The stunned mother screamed in shock as she opened the giant box to find her military daughter, whom she had not seen in almost two years because she was abroad. As soon as 58-year-old Ruthie Patterson opened the box and found Portia Patterson, a US Army sergeant, she immediately started screaming and then walked towards her daughter to hug her, filled with tears. Portia last saw her family in Dothan, Alabama, in August 2020, when she moved from Washington State to Japan, where she still lives. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Portia was unable to go on vacation, something she always looked forward to in the past, given how close she is to her family.
For 21 months, Portia waited for news that she might come home to see her mom, which came about two months before her big surprise. Upon learning that she might be heading home in May 2022, Portia spoke to her brother, a truck driver who is rarely at home but is also very close to his mother. The couple worked on a plan so they could both be in Alabama at the same time, and so they decided to surprise Ruthie on May 6, the eve of Mother’s Day.
While Portia’s cousin distracted Ruthie, Portia and her brother set up a giant box in their mom’s yard and then Ruthie was called outside to check on the Mother’s Day present. Portia said that while waiting in the box, she was very nervous, but as soon as she saw her mother, all these feelings went away. She said: “As soon as she noticed it was me, she was shocked and overwhelmed with excitement and tears of joy. “She even made me cry with joy. “The response to this video has been incredibly touching and motivating. I didn’t think it would go viral.
“I just wanted to share a positive video with those who take the time to watch because it made me and my family happy. “My message from this story is that I hope that people who have the opportunity to visit their loved ones and return home will take the time to do so. “Life is too short and moves fast. This message is addressed not only to the military, but also to civilians. “Relax and visit your loved ones.”