STRONGSVILLE - He hadn't even gotten off of Santa's lap when a military mom from Cleveland surprised her son with the very best gift of all.
It was just another day of Seasonal Santa lap-sitting at SouthPark Mall.
12-year-old Dillon Workman was taking his turn on the the jolly elf’s lap when his mom Julie surprised him with a holiday homecoming.
She had been gone almost a year, a Navy reservist from Cleveland, serving in Bahrain.
"He did not want to let go. It was so nice. It feels so good to be back! I’m home! I'm good. Everything was great at that moment," said Julie.
“I really didn't want to let go! It had been so long since I had seen her in real life and I just didn't want to let go. I’m so proud of her because she's brave enough to be in the military. I was just worried if she would make it and how long it would take,” said Dillon.
Julie Workman had just been back one day when she told WKYC Channel 3 News, “I dropped him off this morning and couldn't wait for him to get off the bus this afternoon! Just waiting for him to come home so we can go do stuff!"
This Momma’s advice for other parents?
"Just be grateful for the little things. That’s what you miss when you don't have it. So be grateful for the family that you do have," said Julie.
The surprise reunion was a welcome holiday gift for shoppers who stopped and cheered. Some teared up, because of the real gift they took home from the mall.
The perspective check from a momma who’s headed to her son’s basketball game on Saturday, taking nothing for granted and everything in gratitude.
That’s what we call the GOOD STUFF.