My little sister just graduated from Chatfield Senior High School in Littleton, Colorado and I was there to celebrate it with her! Over the last three years, as I have lived in Guatemala, I have missed my fair share of family events, but not this one.
The other week I hopped on a bus to Guatemala City and caught a flight back to the States, all without my little sister knowing. Here is what she wrote on my Facebook wall two days before the big surprise, “Brother. It’s time for you to come home. I miss you.” To which my response was, “I miss you too. We have a month until I return. Think you can wait?” I hope God will forgive me for lying to my little sister.
If you ever want to surprise someone lying is a must. In the weeks leading up to my flight home, I had to lie to Emmy countless times. We’d be Skyping, me sitting in my room with my suitcase ready to be packed, and she’d complain about the fact “no one was coming to her graduation,” which wasn’t true. My cousin Luke and his fiancé were flying out for the graduation and to take her to see U2.
Little did she know that all of this was my idea. In order to surprise my sister I had to lie and threaten to kill people if they told. That’s how much she means to me. The plan was hatched in my mind late last year. Plane tickets were high and I knew I couldn’t go home for both Christmas and Emmy’s graduation, so I decided I would …. fly home for Emmy’s graduation.
Purchasing my tickets was a debacle I will write about in another blog, but Emmy was worth it. As I landed two hours late due to a major thunder storm in Denver, I was nervous Emmy would find out. I didn’t call my dad for fear she would be with him. Fortunately my parents were able to trick her into going over to a friend’s house and so we made it to Stueban’s, her favorite restaurant, and waited patiently for the surprise.
Surprises can make life difficult, and this one had me about as nervous as a litter of kittens in a pet store. I wanted it all to work out. All of the planning and all of the time would have been for not if one person would have slipped up. And we all had our slip ups along the way. While Skyping with Emmy the Sunday before I was to fly out, she was telling me the menu for her party and I said, “Oh we’ll be eating good.” Fortunately she was oblivious of my slip up, because as she walked into the restaurant her face filled with confusion. “Am I seeing things,” she thought. A huge scream broke the confused silence, which was followed by an even bigger hug right in front of everyone one at the restaurant. Kapla! (Kligon for success)
Getting to see her graduate was icing on the cake after that hug. Or was it the silver lining in the clouds. It rained all during the graduation ceremony. But a little rain couldn’t dampen my spirits. I am so proud of her. She has grown up so much over the past three years. When I left she was just a little kid. I’ve missed seeing her grow up, but if I hadn’t gone I wouldn’t have been able to surprise the socks off of her. Literally they flew off when she screamed! Ok, just figuratively.