Tuesday, December 9, 2008

he messed up

and pulled off the biggest surprise of my life.

My husband, that is.
His phone rang at about 11:15 last night, just after we had fallen asleep, and he received a text message. He jumped out of bed and started mumbling to himself staring at his phone, "I messed up. I messed up."

I of course was a tad confused (and a little panicked) at what was going on... who called? What happened? What was messed up?

He finally admitted, as he was hopping around the room pulling his pants on, that he had a birthday surprise for me.
And it was at the airport.
And he had to get out there.
And he left.

I tried to let the little bit of info he threw at me sink in while my heart stopped racing and my head stopped spinning... you know how yucky it can feel when you're suddenly and confusedly wakened in the night? It took me a good ten minutes to get my head together and call Ryan right up on his cell phone.

"Who's at the airport?"
"It's a surprise for your birthday."
"Who is it?"
"Do you want to know or do you want it to be a surprise?"
"Well it's kind of already not a surprise now, isn't it?"
"Do you want to know now or do you want it to be a surprise?"
"Who is it?"
long silence
"Patty Pakulak?"
another long silence
"Remember when a few months ago I asked you who was the one person you miss the most.... who, if you could, would you most like to spend a weekend with?...."
"You answered, without a pause and without a doubt, Patty"
another silence
"I'll have her there in about 45 minutes"

I lay in bed for another twenty minutes or so trying to grasp the fact that Patty was waiting for my husband to pick her up at the St Louis airport.
I've known Patty for almost 18 years. Hers is a friendship that I can't even begin to describe. We've spent most of those 18 years living hours, if not days away from each other. It's the type of friendship where we may go months, several months, without talking... but then when we get together it's like we saw each other yesterday. And we talk forever. About anything and everything. Before we know it, it's three in the morning and we have to tell each other to shut up and make ourselves go to bed. It's just one of those most comfortable friendships.

For about 6 months, almost 4 years ago, we once again lived in the same city. Long story short, we sadly didn't take advantage of what we didn't know to be such a short time together. Patty and her family moved from Salem, Oregon to Pennsylvania that summer. We said goodbye under somewhat strained terms. Because of how we left things, for the first time in our friendship, I wasn't sure if I would ever see her again. And then we moved to Michigan shortly after that.

I still think about her all the time, and I still, in my heart, consider her my best friend even though many would say we barely know each other these days.

Patty and I exchanged mere Christmas cards over the last few years. I eventually found her on Facebook or MySpace or something or other and learned she had moved back to Oregon. She started reading my blog, commenting here and there, and we sporadically emailed a few times.
But still I wondered if I would ever know her like I did before. I felt like we were so far apart, not just physically, but emotionally, that it would be too hard to get that back.
I missed her.

And guess what? Now, here she is.
Ryan conspired with her to put her on a plane, bring her here and have her spend three days here with me. In my home. With my family. So we could know each other again.

She walked in the door last night and we just stood there and hugged and cried for probably a full three minutes.

And after that, it's just like we never missed a beat.
Ryan brought her home after midnight on Monday and Patty and I sat up and talked until well past three in the morning. We sat around all day Tuesday talking and catching up and talking some more. She's loving on my kids and telling me story after story of her five beautiful girls.
I am soaking up every minute of it.

Oh and the 'he messed up' part?
Ryan had contrived this whole story about having an oddly scheduled soccer game and all these other sneaky things to pull of this surprise... but turns out he had his dates wrong! He had it all planned out to go pick Patty up on Tuesday night when really she was due to come in on Monday. So poor Patty was stranded at the airport while Ryan slept away in bed. She tried calling and he didn't hear the phone for who knows how long. And that's why he had to jump out of bed and rush to the airport and tell me what this surprise visitor thing was all about instead of just showing up with her at my door while we all might of had our wits a little more about us.

He felt sooo bad that he mixed it up and I still smile when I picture him pacing around our bedroom not sure what to do with himself staring at the message on his cell phone mumbling to himself, "oh I messed up!"

You didn't mess up honey.
My friend is here.
And I am so grateful to you for making this happen. So very grateful.

Oh, and the other very best favorite part of the day today??
I got her to start a blog!!!!! Yay!
Go on over there and say hi and help me encourage her till she figures this thing out, moves on in, and gets in the habit of regular posts!


jenny said...

you my dear, have an amazing husband. that's such an awesome surprise! :)

LeeAnn Howard said...

That is a wonderful birthday surprise!! You'll have to post some pictures of the visit. Enjoy!

Nicole said...

OMG that sounds like the beginning to a wonderful birthday! What a sweet guy! :)

Kim said...

I love love love this story. What a sweetheart.

Christina said...

That is such an awesome birthday gift. What a thoughtful husband. Happy Birthday Heather! I'm glad it was such a special one for you in so many ways.

K.M.L said...

What a great surprise!!! Glad you had such a good time!

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