NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It was an emotional Mother’s Day for one North Little Rock mom, whose family pitched in for the gift she always wanted – a new home to call her own.
The special surprise is once in a lifetime, but loved ones and friends say it’s a way to celebrate a woman who always thinks of others first and gives freely to those in her community.
Wanda Martindale’s yard was filled with friends and family enjoying a barbeque Sunday afternoon, but the mother of 13 had no idea that she was celebrating on her own property.
“I’m so overwhelmed,” Martindale said as she wiped away tears, standing among dozens of loved ones who came to wish her well.
The special surprise was organized by her son Joel Jones, the eldest of Wanda’s children. He says the gift had been in the works for months.
“This is something that she’s always wanted,” Jones said. He and his siblings spent years preparing and saving for mom’s big surprise, with Martindale completely in the dark until she was gifted a key to her front door.
For her, the reveal was a shock. “I just feel surprised,” Martindale said after letting the heartwarming gift sink it. “I got a house!”
Jones had previously told his mom that he was renovating her bedroom for Mother’s Day, the reason she had to be out of the house for a few days and take some personal belongings with her. In reality, Jones and his siblings were moving the entire contents of his mother’s home over to her new space – and doing it all under the nose to keep the surprise a secret.
Two extra special additions – a pool that Martindale always wanted, and a garden planted by the kids of the family.
The life-changing gift is a dream come true for the hardworking mom, but she wasn’t the only one shedding tears Sunday. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, and for Jones, this was the perfect way to give back to the woman who sacrificed so much for him and his family. “I love that woman with all my heart,” Jones said through tears. “There’s nothing that I have that I wouldn’t give to her like she gave to me.”
As Martindale explores her new space, she’s grateful for everyone who worked on this magical moment, and only has one thing to say: “I just thank everybody. I thank you.”