When Hurricane Harvey hit the U.S. in August 2017, it left a trail of devastation in its path. But when one little boy was evacuated from his home, he never expected police officers to follow him and give him the surprise of his life.
Nicole and Anthony Brooks are parents of two little boys. And, unfortunately, all four of them were caught up in Hurricane Harvey during the summer of 2017. The family lived in Seabrook, Texas, but as the storm approached, they were forced to leave their home.
The family ended up staying in a hotel in Richardson, Texas, where they were safe from the devastating storm, which ended up costing the U.S. dearly. Close to $200 billion worth of damage was caused, in fact, not to mention the emotional trauma suffered by affected citizens.
In just a few days, some parts of the country were flooded with 40 inches of rain. The huge amount of water that fell meant Hurricane Harvey broke all previous records, making it the wettest ever tropical cyclone to hit the U.S.
Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes as result. Many families, just like the Brooks, were forced to flee their neighborhoods in an attempt to find refuge from the storm. Some 30,000 people were displaced by Hurricane Harvey in total.
But that wasn’t all. Emergency services were required to make over 17,000 rescues during the hurricane, Not everyone was lucky enough to be saved, however. Hurricane Harvey was a deadly disaster, claiming the lives of more than 90 people in the U.S.
So when Nicole and Anthony Brooks found themselves in a hotel room with their two little boys, they were thankful to have survived the hurricane at least. One of their children didn’t fully understand the severity of the situation, however.
Their four-year-old son, Honor, kept asking to go back home, his mom explained during an interview with CBS that was recorded while the family were still living in the hotel. Nicole said that her son didn’t quite grasp how terrible the consequences of the hurricane had been.
Honor’s fifth birthday was coming up, but due to the hurricane and the family’s consequent displacement, his parents weren’t able to put much work into a celebration for him. But then something completely unexpected happened that meant this birthday would be one he’d remember forever.
On the day itself, the Brooks family were sitting in their hotel room when they heard a knock at the door. They weren’t expecting any visitors, so when Anthony saw that there were police officers outside, he was totally shocked.
And there weren’t just one or two officers waiting at the door. There were in fact more than a dozen uniformed cops who had come to see the Brooks family. Dad wasn’t sure what was going on, and he subsequently told CBS that he thought to himself “What do we do?”
But the family wasn’t in trouble with the law. Quite the opposite. Because the police officers had come to wish Honor a happy birthday. The Brooks family couldn’t believe what was unfolding in their hotel room, miles from their home.
When the cops entered the room, they soon began singing a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” a moment that was so touching that mom, Nicole, couldn’t hold back her tears. “When they started singing, I just started crying,” she said. “I was balling my eyes out.”
Honor himself thought that the whole thing was pretty cool, too. “He was astonished,” his dad told CBS. After all, not many five-year-old kids get a visit from police officers on their birthday. They didn’t only sing for Honor, either – there was more.
The cheerful bunch of cops also brought gifts for the birthday boy, including a toy police vehicle. Honor’s mom, Nicole, was extremely impressed with the officers’ kind-heartedness, describing their actions that day as “really awesome.”
She was particularly touched by the way the officers recognized that being displaced from home can be especially difficult for children. And the manner in which they reacted clearly meant the world to the Brooks family – especially to little Honor.
But how did the cops know that it was Honor’s birthday? Well, in order to figure that out, Anthony had to think back to earlier on that day. He and Honor had been out and about, when they got talking to a police officer.
During the conversation, Anthony let slip that it was his son’s birthday. And that was all it took. Before they knew it, word got round, and more than 12 officers were at the hotel room door, ready to make Honor’s birthday extra special.
It may not have been the birthday party that Honor had been expecting, but it will certainly be one that he and his parents will remember for a long time to come. Still, let’s hope that next year he’ll be able to enjoy his special day at home with his friends.
News reports during the summer of 2017 were dominated by terrible tales of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Harvey. But, thankfully, there are also stories like this one to remind us that in every dark situation there is always some light.