What can I say about Esther…
Esther, my wife Nancy’s sister, lives in Dover, Delaware.
She and Nancy are as close as I can imagine sisters could possibly be.
Not a day goes by that they don’t talk to each other for at least a few minutes on the phone, which can easily stretch into hours…depending of course on the quality or better fitting, quantity of the wine.
The greatest challenge of a lifetime has befallen Esther and the heartbreak of a lifetime has, in like, befallen sweet Nancy.
We’ll leave the details to your imagination, but, suffice to know that, life is too short.
Esther’s husband Bill had planned a surprise party to celebrate her twenty first thirty ninth birthday.
Given the circumstances, we need to be there.
We flew into Philadelphia, rented a car and set off for Dover. A missed exit set us on the path in the wrong direction with the correction from the navigation system put us into rush hour traffic headed in the right direction towards Delaware…finally.
Nothing looks the same in the dark and while this is not my first trip to Dover, it might as well be. Without Nancy and Miss Direction’s guidance, I’m totally lost.
The Hilton Garden Inn had nothing available until the following day, so we stayed somewhere other than and settled in after a full day of travel.
The following morning was all about finding a good cup of coffee, a bite to eat and finding ways to spend our time until the mall opened.
I needed to buy some essentials.
Too little thought went into packing for this quick getaway.
Okay…I forgot underwear.
But, while we were there Nancy found a nice pair of boots that I insisted she buy for herself.
The clerk that helped us at Macy’s was so nice, very patient and such a sweetheart.
After spending, what seemed to this less than enthusiastic shopper, days trying on this pair, that pair of boots, a final selection had been made…and while at the register the clerk expressed her great appreciation for our time spent together this morning. It seems she had recently lost her husband, and, to see us together, happily enjoying our time together brought her to tears, which brought us to tears, which led then to hugs, capping off this brief encounter with the beautiful kindness human nature has to offer.
So, now…time to explore…
We drove to the location of the venue where the party is to be later in the evening to familiarize ourselves with our surroundings and then decided to head out to Rehoboth Beach for a little toes in the sand and some duty free shopping until we are able to check into the Hilton, sometime after 3:00pm.
The venue was not far from the hotel and given that we had found a shortcut during our adventurous outing earlier, arrived in no time. Arriving as early as we did allowed us enough to visit with some of the guest that Nancy had met and befriended on earlier trips to Dover.
Great people…all coming together for a great lady.
The guise to lure the unsuspecting birthday girl…a surprise birthday party…planned by Sandy, a neighbor and close friend of Bill and Esther’s, for her husband Dave .
The room fell silent.
Nancy and I had taken a position far away from the entrance so that we would be of little distraction.
It is so obvious and no surprise that Esther is so well liked here in Dover.
Her personality has always been such that she attracts and brings out the best in everyone she meets.
It’s a trait that is inherent…a gift we all wish to be blessed.
Entering the room it is clear to see that Essie is overwhelmingly surprised.
Well wishers pour over to greet her.
In the frenzy and flurry of hugs and kisses that followed, a close friend grabbed her by the hand and towing her through the sea of people, made their way slowly in our direction.
The frenzied flurry continued along the way and as they grew closer and closer there was a brief moment that Esther, able to look around to explore who all was there…spied Nancy…hidden away.
What followed was an explosion of excitement,tears and overwhelmed with surprise began to admonishingly question her sister.
“Where were you hiding?”
“How long have you been here?”
“This is my sister!!!!!”, she exclaimed.
It was a perfectly planned surprise.
the video below, “Esther’s Surprise Birthday Party”
is available on YouTube