Bon Voyage, Mommy!
Darius Stevens sent his wife away on vacation and decided to surprise her when she returned. He had a very specific plan but unfortunately, he was sick. The solution… dad put his daughters to work so they can help surprise mom! Instant “family time!”
Living In L.A. Is Tough!
Darius has two daughters with his wife, Rose, and the family lives in Los Angeles. He was trying to make a name for himself as a screenwriter and filmmaker, but as of 2014, he had not had very much luck. On top of everything, his 40th birthday was just around the corner!
Doctor’s Bad News
Darius noticed some patches on his skin and went to the doctor who, after some tests, informed him he had skin cancer. Since Darius was so financially strapped, his health insurance had been cancelled, and now he needed $15,000 in cash to start the cancer treatment!
A Very Bad Year, Indeed!
The year had actually been very bad for Darius and his family. He lost his job, then his money and eventually his family’s home! On top of everything, he also owed $20,000 and things were about to get worse!
His 40th birthday was right around the corner and things were not looking good. Darius remembered how he once told himself that if he hadn’t made a movie or sold a script or novel by the time he was 40, he would quit the business.
An Unfortunate Letter
Dare (as he prefers to be called) could not bring himself to tell his wife about his cancer considering the situation they were in, but a few weeks later, the doctor’s office sent a letter (which his wife found) saying that Dare needed to get treatment. The cat was now out of the bag!
The Tide’s About To Turn…
Usually, when you hit rock bottom, things can only go up… which is exactly what began to happen. Dare found a job, moved into a new home (new to his family, that is…) and developed and interest in social media, specifically Pinterest.
A Gift For His Loved Ones
Even though his Hollywood career never really even started, Dare decided he was going to hit 40 in full stride and was going to give a gift to his wife and daughters!
A Positive Outlook
It’s amazing what a positive outlook on life can accomplish! Dare realized that his situation was bad, but not THAT bad. There were plenty of people in the world doing much worse than he. He began to look at his life positively.
Dare had a plan. He was going to work on his garden and create something beautiful! Pinterest had given him some serious ideas and he was going to build a deck, a pergola and a kids’ playhouse!
The Miniature Model
To see what it would look like, Dare built a miniature model, which took a while just by itself. Once he saw his future backyard in miniature, he knew he was on the right track!
Dare needed to get the supplies to start on the project, so he asked his friends to give him wood for his birthday. Then he started looking on Craigslist and even tried to find leftover wood at construction sites!
Sending The Wife Away
It had to be a surprise, so he sent his wife away on a vacation. He even pretended like it was an early birthday present, just so that she wouldn’t grow suspicious. She would be gone for 5 days, so he had to move quickly!
Send Me A Postcard From NYC
Dare knew his wife had always wanted to go to New York City, so he booked her a flight and set up hotel accommodations, then he began to work on the project. Time was of the essence! He knew his wife would be thrilled with the results!
Ready To Go
The wood had been delivered while he was dropping his wife off at the airport, so once he got back, he instantly started building. Dare set up a time-lapse camera to document his project.
Get To Work, Girls!
Dare got his girls in on the project, as well… and he didn’t even have to convince them, they were ready to help! It was “family time” at it’s best!
Impromptu Message For Daddy
While they were working on the yard, one of Dare’s daughters let her father know how she felt by writing with chalk on her new blackboard. Needless to say, it made Dare very happy!
Where’d All The Money Go?
Oops! It looks like Dare ran out of money before the project was finished! He quickly built a deck for someone else to make some fast cash. It slowed him down a bit, but not too much.
5 Days Go By Very Quickly
His wife’s vacation went by very quickly and Dare had not yet finished! This was a problem. He solved it by sending her away on ANOTHER vacation… this time for four days to her sister’s for a baby shower. Whew, that was close!
The Side Project
This is what the side project deck looked like once finished. We have to say that Dare did a great job, but now he needed to hurry to finish his garden before the wife returned!
It’s Tough Juggling Work And Daughters!
While he was working on the yard with his daughters, he still had to be a full-time father since mommy was temporarily out of the picture. He found that part to be the toughest!
And Then, He Finished!
It took a whopping 10 days, but Darius finished! The cost was 5 grand and a lot of hard work, but the results were worth it! You won’t believe what the garden looked like now. Check out the following pictures!
It Feels Good To Finish Something
Dare felt a sense of accomplishment when he finished the project, and even more so once he saw how much his wife, and especially their daughters, loved the new yard! It reinvigorated him for the health battle ahead.
Thank You For Helping
Darius made sure to not forget those that helped and thanked them at the end of the time lapse video he posted on YouTube. Interestingly enough, Ellen DeGeneres was one of the people he thanked… say what?!
Let’s Just Say, His Wife Was Pleased!
…And that’s a serious understatement! His wife realized how much he loved her and the girls when she saw the completed project! He took her around on a tour and she couldn’t help but cry from joy!
Ellen Is Just So Positive
The reason he thanked Ellen is because, while he was feeling down, he began to watch The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He found Ellen so positive, it motivated him to start on his yard project.
A YouTube Hit!
One year after posting the time lapse video, Dare noticed it had over 1.5 million views and many comments! It looks like the people on the internet really liked his project!
Darius’ Popularity Soared!
The time lapsed project has made Darius a star with a throng of new admirers! Some people even got teary-eyed about the love he has shown for his wife and daughters.
Help From A Doctor
The story got around and a friend of his mother got him in touch with a dermatologist with whom they worked! The dermatologist admitted Darius as a charity payment and Darius got his treatment. He only had to pay what he could. He’s now cancer-free!
His Family Makes Him Happy
Darius wanted to thank his family for being the wonderful people they are and did so on his blog! He also included his friends and those who supported him in this project.