BY JURRY TAALIB DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
When Cassandra Allen got into a limousine Saturday, March 30, one day before her birthday, she assumed that she and some family members and friends would attend a Red party, where people wear red.
Even as she sat inside the limousine with her cousin Valicia Matthews, minus some friends who were supposed to accompany her, she still believed she was attending the Red party at Mansion View Bed and Breakfast Inn, 2035 Collingwood, and not a surprise birthday party for her.
“When we pulled up to the Mansion View, she still didn’t know what was going on, Matthews said. “She just wanted to know where her friends were. And all she said was ‘I’m still going to have fun.’”
Matthews said Allen saw three unexpected guests: Her sons: Vincent Fitzgerald and John Fitzgerald Jr. and his son, John III, who proceeded to roll out a red carpet toward the car.
“Oh my God,” Allen yelled when she saw what the men were doing. She had an even bigger surprise once she entered the hall.
“Surprise,” was the greeting she was met with followed by hugs from family and friends.
Allen’s sons had prepared for a year to surprise their mother. In 2009, they surprised their grandparents with an anniversary party.
John Fitzgerald explained he didn’t inform most of the people until a month ago about the party to keep it a secret.
“Our mom has worked so hard and sacrificed so much for us over the years that we wanted to show our appreciation for her,” Vincent Fitzgerald said.
Although Allen walked around with tears of joy for the party her sons organized, more tears of happiness flowed from her eyes when presented with one of her gifts.
While standing with her sons and in front of guests, Allen opened up the joint gift presented to her by her sons.
“Yeah, I’m going to Jamaica,” was the joyous shout let out by Allen.
“Mom, look at the date we’re supposed to leave,” John Fitzgerald said.
“It’s Monday. We leave on Monday? But I have to work,” said a stunned Allen.
The other surprise was told to her by John Fitzgerald.
“We’ve been working with your supervisor and you have a week off,” he said. “All three of us will be going.”
Again, Allen’s eyes were overwhelmed with tears as she hugged and kissed her sons.
“I’m so proud of my sons,” she said. “Not just for the party but more important the men they have become. They’re really good men. I just love them.”
“Here in this city, resides one of the strongest and most independent black women,” John Fitzgerald said. “She’s truly something special and we need more people like her.”