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She Had No Idea Marine Son Was About To Surprise Her at Restaurant: Video

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The older you get, the more you want gifts that can’t be bought at a box store or shipped from Amazon.

Time with loved ones becomes the currency that makes people feel rich in life, and there are few things that warm a mother’s heart as much as having her children gathered around her during the holidays.

This year, many mothers and grandmothers had to settle for virtual celebrations, spending their Christmases video chatting with their families.

Like them, Monica Cabrera of Orlando, Florida, had accepted the fact that her son, Daniel Ceballos, would not be home for the holidays.

The young man was in the Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton in California — a long way to go, no matter what the circumstances.

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But thankfully for this family, the circumstances aligned just right, and they got their own Christmas miracle.

“We got the opportunity to finally come home after eight months,” Ceballos said, according to WOFL-TV. “I was already ready, I had everything planned and coordinated it with my sister.”

Between the two of them, the siblings arranged for Cabrera to have breakfast at a restaurant, where her son — in dress blues — showed up to surprise her.

Video shows him popping up next to their table and saying something to his mother. She instantly starts at his voice, taking some time to process what is happening.

“You know, I thought it wasn’t real, he wasn’t there, I was dreaming,” she said. “I don’t know … I don’t have words to explain what I feel when I see him.”

After surprising his mother, he visited his aunt, Kenny Ruiz, who was just as excited to see her nephew, whom she regards more as a son.

“He’s like my baby, so … I think I’m his second mom, right Daniel?” Ruiz said. “He’s … he’s very special.”

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Ceballos was happy that everything worked out and said he’s been dreaming of a special homecoming ever since he considered joining up.

“I’ve been waiting basically 20 years of my life to do so,” he explained.

Cabrera obviously has big plans as far as celebrating goes. She wants to make the most of her time with her boy, doing what moms do best.

“Talk to him and, you know, see him, cook, do everything what I can to make him happy and to be with him, because I don’t know when I’m going to see him again,” she said.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking