TAMPA, Fla. - Marie Thornton’s birthdays always includes sand and water. This one would be no different. Her daughter Krystal Thornton had it all planned out.
“We were originally planning to stay at Anna Maria Island,” Krystal Thornton explained. “We do a beach vacation every year for her birthday.”
But life threw the Thornton family a few setbacks.
”This year, we found out that my mother was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma so she was not able to be around anyone,” Krystal said.
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The beaches closed and Marie Thornton had to self-isolate for weeks, but her daughter had an idea.
On her 69th birthday, the beach would come to her. “I set her up with a kiddie pool I got some sand from Home Depot," explained Krystal.
But the biggest birthday splash rolled into Marie Thornton’s neighborhood when a caravan of family and friends honking their horns and wishing her a happy birthday from a safe distance.
Marie Thornton covered her face with both hands in complete surprise. She waved as each car passed her makeshift beach.
For Marie Thornton, it was the best birthday yet. “I loved it. Got to see everybody, yeah," she said.
Krystal Thornton’s idea paid off.
“It was really nice to see my family come together and the smile on her face was well worth the stress of planning it,” she offered.