Two days after playing The Scavenger Hunt for our anniversary, I got the biggest surprise, ever… well, make that both of us.
A few days after New Year’s, little did I know that our friends had already started planning (and conniving) meticulously at that, a surprise anniversary celebration. What started as my husband asking for their help in planning a simple potluck surprise anniversary party for me ended up with him being surprised too! He thought all the while he was in on their plans, he was obviously out.
A day after our anniversary, he announced he wanted to go on a long drive out of town the next day. We decided on Miami. He claimed it was perfect because he was craving for Cuban food. Miami isn’t one of my favorite cities, by the way. The first time we went there, it didn’t give me a good enough impression. So I decided to give it another chance.
Hubby then told me if we can dress up nice, me in a cocktail dress and him in black dress shoes and a nice shirt. Being a “surprise event planner” myself, that started the wheels in my brain ticking. Why would I wear a cocktail dress for lunch? We drive 3 hours to get there, have lunch for an hour or so, only to drive back to our place afterwards? Does not seem to make much sense to me. Actually, the whole day he acted strange, little things that I noticed.
We ate lunch at Gloria Estefan’s restaurant, Lario’s on the Beach. The food was okay. By okay, I’m sure you know what that means. But, the mojitos was something else! That I can recommend. I mostly just enjoyed people watching since we opted to eat outside while my husband mostly attended to an “important call” from our security alarm company. We strolled along Ocean Drive for awhile, walked to the beach then headed back to the car.
So we got home around 730 in the evening to a dark front yard (and a strange car parked in front of our drive way) with tea lights on the grass and a text message to my hubby telling him to “follow the lights”. By the time we got home, my suspicions were already confirmed.
We walked around the house, still following the tea lights, leading to our back yard where there were more lights. I can see silhouettes of people and children and hear hushed voices talking. At the end of the lighted pathway was our canopy tent all decked in lights and sheer white draperies and ribbons. There was a man standing in front of the tent I didn’t recognize together with our friend. Then a little girl all dressed in a white flowergirl gown came to me and handed me a rose bouquet. I couldn’t recognize the faces because of the bright lights focused on us. Then I heard random voices encouraging us to walk down the “grass aisle”.
Everyone came closer and I could see faces this time, as in EVERYONE in our little family of friends. I was so surprised how they could gather everybody in such short notice.
It turns out that stranger in front was a pastor and he was officiating our renewal of vows. By the time we reached the front, I was in tears. I was laughing too. Then I was also hitting my hubby’s arm, several times (I do that when I’m not really mad at him). I think I was acting a little crazy that night. And then I found myself looking all around… at the lights, at the happy faces, at my hubby’s who was also as surprised as I was.
As we both tearfully read our vows, there was not a dry eye in sight. Even the pastor was crying! And to think he didn’t even know us personally! It all just seemed so surreal!
We were then led inside our home and to add to my surprise, they decorated and rearranged some stuff to accommodate the party. “The Prayer” by Josh Groban was played and we danced to it. This was our wedding song ten years ago. And they were playing it. And I broke down. Again. And again.
I just lost it. I cried because I was happy. I cried because my husband surprised me. I cried because of this sweet loving gesture from our friends. I cried because they were playing our song and I was holding almost the exact same bouquet I had when we first got married. I cried mostly because of what happened to us the past year. I cried because we survived. Now you know how a sappy romantic fool I am!
Life is just too short to be unhappy. Sure, there will be bad times but there are good times too. Cherish those. Embrace those moments. One day you will look back at all that had happened and you will be proud to say that you made it after all.
I have never been thrown a surprise party in my entire life. Till now.