.” (typical mother statement)

“I did. I finished the exam, then got on a plane and flew here. — Can I have a ‘welcome home’ hug?”

I barely patted her. I really didn’t think this was real. I was sure I would wake up at any moment from this crazy, overly tired, drug-induced dream.

It took me another 15 minutes before I conceded to the fact I wasn’t sleeping and she really was standing there in my bedroom.

To say I was surprised would be an understatement. It was more like shock and disbelief.

kids airport

Her surprise visit was awesome and it was wonderful to have her here.

It was a typical college student’s visit home. Her suitcase was filled with dirty laundry. She slept in late and ate all her favorite foods. There was no cafeteria in sight, only home-cooked meals with a few excursions to our favorite Wings over Ithaca and Five Guys.

Once again, all the places at the table were filled.  The house was noisy, messy and all-together right.

We put her back on a plane yesterday at 5 pm. She landed in Seattle about 12:15 this morning.

After receiving her text telling us she had landed back on the west coast safely, I laid in bed and reveled in this idea:  “7 hours. It only took her 7 hours to fly across the country…..she’s not as far away as I thought!”

And that was a good thought for this happy mama!

airport 2a


8 thoughts on “A surprise from far away

  1. Beth popped home last week for John’s birthday – although for her it is only a couple of hours by train to get home. But otherwise the visit home fits the profile of Sam’s – laundry, favourite foods, and sleeping in late! I love that Sam sprung this on you as a surprise!

    Beth went back on Friday, but then we had the blessing of attending her commissioning service on the Saturday, after which we had to say our goodbyes again.


  2. So glad that Samantha got to pull that off and come home to see her parents and siblings. Hope I get a chance to see her when she is home again.


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