Excited and curious, our beautiful friend and roommate Michelle told us to be ready by 7:15 Friday evening and she was not going to give us anymore details from there. To ease our worry of John’s strength and ability that night, she did reveal we would not be going far and there would be a place for him to rest if needed. We proceeded to get cleaned up, dressed and met her downstairs. She handed me a bandana and said, “…here, put this on in the car” with a huge smile on her face. We hopped in the red Suzuki and off we went…John with his eyes closed in the front seat and I was in the back with the blue blindfold over my eyes, giggling with excitement. I had no idea where we were headed, but I knew I could not wait to spend it with John outside of the house. Quickly, we park and Michelle helped me out of the car. As she guided the two blind mice, I seemed to trip over my own feet the entire way. From the heat of Florida, we made it into an air-conditioned area and she positioned the two of us accordingly. As my heart started to beat faster, I realized it was completely quiet where we stood. I had a brief glimpse in my mind that it could be just a small table and two chairs for us to have a quiet dinner somewhere together. All of a sudden, the blindfold was taken off and I looked up to see everyone I love standing in a room before me yelling, “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!” Of course, I immediately burst into tears and hugged John in amazement. All I remember saying is “Oh my GOD!” over and over again and tears streaming down my face uncontrollably. It was the most beautiful site I have ever seen. The surprise went above and beyond what I thought it could have been or even hoped for. As I made it through the room I saw so many people I cared about and realized, they were there to celebrate John and I as a couple. It felt good to hug everyone in that room, one by one, and to feel their love upon us. The night was a hit full of food, cake, and laughs. The past two weeks have been the hardest for John and I know he needed to get out of the house more than anything. I wish the night would have lasted forever, and before I knew it, the night was over. I have played Friday night over and over again in my head and all I do is smile. We are so grateful and lucky to have so many people who love us and only want us to be happy. This party and plan went back before John was diagnosed and was the perfect way to forget about cancer for a few hours just to celebrate our love, purely and simply. So again, I must thank everyone who was a part of the plan and a part of the surprise. I am in awe of your love and generosity.
So that Friday segued into Saturday with family and friends around who flew in specifically for the surprise anniversary party from Indiana. John’s mom and second mom, four beautiful friends, my mom, and Michelle all gathered together to play games and eat a delightful meal made by my talented chef of a mother. :) Another day full of lifting our spirits. John was beat after the two full days of activity from being confined to his bed for the past few weeks, but he does smile every time I say, “Remember when (such and such) happened this weekend?” Then we rolled into today and celebrated our fathers. Though they both live in Indiana, we spoke of them today with such love and gratitude for who they are and what they mean to us. We miss them more than anything and talking to them today was what we needed to put a big, beautiful bow on a fantastic weekend.
Through this jungle of illness and what has felt trouncing, we have pushed through. Who knew this would put such a halt to our lives and really test our strength as a couple. It has tested, we have passed…it has not been easy, but we keep going and fighting together with a countless array of individuals there with us. We must keep going and this journey is far from over…and it feels good to say that it does not look like anyone is going anywhere.