Life
Military mom wakes up not expecting to see daughter inches away
Serena missed her three-year-old so much and thought she was thousands of miles away. So when she woke up, she couldn't believe her eyes.
Jenny Brown
12.01.22

No one ever said that being a parent is easy.

Unfortunately, there are times when we’re forced to make difficult decisions just so our children can have bright futures.

Unsplash - Ben Wicks
Source:
Unsplash - Ben Wicks

These decisions come with sacrifices and as hard as it may be to do these things, there is no other way for parents but to accept them and live with them.

For Serena Gonzalez, a mom and a Navy officer, giving her 3-year-old daughter Ariella a better future means having to spend years in the Navy.

She was deployed to a base in San Diego, thousands of miles away from her east coast home.

Leaving her child under the care of her uncle, Billy Cruz, Serena re-enlisted in the Navy and takes on her duty as a Machinist’s Mate.

She toughens herself up and braves each day away from her daughter all for the goal of ensuring that her child gets to have a comfortable life and a secured education fund, should she want to go to college.

According to U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, a Navy officer can transfer their Post 9/11 Bill to their spouse right away, but if it is to be transferred to their children, there is a mandatory service period of at least 10 years.

In order to meet this qualification, Serena re-enlisted for six more years in the Navy.

She wanted to provide her 3-year-old with a house and college fund, so she knew she had to sacrifice a few more years away from her.

Facebook - Serena E Gonzalez
Source:
Facebook - Serena E Gonzalez

The Navy mom decided to make sacrifices because of how much she loved her little girl.

Serena shares in her interview with USA Today:

“She is the honest light of my life. My daughter is, you know, she’s everything to me.”

She misses her little Ariella each and every day.

She could not see her anytime she wants and the miles between her and her daughter is not easy to bridge.

Being away from her for long periods of time is very difficult, but Serena knew she had to do it.

YouTube - USA Today
Source:
YouTube - USA Today

Serena’s Uncle Billy knew it would make a huge difference if his niece got to spend time with her 3-year-old. And so, he decided to surprise her.

Billy and Ariella flew cross-country so Serena could finally see and be with her daughter who had been away from her for an extended period of time.

She was longing to embrace and kiss her child, and Billy decided to make it possible by bringing the toddler to the naval base.

YouTube - USA Today
Source:
YouTube - USA Today

Serena was still sleeping that March morning at around 4 o’clock.

She had no idea that she was about to receive the best surprise of her life because of one tiny unexpected visitor.

Billy approached the sleeping Serena and gently nudged her chin to wake up.

He could not help but smile as his niece slowly stirred awake and caught sight of her uncle.

The mom smiled sweetly, probably thinking she was having a very nice dream.

She could not be actually looking at her uncle who was supposed to be thousands of miles away from her, right?

YouTube - USA Today
Source:
YouTube - USA Today

But, when she laid her sleepy eyes on her toddler, Serena instantly sat up and squealed happily.

The stunned mom broke into happy tears and immediately pulled little Ariella into a tight hug.

YouTube - USA Today
Source:
YouTube - USA Today

Serena could not believe her eyes! Could this be just a dream? It definitely wasn’t!

It was totally unexpected for her to see her family that morning and to say that she was surprised would be an understatement.

She was absolutely stunned, and for good reason.

Her heartwarming reaction was all caught on camera. It was an unforgettable moment, indeed.

Serena just sat on the floor, letting happy tears fall as she hugged little Ariella like there was no tomorrow.

YouTube - USA Today
Source:
YouTube - USA Today

Their reunion is so beautiful and emotional that it’s earned close to 5 million views.

Grab a tissue and watch the heartfelt moment for yourself below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: USA TODAY, Facebook – Serena E Gonzalez, U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs

By Jenny Brown
[email protected]
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at [email protected]
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