We had spend almost a year planning this trip. Every year for the past three years my daughter had been asking us to come to our grandson's birthday party and every year we were unable to fly down. So when she asked us at Christmas if we wold come, we said no as my wife had a commitment to working on a play in the fall. In January the play commitment moved from October to December so my wife and I decided to go to Australia for the party, but we decided to keep it as a surprise.
So as we approached the planning we told only a few people, some thought it was a great idea, while others thought we should not do it. It was interesting to see the different reactions our friends had to the idea of just showing up at my grandson's birthday party as a surprise. We listened to the feedback we received, but we decided it would be a fun thing to do.
We found out that the party for my grandson was to be in a local park and that it was a dress up like your favorite super hero party. So my wife and I decided we would show up dressed as two characters from Star Wars.
The plan was that I would dress as Darth Vader and she would dress as Yoda. We put together the costumes, I had the mask, the cape with the hood, the light saber, while my wife had the mask, the robe, and a light saber, as well she created the hands and feet of Yoda to complete the costume. We were ready to go to battle.
We arrived in Australia four days prior to the birthday party and went to visit the town of Ballarat where we enjoyed the sights, the town and the food. We left Ballarat on the morning of the birthday party with plenty of time to arrive just after the party started. We needed the time as we got lost on the way, and what we thought would be a four hour drive turned into five.
We arrived at the park about 1:30 and parked in the public parking lot, which was about 400 yards from the party. We had stopped earlier and had finished putting our costumes on, so when we stopped we put on the masks, closed the car and started walking toward the party.
Since only two people (Adams brother and his roommate) knew we were coming, the adults when they saw us were wondering who we were. All the he kids stopped their play and were looking at us while we advanced. We were having a great time playing with the light sabers, stopping every now and then to battle each other.
We could see that my daughter was not happy about these strangers coming to her party She knew everyone on her list were already at the party. So she was trying to get others to tell us to leave, but no one would do this as they all told her, its your party, you need to get rid of these weird people. We arrived and went up to my grandson. He looked a bit nervous so my wife said, take off your mask, and we both did at the same time.
My daughter looked at us for about 20 seconds before she realized who we were and ran to us and gave us a big hug and screamed "These are my parents", and started crying. Her friends all laughed and my grandson, looked at us and said, "Hi Granny and Grampa did you flew here in a big plane:" we said yes and then he went off to play with his friends.
Our surprise had worked, we were welcomed and had six weeks with my daughter, my grandson, and their extended Australian family. It had been a wonderful trip and one that would go down in family folk lore for many years.
However, I was sad because my wife had no recollection of any of this and I did not know if she would every get these memories back. Because we had only told two people our entrance to the party was only filmed for a couple of seconds. I hope that one day soon she will be able to see the film and this memory will return.
Colleen spent the day sleeping as the events of the past few days had made her more tired than usual. When she awoke, she appeared to be in good spirits, but again had trouble hanging on to knowing me or what was going on around her. Tomorrow would be a better day I hoped.