Florida couple Donald Klickovich and his wife Karen thought they were viewing a nearby open house. But when they walked into the kitchen, they saw photos of their family. And it turned out that the lonely couple were about to get an unforgettable surprise.
Donald and Karen were living in Windermere, Florida. One day, they were persuaded to look at a property they believed was up for sale near their own home. What they didn’t realize was that as they explored the building, they were secretly being videotaped.
“They’re here,” the person filming says as the couple walk through the door. Donald and Karen can then be heard commenting on the hardwood floors and admiring the fireplace. But when they make their way into the kitchen and see pictures on the counter, everything changes.
At first, they don’t pay much attention to the photographs. However, it isn’t long before they realize that the snapshots are of their own family. “What the hell is this?” Karen asks. Donald adds, “Who is this from? These are our pictures.”
Karen works out that they are the same photos she has given to their son Donald Jr., and they decide he “must have sent them to the realtor.” Donald points out that it is a pleasant way to be welcomed to the home, which he describes as “real nice.” They then go to look at the backyard, and that’s when the actual surprise begins.
Donald’s two daughters Lisa Dougherty and Kristy Byers both live across the country in California. And this isn’t uncommon. In fact, an AARP study revealed that 40 percent of people aged 50 and over have children that live more than a five-hour drive away from them.
Loneliness is a significant issue, especially for older people. Research has shown that loneliness can lift the chances of mortality by 26 percent. And it can have the same impact on early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
With this in mind, Donald Jr. decided that he didn’t want to be far from his parents any longer. And he came up with the perfect way to wow his dad with the help of his son Cole. Donald Jr. was the one filming as they walked through the house – and he was about to give the couple some incredible news.
Cole emerges from behind a door and follows them outside. Then Donald Jr. joins him with the camera still rolling. They say hello to Donald and Karen, who can’t believe their family members are standing in front of them.
Donald becomes emotional as he wraps Cole in a big hug. “Oh my God, you guys are going to give me a heart attack,” the grandfather says. Then the little boy asks, “How do you like the house?”
Donald tells his grandson that he thinks that the home is “nice,” and Cole and Donald Jr. ask if he wants to see their rooms. The elderly man looks confused. “Why, are you going to buy it?” he asks.
That’s when Donald Jr. reveals what he has been planning all along. “It’s bought,” he says. “This is our home.” Donald Jr. purchased the property for himself and his son so that they could move to Florida and be closer to his father.
Donald can’t believe what he is hearing and is clearly touched by the gesture. He breaks down in tears as he hugs his grandson once again. “Happy Thanksgiving,” Donald Jr. adds before the video ends.
On YouTube there are many videos of people shocking their parents with the gift of a lifetime. In some of them, an unsuspecting father is given a new car or tickets to a game. But other clips are even more emotional.
Some of the most popular online videos feature people surprising their stepparents with adoption papers. And it’s clear that viewers love to watch these sentimental moments. Donald Jr. posted the footage on YouTube in December 2014, and it has since been watched more than 150,000 times.
Commenters were extremely moved by his thoughtful gesture to his parents. “What a beautiful surprise. Cried like a baby,” Christina Johnson wrote. “God bless you and your family on the new move into the new year.”
Several people admitted that the clip made them cry, and others described it as “sweet” and “beautiful.” Noeda Gregoria added, “Cherish every moment w/ your parents while they’re still w/ you! Very touching!” That statement turned out to be enormously poignant.
Less than a year and a half after the video was taken, Donald died at the age of 73. An obituary revealed that he “passed away, peacefully at home, in the arms of his loving wife.” Donald and Karen had been married for 41 years, and he was fighting cancer in the years before his death.
“Don ended his long, extraordinarily courageous battle with cancer, always an inspiration to his family, friends, the medical field and many others he came in contact with over the years,” the obituary declared. “He confronted the challenges of life with hope, determination, a smile and always his great sense of humor, even in the most trying of times. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.”
After the passing of her husband, who was described as a “loving father” and “devoted grandfather,” Karen was devastated. But her son and grandson still live nearby in Ormond Beach and have made life a little bit less lonely. Nevertheless, it’s evident that Donald won’t be forgotten. His obituary states, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”