A pleasant surprise is always welcome, regardless of how old you are. Cindy Breed can certainly attest to that, after a stranger knocked on her door in April 2015. In fact the mom was left overwhelmed by the message that they brought with them.
A resident of Moreno Valley, California, Cindy raised her son Ryan as a single mom before he eventually joined the United States Navy, becoming a pilot. Now a parent himself, he lived in Norfolk, Virginia, with his young family. However, as a result of his job, Ryan hadn’t seen much of his mother in recent times.
In April 2015 Cindy received a knock on her door from a woman working for Teleflora. Based in Los Angeles, California, the company boasts more than 13,000 florists across Canada and the United States, and an even larger number elsewhere in the world.
However, this wasn’t just a standard delivery to Cindy’s home. Instead, it was actually part of a Teleflora ad-campaign for Mother’s Day that year. Next, the California resident is handed a tablet by the woman on her doorstep. And what happens next leaves Cindy emotionally overwhelmed.
After being informed that the tablet contains a video message from her son, Cindy quickly presses play. “Hi mom, happy Mother’s Day,” Ryan begins. “I wanted to let you know how much I love you, and I appreciate everything that you’ve done for me in my life.” From there, the commercial cuts to the navy pilot’s home in Virginia, as the message continues.
“The distance between us isn’t always easy, it’s actually pretty hard sometimes,” Ryan says. “I still remember the last time we saw each other, it was almost two years ago. I was passing through San Diego on my way out to Japan, and you drove two hours just to sit down and have coffee with me for 45 minutes.”
As Cindy visibly becomes more emotional, Ryan then looks back on his childhood, noting how much his mom sacrificed to look after him. “Growing up, it was just the two of us,” he continues. “You had all the responsibility of raising a young boy into a man that you could be proud of. You gave me so much.”
However, the navy pilot apparently wasn’t aware of precisely what Cindy had given up for him until he was much older. “I didn’t know how much you sacrificed until I was an adult at college,” Ryan says. “I learned that you had a dream to become a professional athlete, and then you got pregnant with me and you had to choose.”
“You knew [that] you couldn’t do both, and you gave it up to raise me,” Ryan adds. “You raised me the best way that you knew how, and you instilled in me that sacrifice and that dedication. You gave me everything that you had. I realize how hard it was, and thank you very much.”
As a tear rolls down Cindy’s cheek, Ryan then speaks about his own family, citing the lessons that he learned from his mom. “The discipline, the love, the support, the understanding that you gave me, I think of all the things that you did for me,” he says. “I look at my children – if I can just do half of what you did, they would be so much better off.”
“You were a guiding light for me, and I’ve taken everything that you’ve given me and I’ve run with it,” Ryan continues. “Because of you, I stand here today a father, a husband, the navy commander. It’s because of you. You show me how to work and not quit, have honor and integrity. I’ve achieved all these things because of the foundation that you laid.”
From there, Ryan then makes a frank admission, revealing that he might see his mom even less because of his success in the navy. “That’s why I wanted to make this Mother’s Day so truly special,” he says. “Above all, mom, I hope when you look at me you see the good man that you wanted your little boy to be.”
“I’m proud to call you my mother,” Ryan concludes. “I’m proud to be your son. You made me the man that I am today. I love you with all my heart.” On that note, the video message comes to an end, and a clearly touched Cindy shares a hug with the woman from Teleflora. However, the surprises don’t end there.
Ryan then walks around the corner of Cindy’s home holding a pot of flowers, much to his mother’s shock. Within a few moments, she runs towards her son and embraces him, telling Ryan, “I love you!” After sharing a long, warm hug, the pair walk back to the house, with the mom thanking the Teleflora messenger.
As Cindy and Ryan sit down to enjoy a cup of coffee in the backyard, the commercial comes to an end with a message that reads: “Send Love.” Unsurprisingly, this ad-campaign affected a lot of people across the country, tugging on plenty of viewers’ heartstrings.
The commercial was posted on YouTube by Teleflora in April 2015 and has since earned 12 million views. Following its release, Ryan revealed that he applied to make his heartwarming Mother’s Day message, as he wanted to show Cindy how much she meant to him.
And while the navy pilot was teased by some of his colleagues in the aftermath of the commercial’s release, there were still plenty who were touched by it. “Among all those full-grown men, most have admitted that it brought tears to their eyes,” Ryan told The Virginian-Pilot in May 2015.
And they weren’t the only ones, as online viewers hailed the effectiveness of the ad-campaign in the YouTube video’s comments section. “This has to be the best commercial I have ever seen…so touching,” wrote a user named DjCole100. “What a beautiful way to tell your mother what she means to you.”
Those feelings were reiterated by another user, Czarelaine Oh, who also hailed Ryan’s work in the navy. “So touching… the tears are flowing,” they wrote. “Thank you to all the wonderful servicemen and women of our Armed Forces who sacrifice for us every day, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who love and sacrifice for their children.”
Thanks to Teleflora, Cindy Breed received the surprise of her life in April 2015. And the success of the resulting commercial proved just as a heartwarming underlining the continued importance of Mother’s Day to people across the globe.