"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." ~Roald Dahl
The week began with Cameron hanging out with Ms. Amanda and her dog, Otis. They try to take Otis out at least once a day for a walk, whenever possible. On Tuesday, Cam worked at the Cafe providing directions and talking to potential customers. He also helped with some customer orders.
Wednesday was another work day for Cam. From the Cafe, he and Ms. Amanda, along with the Program Director, Maddie, made their way to two nearby business. Cam delivered the drinks and helped request a sponsorship for the Cafe's fundraiser coming up in October.
Friday morning, Jane wasn't feeling well at all. She was able to work a bit, but settled into bed for much of the day and barely ate. Little did she know there were many people behind the scenes very concerned about her recovery time.
Saturday morning brought relief when Cam's mom woke up feeling much better! She was scheduled to pick up Leslie and Wes flying in from North Carolina before 12p. The afternoon was relaxing and we mentioned to our dear friends that we had been invited to a small cookout with Ms. Ann and her family at nearby Cascade Park. We packed up the fruit and veggies we were designated to bring and made our way to the park shortly after 5p.
Cam was laughing with Auntie Leslie and Wes and we just assumed they were joking around in the van. Jane and Chris had no idea they were in for the Biggest Surprise Ever! Upon arrival, Cam's parents saw what looked to be close to 100 people gathered and Chris immediately backed up the van as we all cracked up. When we parked, Cam revealed the reason- a 20th wedding anniversary surprise party for his parents. Apparently, Jane sparked the idea with Ms. Ann when she told her back in December 2021 that she wanted to fit into her wedding dress again by their 20th wedding anniversary in 2023! Not only did the first discussions begin in early 2022 with Oma, but Cam kept a secret for that entire duration. For a kid who never lies and confesses any wrongdoing, everyone was fairly shocked that it truly remained a hidden project.
At the incredible gathering, the decorations, including the identical flowers from our wedding, the colors, Lake Michigan sand and even our wedding attire was all on display. A feast of food, a speech from our best man, a prayer from Gordy and jazz music played by cousin David while surrounded by so many dear friends and family was so overwhelming! For Cam's parents, it almost felt like their wedding day, complete with a professional photographer, Holly Gauper, whom we've known for the past 7 years since she and her husband have taken our family pics. Ms. Ann and her amazing family even brought containers to store the leftovers in for us all to take some home.
At the end of the evening, tears and thankfulness were in full view as Chris and Jane opened a special Shutterfly photo and letter book created by Ms. Ann to commemorate their anniversary. It is a treasure and a labor of love. Upon arrival home that evening, Cam's parents tried on their wedding garb and yes, it fit!
Cam's grandparents stayed overnight with us and made their way back to Grand Haven in the afternoon. Our crew with Leslie and Wes headed to the cottage to spend the afternoon with cousins. It wasn't the nicest beach day, but a dip in the water still took place. We had such a great time on the beach, visiting the animals at the barn and dining on leftovers from the party.
Chris and Jane told Cam that they came to a wonderful realization during the surprise party. The attendees consisted of family, extended family, friends they call family and the dearest people in their lives. Many were with us on our wedding day, but just as many came into our lives solely due to our awesome son, Cameron!
It seemed a wash of relief hit Cam knowing that he no longer had to keep the "big secret" or tell white lies to his parents. During the recap of the festivities, Cam said to Auntie Leslie and Wes:
"Thanks for following my lead!"