When the Richter family jumped into the car to prepare for their spring break adventure, they decided to document the occasion with a selfie. They all bunched together to take the snap but something mysterious appeared in the background, leaving them all absolutely shocked.
The Richter Family
The Richter family from Oregon are a tight knit family and love spending time together. When Amber, Erik and their children decided to take a road trip in March 2017, it was nothing out of the ordinary. However, what was about to happen surprised them all…
Spring Break Trip
The family timed their trip so that it would take place over spring break, enjoying their time off of work and school. As the Richter’s were not short on time, they decided to carefully plan out the journey, mapping out which places they were desperate to visit and take in the sights. The family all looked in high spirits for their journey but despite their happy faces, some unplanned hiccups started to occur…
Not Taking Any Chances
Although the Richter’s were a close family, just like any other family, they sometimes have their issues. For this reason, they had to take into account the seating arrangements and make sure there were no problems. Of course, the parents took the front seats with the father taking the helm as driver for the trip, while the mom provided directions next to her husband. The three children were made to squeeze in the back seats and fight for space between them.
A Turn Of Events
When everyone finally settled down in their seat, they were finally ready for their journey. After picking up supplies for the journey and the all-important road trip fast food munch, it seemed like a regular trip, however, it turned out to be anything but that. With stomachs full and space in the car designated, the family decided to take off on their journey but something happened as soon as they were due to pull out of the driveway.
But First Let Me Take A Selfie
As Erik put the car into drive, he went and drove about a mile down the road before he stopped the car. When everyone complained why he had stopped so suddenly and without any notice, Erik reached for his cell phone in his pocket. He told the family to quiet down and once the noise died down, he told his family they must take an obligatory family selfie! Erik told everyone to gather close and smile to capture the moment.
Erik’s selfie would not only make that memory last forever, but it was also very useful for his son. At that time, he was making a scrap book full of pictures, tickets, schedules and anything he could find along the way that would tell a story. The photo would be able to add to the collection and put some personality into the scrap book. On the other hand, Erik’s daughters were not looking their best as they dressed for comfort rather than looks.
Strike A Pose
Not only did Erik snap a picture of the whole family posing together, but he also decided to take a few snaps of the kids when they weren’t looking. After his daughters caught on to their dad’s cheeky little prank, they grabbed the phone to scroll through the photos. When the girls saw what their father had done, they both burst into fits of laughter as they noticed that their dad had actually been filming them rather than taking a picture.
Photo Faux Pas
When the girls pointed out to their father his rookie error, he exclaimed “Oh, shoot!” Nevertheless, the faux-pas added to the hilarity of the situation and showed the delighted faces of the whole family. Erik was talented in turning a mistake into a funny situation so he was used to it. However, while Erik continued to film his family, there seemed to be something unusual about the situation and what happened next was bound to have the family in disbelief.
When the Richter’s were all laughing at their father’s expense for being technologically challenged, a dark and mysterious hooded figure appears in the back of the car. Suddenly, there was a person in the car with the rest of the family who they had not noticed was there. The person obviously intended to disguise himself so that the Richter’s would not notice him initially. When he finally revealed himself, the Richters could not believe their eyes.
Who Is He?
In that moment, the family started shrieking and screaming like no other. The different sounds of high pitched screams were deafening and it finally became clear that something unbelievably exciting had just happened. As it turned out, the figure in the dark hoodie was not a scary stranger at all but it was in fact Amber and Erik’s son. No one could comprehend what was happening and they closed their eyes to check if it was real.
No Man Left Behind
You might be questioning if they accidentally left their son behind or just completely forgot to invite him. To have their only son with them on a family trip would seem completely normal as they were so tight knit. However, the answer is that their son, Rowan, was not supposed to be there at all. He wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near his family and definitely not on their spring break trip, it took everyone by surprise.
While the rest of the family sat in shock, the first person to open their mouth to actually say something decipherable was Rowan’s mom. She was absolutely delighted to see her son, as it had been such a long time but the way he revealed himself left Amber exclaiming “Oh my god, you scared the hell out of me!” Mother’s can get quite jumpy when in stressful situations and with their whole family in the car it is understandable that Rowan’s stunt didn’t help her anxiety.
As everyone began to process what had just happened, they finally took a moment to welcome their son and brother home and explain their excitement about being reunited. Rowan then dove into the backseat, jumping on his sisters in excitement as he embraced them. The look on their faces said it all, they were so excited to have their big brother home after being apart for so long. However, it finally dawned on them that this must have been planned with another family member.
Doing Some Investigating
Amber was very curious about just how he pulled the surprise off, and she began racking her brains to see if she could remember anything strange happening. Amber then began backtracking if Erik had displayed any behavior which was out of the ordinary. She wondered if he had changed the passwords on his cell phone or laptop but she couldn’t pinpoint anything in particular. After giving up thinking, she turned to her husband and asked “Did you know he was doing this?”
Scheming In Secret
When Amber raised her question with Erik, her husband couldn’t wipe the grin off his face and he turned bright red. Erik did not even have to say anything, as it was clear that he was in on the surprise the whole time. Erik had in fact planned Rowan’s whole homecoming, picked him up from the airport when his flight landed in Oregon and drove him home. When Amber realized she had been duped, she shouted “You’re evil!”
