After battling cancer three times, this woman's loving husband gave her a holiday surprise she'll surely never forget.
Patty Goethals of Newport Beach, California was chosen to help decorate the White House, fulfilling a longtime dream, CBS Los Angeles reported. Her husband, Tom, had secretly written to the White House after she overcame the disease, making the case for them to select his wife as one of the lucky few invited to help deck the halls.
"I looked at him and I said, 'You did this?'" Patty, who is 62 and a decorator, told The Los Angeles Times of her reaction to her husband's gesture after reading the invitation to decorate the Presidential home. "I was in shock."
Tom had written to the White House in the past and his request was denied, but he decided to give it another shot this year -- one that was well worth it. On Thanksgiving, Patty, who has been in remission for six years, and her husband arrived at the President's residence, where she spent two weeks decorating the State Dining Room, CBS Los Angeles reported. It was an experience that she says, gave her "goose bumps."
Patty used her expertise to hang up garlands, decorate the giant Christmas tree, and handcraft ornaments, along with various other tasks, according to CBS. After all the hard work, she attended a reception with her husband, hosted by the First Lady, herself.
"I just kept pinching myself," Patty told the L.A. Times of her magical experience.
It's been a few weeks since the decorator's trip to the White House and she says that the experience has taught her that despite all she's had to conquer, she has much to be thankful for.
“We all have our trials. We all have something,” she told the L.A. Times. “I wake up and every day is a new gift and a new blessing.”