I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 1980s for almost five years. That was the only time I lived more than a few miles from my mom, and I missed her so much. One year I wanted to surprise her for Mother’s Day by coming home to visit. I wanted to do it by jumping out of a box for Mother’s Day because being me – Queen Darlene – simply walking through the front door is just not how I do things.
My brothers, Harvey and Rodney, got a washing machine cardboard box, wrapped it and left the bottom open so I could crouch inside. My brothers told our mother and grandmother that they were bringing in the gift and that they needed to stay in the bedroom until they were called. That’s when I slipped into the box.
My brothers and I talked about how they would signal me to jump out. All the while my mom and grandmother were in hear shot but being deaf they couldn’t hear us!
Harvey brought them to the den as Rodney filmed the whole thing with his video camera. Harvey thought it would be a great idea to wrap a box of Tide detergent to give Mother the impression she was getting a washing machine. But before she began to open the small gift, my brothers started talking out loud and signing with our mother and grandmother telling them that before Mother opened her gift it would be a good idea to go out to eat first so they could miss the church crowds.
I heard my brothers and started yelling, “You better not leave me in this box while you all go out to eat!”
Brothers!!! They could hardly contain themselves with laughter. (Again, mom and grandmother couldn’t hear the conversation!)
Mom opened the Tide detergent and my brothers spoke out loud so I would know what she was saying. I felt the big box move when she touched it. Then I heard her reaction of excitement when she saw the words washing machine while ripping the wrapping paper off the box.
Then I heard my brothers shout, “NOW!”
I jumped out throwing confetti everywhere!
Our mother’s and grandmother’s expressions were of complete shock, and then we all started crying, laughing, and crying again. It was wonderful and even now I tear up thinking about the whole experience.
If you live far away and can come home for Mother’s Day – DO IT! Your presence is guaranteed to make your mother extremely happy. Jumping out of a box to surprise your mother is optional – but highly preferable!
And I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know. – Mitch Albom, “For One More Day”