When one man was out for a birthday meal with his daughter and his grandchildren, he may have never expected anything unusual to occur. Then, however, a server approached his table. And when the man finally realized who was waiting on him, he likely had the shock of his life.
The man who received that surprise, moreover, is named Paul, and he lives in Dallas, Texas. Decades before that fateful birthday dinner, however, Paul had grown up in a little town in North Carolina with an incredible nine siblings.
Paul was the youngest boy in the family, and he would be the only sibling who would eventually move away from North Carolina. It was the army that first led him to Fort Worth in Texas, in fact, and afterwards he ended up relocating to the state permanently.
Paul had stayed in Texas because it was where he had met his wife; the couple had also started a family together. Until 2016, though, Paul was living fairly independently from his own siblings. Indeed, he hadn’t seen some of his brothers and sisters for a long while. But on his birthday that year, that was all about to change.
To celebrate Paul’s 71st birthday, his wife, daughter and son-in-law took him out for a meal, along with Paul’s four grandsons in tow. And while, at first, it may have seemed just like any other celebratory meal out, Paul would eventually realize that this would be a special occasion in more ways than one.
That’s because Paul’s daughter had been in touch with someone very important in the run-up to the big day. Paul didn’t know this, though, and so probably anticipated nothing out of the ordinary to occur. And, indeed, when the family arrived at the eatery in Dallas, it was business as usual: everyone took their seats and waited to be served.
Then, however, someone strolled over to the table and placed a cup of coffee down right near the birthday boy. But the stranger was not a waiter, nor was he another diner at the restaurant. The man was Paul’s brother, Harold, whom Paul had not seen for many years.
And, luckily, the special moment was caught on camera. That clip of the incredible reunion, moreover, sees Harold put the coffee cup down on the table without even saying a word. Then Paul glances up at him; it’s been a long time since he’s seen his brother in person, and so it takes him a second to register who it is. When he does, though, the shock is so great that Paul throws his wallet down on the table.
Then Paul’s jaw drops open as he cries, “Holy cow!” Meanwhile, Harold takes a seat at the table as Paul continues to stare at him, totally stunned. Paul eventually finds the ability to get to his feet, though, then puts an arm around his long-lost brother before asking, “Is Nancy with you?”
Harold shakes his head, with Paul still visibly baffled by his brother’s unannounced arrival. “What in the world are you doing here?” Paul then asks him. Harold hadn’t visited the state of Texas for two decades, so this was certainly a valid question.
A voice in the background of the video jokes, “He [Harold] heard they had a good breakfast, so he flew in.” In reality, Harold had been in touch with Paul’s daughter and had been planning to surprise his brother on his birthday for a while.
Paul’s daughter had even gone to the airport to pick up her uncle and bring him to the restaurant for the occasion. She then got Harold to hide behind a high booth so that he wouldn’t be seen too early. And, of course, she also managed to capture the whole thing on camera.
Naturally, the restaurant reunion was an emotional one for the two brothers. “I loved my dad’s reaction and they both cried. So sweet,” Paul’s daughter told website Newsflare in December 2016. And it certainly is a tear-jerking video for everyone else watching it, too.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that long-lost brothers have been reunited. Indeed, over the years there have been several happy fraternal reunions, and some of them were truly remarkable. Just recently, for example, two twin brothers were brought together in Montreal after decades apart.
But there’s definitely more to that story. After all, not only were the Brodeur brothers twins, but they were identical twins to boot. And after a family spat, one of the brothers, Eric, was desperate to reconnect with his sibling and bury the hatchet 20 years on. However, the reason for that reunion was a sad one.
That’s because Eric had found out that he was ill; having already survived cancer twice, he discovered that the disease had returned yet again. As a result, he approached Global News with the hope of finding his twin brother. And, thankfully, the message reached Stephane and the two were finally brought together.
Two estranged brothers were also reunited in the U.K. as part of a TV series that tracks long-lost family members. Specifically, Rob Hall and his half-brother, Steve Belshaw, were brought together, and their reunion was a very emotional one for several reasons.
Indeed, Belshaw’s mother had originally given him up for adoption before he was even born. Her boyfriend, Belshaw’s father, had died in a motorcycle accident, and the new mom had therefore decided that her baby would have a better chance of a good life elsewhere. Belshaw had never met his birth mother, however, and so was excited at the prospect of getting to know Hall in order to gain some insight into a family he had never known.
But sadly, that wasn’t to be; in an even more tragic twist to the tale, Belshaw passed away a mere three weeks after the show featuring him and Hall had aired on U.K. television. And with that, the brothers’ budding relationship was cruelly cut short.
All of these tales of long-lost family members, though, remind us not only that family is precious, but also that life is truly unpredictable. And so while we may not always be able to choose what happens next to us, we can however decide to appreciate the time we have with those we love the most.