The first birthday after losing a loved one is always tough. All we can do is hold tight to the memories ... and, in the case of one Michigan family, a little something more.
Johnny Crow turned 16 on earlier this month. The last person he likely expected to receive a gift from was his father, John, who had passed away unexpectedly in April.
But Johnny's loving father had planned ahead — and his big surprise came instead via Johnny's sister, Chandler Mae Crow.
"About a month ago I dropped Johnny off at his guitar lesson, and one of the amazing instructors told me there was something I should see," Chandler wrote in a Facebook post. "When she showed me I just dropped to my knees, I just couldn't believe it. But I had to keep it a secret until his birthday."
What she saw was a guitar that their father had bought and paid for in full as a surprise for Johnny, an aspiring musician. To honor her father's memory, Chandler kept the birthday gift a secret until Johnny's birthday — and filmed his reaction for all of us to see.
"This morning I woke up and picked up my brother from school and blindfolded him," Chandler wrote on Facebook. "Drove him to the music center and this is the outcome."
"Johnny getting his 16th birthday surprise," she narrates, as we see Johnny open and read a card apparently written by his father.
But the real kicker comes when the employees pull out a big box that holds his rock star-worthy electric guitar. Johnny is visibly overwhelmed with emotion. To be honest, so are we.
“Johnny has been wanting this guitar for a while. He would joke with my dad about getting it in the future,” Chandler told the Huffington Post. “(My dad) was a huge supporter of Johnny’s music dream and lived for his family ... My dad would tell everyone that he knew Johnny was going to be famous one day and worked hard to get him there.”
TODAY reached out to the Crow family for comment, but hadn't heard back at publish time.
Happy birthday, Johnny — and thanks for sharing this special moment!