I always park in the drive way at my friend’s house, however, this time I thought I’d park out on the street, just to be different. As I had to turn around, I drove up a little further and did a U-turn in the cup de sac a few meters down from her house. I saw a car that looked really familiar, but couldn’t exactly remember the number plate so didn’t think anything of it. As I was doing the U-turn I saw another car that I thought belonged to another friend of mine, but again, not thinking anything of it as I just wanted to get inside and go to dinner.
I walked up the driveway and unlocked the gate, I remember hearing voices around the back but was so concerned with giving my friend a bunch of bridal magazines and looking at how overdressed I was compared to her I panicked and didn’t take any note of what I heard. I sat down and we had the quick “Hello, how are you” conversation. She seemed odd, but I quickly brushed it off telling her “I’m way over dressed” she told me I was being silly.
There were those voices again, I asked her who was here “He’s just got some clients over”. This led me to believe that we’ll be late for dinner and I haaaaate being late anywhere. Her fiancé came down the driveway, all frazzled and stressed. I asked what was wrong he replied “nothing, do you like what I’ve done with the drive way” “Yeah, looks good” I replied, not really taking in what had changed. He told me to go with him and he’ll show me what he’s done out the back. I asked if everything was okay, “Of course” he replied with a giant awkward smile on his face.
Walking down the driveway all I could imagine was seeing a few of his clients and some dogs running around (he’s dog carer and trainer) but… I was completely blown away with a massive SURPRIIIIIIIISE!!!
There were balloons, streamers, party poppers, candles, food, friends and my beautiful parents. I was in complete shock! I tried to turn and run, not sure where I was going to run to but I didn’t know what else to do. I was pulled back in by my friend and just hugged her tightly. I couldn’t speak, I didn’t know what to say or who to talk to, I just stood back for a moment and took it all in.
I hugged my parents and asked them why there were here (very politely of course) as earlier that day they had told me they had a family friends birthday dinner to attend. Mum said they were still going “but there was no way we would have missed this”. My friend was also there, the one who was busy when I initially tried to organise something, I hugged her and we laughed at how upset I was when she told me she was ‘busy’. She had a cheeky grin on her face that only a best friend could understand.
After going around, saying hi and hugging everyone I eventually calmed down and stopped shaking from all the adrenaline running through my body. The place looked beautiful and was so warm and inviting, there were candles set up around the place, lovely warm heaters (I’m a winter baby) the table was beautifully set with cheeses, crackers and heaps of appetizers, there was a wall of floating photos of me with friends and family that they had all sent. My beautiful friend was there with her partner and their gorgeous twins whom I was so surprised to see. There were giant balloons spelling out my name along another wall. It was honestly magical.
Earlier that day, I was with a friend of mine and asked if she wanted to tag along to dinner seeing it was her Birthday only three days before mine, she declined and said she already had plans, I spent all day with her and not one hint was dropped, even when she saw my mum earlier, they didn’t give anything away. Nothing! I’m usually quite a suspicious person and pick up on people’s behaviours, but this time, I have to admit, everyone did really well to keep it from me!
Once I had settled down, taken everything in had a good laugh and cry with everyone my parents had to leave, I still couldn’t believe they were there and I couldn’t believe this was all for me. Not long after they left, we all sat down and ate some amazing food. As I sat there eating I looked around the table, I knew these people meant so much to me, but, I don’t think I realised how much I meant to them. For everyone to be there who was there to celebrate with me, meant more to me than anything in the world at that moment.
Not long after dinner the real party started, we got the drinks flowing and got the music pumping, it was all amazing. If I could have changed one thing, It would have been for him to be there BUT that wasn’t going to stop me from having an amazing time and after all, for that night, it wasn’t about him.
I’m a big kid at heart and love being silly, after all, life shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I suggested a game of musical chairs, initially everyone’s reaction told me that they didn’t want to play, but all the girls politely stood up and we started a game, soon enough the boys came over and joined in. I felt like I was turning 8, not 28. Once everyone got into it, I could see the expressions on their faces, they were actually having a good time and enjoyed being a kid again. We also played Chinese Whispers and a few other silly games. I remember standing around playing the games and saying to myself, remember how happy you are feeling right now. No one and nothing can take that away from you.
I can honestly say, this was the happiest I have been in over a year and I loved every second of that feeling. The gratitude I felt towards my friend and her fiancé for putting on such an amazing night will never leave me and I don’t think I would ever be able to repay them for what they did. I felt so humbled by the whole thing and for everyone and anyone who helped out or showed up.
I went home that night with this unbelievable feeling that is hard to write down on paper. I just needed everyone to know how much they meant to me and how much I appreciated every little detail that went into the evening.
I woke up the next morning (my actual birthday) with not only a smile, but a little headache, it quickly disappeared though because nothing was going to ruin an already amazing weekend. I celebrated with a family BBQ and loved every second of it.
I went to bed that Sunday night feeling loved and appreciated by everyone I knew. I was ready to make this year of my life… My Year.