Solving The Mystery
Rowan then climbed to the front of the car to give his emom a big hug after awaiting their reunion. The next couple of minutes turned into an emotional family reunion as they all beamed from ear to ear, seeing their brother and son for the first time in so long. When the surprise had settled in and the family realized they would now be able to spend quality time together as a tight unit, they could now fully enjoy spring break.
The moment was so heartwarming and the family were enjoying their time together and Erik remembered he had caught it all on tape. He then made a decision whether to share the video with others or keep it for their close family and friends to enjoy. However, Erik finally decided to share the video with the world and prepared to post it on YouTube. After posting it on the video sharing site, it suddenly went viral to everyone’s surprise.
As a result, soon after he posted it, it began racking up close to 90,000 views online. The Richter family found themselves at the center of a viral video circulation and couldn’t quite believe it. People began sharing the video on numerous networking sites, showing a beautiful moment between the family. So many people were commenting on the love between the family and the Richter’s were proud of the fame and accolades that they were receiving.
The comments posted on Facebook and Twitter were both hilarious and loving, appreciating the exact moment Rowan popped out of the trunk. The comments continued to flood in with one user writing “[I] don’t know what I liked better, Mom’s extreme reaction or the love in Dad’s non-stop smile! It’s a tie,” Other users commended the family for being so excited to see one of their siblings and noted that they really thought love was in the air.
More users on Facebook noted the emotion of the video saying “There were lots of emotion [and] hugs. [It] will always be one of my most favorite memories, nothing can compare to the love of family.” The empathy of the video truly came through and other people felt what the Richter’s seemed to be feeling. Another wrote, “As usual, a few tears in my eyes, remembering when our family’s special Marine landed his jet.” It was a heartwarming moment for all.
To Grandmother’s House We Go
With the immediate family already surprised, there was one more person for Rowan to see. Another unsuspecting person member of the family was Rowan’s grandmother. She was another person who had no idea Erik and Rowan had a plan to surprise everyone by returning home from the Navy. They decided to go prank her because they knew her reaction would provide another nice twist to an already adorable YouTube video. They then set off to execute it.
The Golden Child
The plan began with Erik calling the grandmother, telling her that they were coming over for a visit to make sure that she was home. The whole family knew that Rowan was completely adored by his grandmother and her reaction of seeing him would be amazing. After their grandmother said she would be home and to come over and join her, the whole family was very excited about the big reveal and couldn’t wait to see the priceless reactions.
The Great Reveal
The Richter’s planned the visit perfectly and gave their grandmother no clues. They went over and greeted her and sat around talking and having some food for about an hour. All this time, Rowan had been hiding elsewhere, ready for his big reveal. As the family got up to say their goodbyes, Erik called everyone into another room, including their grandmother. Erik carefully led his mother into the other room, insisting she needed to see something. At this point, Rowan carefully crept up behind her.
Shriek Of Terror
As Rowan carefully stood right behind his grandmother, she suddenly realized something was behind her, she could sense it. In that exact moment, she turned around to find her adoring grandson standing, waiting for her. She was absolutely gobsmacked and nothing could have prepared her for that exact moment. She let out a huge scream, similar to the one of his mother and simply could not believe her eyes. Their second prank seemed to pay off.
“Shame On You!”
Despite Rowan’s grandmother getting the fright of her life, she was absolutely elated to see her grandson. After getting over the initial screams, she burst into a fit of laughter and grabbed her grandson as high as she could. When she finally let him loose, she said to her grandson “Shame on you!” in a joking way. She was not expecting it at all and she definitely never thought that her grandson would greet her for the first time in such a way.
A Heartwarming Experience
Rowan’s grandmother continued with the hugs. She was so proud of her grandson and never wanted to let him go. The whole family then got to spend quality time together, something they hadn’t done in so long and Rowan’s homecoming made it so perfect. Rowan’s grandmother recalled how he always wanted to be a soldier when he was young, making forts and organizing everyone to play fight against each other. She was so happy he was finally living his dream.
Back To Base
It was finally time for the family to leave their grandmothers, she didn’t want them to leave and she tried to make them stay longer so they could enjoy their time. However, Rowan’s time was so limited and the family knew this but they just didn’t want him to go back to base. Although he was happy to see his family, Rowan had a duty to the Marines and he had to return to his other family on base.
Until Next Time
As the Richter’s went to leave their grandmother’s house, she gave her grandson a kiss on the forehead, not knowing when she would see him again. His grandmother was very emotional saying goodbye as it was harder every time, seeing him leave. Rowan was deployed once again and he was returning to his duties as a Marine. Although it was short, the Richters were so happy to have their son home and treasured the time with him.
The Richters had no idea that Rowan was coming home because he had been so involved with the Navy. The Richter’s have been so proud of their son as he had gone from strength to strength while in the armed forces. Roman was on active duty at the time serving with the U.S Marines. He was not just any soldier, he was in fact a Lance Corporal in the prestigious military branch. With responsibility comes dedication and commitment to his job which keeps him away from home.
World Wide Traveller
In the U.S. Marine Corps, a Lance Corporal is the third enlisted rank in the hierarchy of seniors. It is just above private first class and below corporal and being a U.S. serviceman, Roman often finds himself in many different places in the world. Rowan’s dedication to his high ranking job means he cannot see his family often, so those moments that he is able to spend are all the more special to everyone in his life.