Christmas came early for one Memphis mom whose son is serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Grant Jackson grew up in Memphis and initially attended Jackson State University for a year, but then he decided to join the military and became an Airman 1st Class in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, for almost two years and worked there as part of Aerospace Maintenance Tech staff.
However, he was given some time off near Christmas and that’s when he and his sister decided to surprise their mother.
Jackson’ sister, Brittany Pettis, decided to record the heartwarming moment when the mother and son got reunited on Facebook.
As Jackson entered the kitchen where his mother, Gwen, was standing, she turned around apparently to address his sister. However, as soon as she saw her son, she started screaming and jumping. Then instead of running towards her son, she ran into the laundry room to the side of the kitchen, so overwhelmed with emotion she was.
Jackson followed his mother into the room where she was still screaming with joy and jumping and enveloped her in a bear hug.
The beautiful video has been viewed more than 3 million times on Facebook.
“I lost it bad,” Gwen told ABC News. “I turned around to see what my sister was saying and then I saw his face on her body and it was all blurry, then everything started coming together and I just lost it. I was just a ball of emotion.”
Jackson said he and his sister had been planning the surprise visit since September. Their mother, who is 56, has a heart defibrillator so they were first concerned about giving her such a big surprise. However, once they got a healthy report from the doctor, they went ahead with their plan.
“I was not expecting that reaction at all,” said 21-year-old Jackson of his mother’s overwhelming reaction. “I’m just glad she was in good health at the time. Everything was planned out pretty perfectly, except for my luggage not arriving on time so I couldn’t have my uniform on.”
He also said he was a bit shocked when his mother ran away from him when she first saw him.
“It’s like she saw a ghost,” Jackson said with a laugh.
The airman is in town for two weeks and wants to make the most of his time with his family.
“I plan on spending time with my family and friends. A little R&R as well hopefully! I’ll be in the states for about three weeks,” he said.
As for his mother, there is nothing else that she wants for Christmas.
“This has been a Christmas to remember forever,” she said. “If everybody felt like this, this world would be a better place. I wish this for everybody. I love my kids so much. It was just a wonderful moment. He’s my baby boy. This is mama’s baby. I love him.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS, Randy Gon/Air Force