One Marine dad’s touching gesture to celebrate every major holiday with his son early before his deployment was soon met with an even bigger Father’s Day surprise for himself.
Staff Sgt. John York’s wife, Priscilla York, and their 3-year-old son, Bryson, wanted to ensure their beloved husband and father knew how much he was appreciated for doing “the dad thing right,” even while he is 7,000 miles away, so they secretly compiled a video of each of those early holidays unbeknownst to him.
“He didn’t know I was making the video and when I showed it to him I think he watched it 1,000 times over and over and over again,” Priscilla told ABC News of capturing her family’s sweet moments. “I had to portray it the way it was meant to be felt. The video made his vision comes to life in a way he didn’t expect. I think the whole process meant more to him knowing that it was recorded like that.”
Making the most of his precious 10 days of pre-deployment leave at home, John York devised a plan to celebrate every single day with his son.
“He just came home from work and said, ‘I have an idea of what I want to do when I have the 10 days of pre-deployment leave. I really want to do all the holidays, all his favorite holidays that I’m going to miss,’” Priscilla said of John’s sweet gesture for their young son.
The father-son duo went trick or treating together in honor of Halloween.
“He went to every neighbor’s house on the block and he had candy that he handed to them so they’d be ready when Bryson rang the doorbell,” Priscilla said of John’s perfect plan. “He brought candy to each of their houses if they were home. The neighbors were so great about it.”
Santa also came early with wrapped gifts delivered under a decorated, fake tree.
“He just woke and Santa came. He was just so taken aback,” Priscilla recalled. “He was like, ‘What’s going on? Why is the Christmas tree up?’ He was so excited.”
They even enjoyed an early birthday cake, blowing out the candles before he turns 4 years old in a few weeks.
“He was really excited about his new bike,” said the proud mom. “He was really pumped about his birthday.”
Although enjoying the holidays early was an amazing treat for their little boy, having a video keepsake of those moments was an even better treat for John.
The father and son have a bond that Priscilla says she’d “never be able to match.”
“He just adores him. He adores that man,” she said of Bryson.
And as for her husband, “He is the most incredible dad and husband I’ve ever met,” she said. “He helps me out so much. He takes over everything when he comes home.”
This is John’s third deployment, and his first since Bryson was born.