January 12, 2016 - 8:00 PM
"IT WAS LIKE MEETING MY BEST FRIEND."
KELOWNA - Tyson Noel knew his long distance girlfriend was working on a gift for him, but he never thought it would go viral and touch hundreds of thousands of romantics around the world.
Noel, 26, and Mikki Miller, 25, met online seven years ago. Both are members of several photography websites and after making first contact, their friendship grew. He is a manager at Lordco in Kelowna, she is a graphics designer living in Maple Grove, Minnesota. With 3,500 km between them they knew it wouldn’t be easy to maintain a relationship but they decided to meet in person last May.
“We hit it off so well,” Noel says. “The first time we met it was like meeting my best friend.”
They spent a week exploring Yellowstone and getting to know each other and the relationship grew beyond friendship. Since then they have only been able to see each other in person three times, but during her last visit to Kelowna she left something behind to let him know how much she cares for him.
“She came up for New Year’s and we spent a few days in Kelowna and Harrison Hot Springs with friends,” Noel says. “I was out of my room and she hid it underneath a large side table.”
What she hid was a briefcase with 22 sealed notes and packages.
“I had no idea it was there. A few days after she got back, we talked about how we missed each other. She said for days like today, go look under the side table.”
Noel says he was blown away by the amount of work that went into the gift, so he photographed each envelope as he went through it for the first time.
“It’s amazing,” he says. “I’m not into material things so it was nice to see someone put the effort and thoughtfulness into it.”
Each of the envelopes have instructions on the front like 'open when you’re having a bad day,' 'open when you’re feeling alone,' 'open when you’re feeling nostalgic.'
Noel says he’s kept the contents of the envelopes private but he decided to share the photos he took on Imgur where it was viewed 250,000 times.
“It’s kind of blown up,” he says.
The story has been featured on Cosmopolitan.com, Huffington Post, ABC News and The Chive. Noel and Miller are still coming across websites that have jumped on the touching story.
“It’s kind of overwhelming,” he says. “I love the idea, I guess others do too.”
To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016