Four years ago it was Minot’s Bliven family that was on vacation in the Bahamas while “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and the community worked on their dream home.
“Bill just wanted to be a mouse in the corner,” says Michelle Bliven, but the family wasn’t allowed contact with people back home for fear they would hear about the house progress, which is meant to be a surprise.
The Blivens drove the four hours from Minot on Thursday in order to get the view from the other side of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
As the family walked on to the build site, smiles grew and they embraced in tight hugs with Heritage Homes co-owners Tyrone Leslie and Daryl Braham, who also built their home.
“This is so awesome that you guys could come out,” Braham says. “How’s it been?”
“Wonderful,” Michelle says with a nod. “You have no idea. Our life has changed, it’s a dream.”
The Blivens got to Moorhead a little later than anticipated. With all of the excitement surrounding the trip, Aaron suffered a seizure Wednesday night. In the morning his grandparents asked if it would be okay for them to stay with him in Minot and let his parents go on to Moorhead.
“He was not having that,” Michelle says.
Aaron celebrates his 19th birthday on Friday and a trip to the “Extreme” site is all he wanted for his birthday.
Aaron sat surrounded by his parents, the builders and a handful of media members. His smile lit up the area and he expressed his enthusiasm audibly. Due to his excitement over the situation, Aaron’s legs shook occasionally. Whoever was near him would apply light pressure to his legs, with a comforting touch and a calm voice they would tell him everything was okay and to calm down just a bit.
During a group photo with the builders, Aaron’s legs shake.
“It’s okay buddy, you should be excited,” says Tyrone Leslie as he crouches next to Aaron’s chair for a group photo. “It’s good to see you,” he says as he comforts Aaron and calms his nerves.
After a brief chat with the media, Michelle is quick to point out that this is not about her family. She says they came to be in the crowd and on the other side of the cameras – not in the spotlight.
They want to watch as another family’s dream comes true. They’ve been there and they know just how wonderful it is.