By Luke Kenton
This is the incredibly emotional moment a doting dad’s wish for ‘all his children to be home’ comes true, as his two armed forces-serving sons surprise him during an early 50th birthday lunch.
On the cusp of his 50th birthday, there was only one request on the birthday wish-list for father-of-three – Jeff Grimm, and that was to have all of his children back home all together for the first time in nearly two years.
But with his youngest daughter Shelby studying at college and his two sons, Dane and Drew, away serving in the marines and air force respectively, Jeff’s dream gift seemed little more than a pipe dream, if not for his wife, Melanie.
Out for an early birthday lunch in Pewee Valley, Kentucky, USA, Jeff sat opposite Melanie observing the drab weather conditions outside, but little does he know that things are about to take a brighter turn.
Glancing back across the room, the father-of-three’s mouth is left agape, as walking into the restaurant clad in their individual uniforms, are his 26-year-old son Dane and along with 22-year-old Drew.
Raising a gleeful smile, the usually stoic soon-to-be 50-year-old makes a considerable effort to hold back the tears, before crumbling as he pulls his two sons in for a long overdue embrace.
The mastermind of the surprise, 45-year-old Melanie, who herself can be heard attempting to stifle her own emotions, said: “With Jeff’s 50th approaching on September 30, I knew we had to do something big that he would always remember.
“As Dane has been away on a number of difficult deployments, and with Drew stationed in Italy, the boys hadn’t both been home at the same time for nearly two years.
“After a number of very stressful setbacks and several weeks thinking we wouldn’t be able to pull it off, finally both boys were given the green light to come home and we could start planning the surprise.
“After I picked up Drew, we had to sneak him into the house, where he stayed in my daughter’s empty room.
“Although he had to reason to go in there, we knew that a sneeze or even too much noise could wake him up and ruin the whole surprise, so neither of us slept well that night.
“Sitting at the restaurant, I couldn’t believe how nervous I was, I was physically shaking.
“Just a few days prior he’d said to me that all he wanted was all three children back home, little did he know we’d been working on it for weeks.
“I couldn’t have got a better reaction out of him even if I tried it 100 times over- he’s not usually the emotional kind, be he couldn’t help but cry when he saw his boys.
“My daughter couldn’t make it back in time for the meal, but a few hours later we surprised him again with Shelby’s own little homecoming.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my family, so to be all back together again for Jeff’s birthday felt very special indeed.
“I still cry now watching that video back.”