I would personally like to thank all those who replied for the support you gave me in regards to my Mother's Birthday surprise.
What a success it turned out to be and you would not believe the amount of E-mails/cards and personal cards that came in. She even received messages for her birthday from people she had not heard from since she left Ras Tanura back in 1990.
At first, I was just planning to collect the personal cards and E-mails/cards and hand them over on her birthday but day after day messages were coming in. I knew then that I would have to come up with something special. Especially because my Mom is so creative, I really needed to do something as well.
Well, I came up with the following. A good friend from my parents is a carpenter and I called him asking if he could make me a small wooden crate, where I could eventually put in all the messages. The next day I decided to print stickers with different country names, shipping ports, airports, handle with care, and freight and air travel which I would stick all over the crate making it look like it had been all over the world.
Saturday afternoon I met the carpenter to finish off my idea. It was then I saw the crate; his explanation was, "I liked the idea so much that I got a little carried away in regards to the size". He furthermore had handled the crate as though it indeed had traveled all over the world. Well, because it was so large we decided to add balloons and streamers and wrote down her address with return address world-wide.
At around 20:30 we sat Mom down, I blindfolded her while Arleen and her boyfriend went to get the crate, which we had a hard time hiding throughout the day, for she still manages to be at ten different places at the same time.
Once we took off the blind fold her emotions came up and we managed to take some fantastic pictures of her holding all the personal cards and E-mails/cards that everyone had sent.
To give you an estimate of what came in, I received about 49 personal cards and about 73 E-mails/cards. It furthermore took her more that an hour to read all the messages out loud for we were as excited as she was to hear and see what everyone had wrote or sent. To date and it is now November 14th, 2002, I'm still getting in cards by mail or E-mail.
So I want to thank you and all those who supported me in my Surprise. It turned out to be her best Birthday Present Ever.
Personal Message: I "JANNY SLOTBOOM" want to thank all my friends all over the world for making me feel special and for being with me on my Birthday.
Best regards and Thank You,
Arleen and Monique Slotboom