Seriously, I think I am still pinching myself back to 'Reality'...this actually happened!!
I first listened to one of Kenny's country albums about 10 years ago and was hooked! I own every album, including the 'All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan' Christmas album -- don't judge! At this point, I have actually lost track of how many Kenny concerts I have been to, but it's A LOT! And yes, maybe I have smuggled home a few concert "souvenirs" with his face on them. Kenny's feel good music just makes me want to sing out-loud, word for word, every time I hear his songs.
A few week's ago my in-laws came over to our home to share the exciting news that I would be meeting Kenny Chesney at the concert, which I had bought tickets for (months in advance). Say what!?! My jaw dropped and several times I repeated the words "ARE YOU KIDDING?" My father-in-law, Paul, had been diligently working on this surprise for several months and it finally came to fruition. A friend of his who had read Jacob's blog, shared it with some radio DJ's at KRTY 95.3 and they arranged for me to do a meet and greet with Kenny!! I got two passes and was able to bring along my best friend Jenna, who was actually the person who coerced me to listen to Kenny's music years ago.
To say I was nervous, is an understatement. I had butterflies in my stomach for at least 3 days prior to the concert. Of course, I also bought a new outfit for the occasion. This was a BIG DEAL!! I was so anxious on the day of the concert, that I decided we needed to make our way to the amphitheatre 5 1/2 hours before show time. We showed up before the parking lot even opened up, but hey...I wasn't going to risk missing my chance to meet Kenny!
We lined up at the backstage gates to meet Kenny and were escorted back by security for the meet and greet, where a professional photographer snapped our photo with the 'Big Star'. There was so much anticipation leading up to this moment and I know it may sound strange to some, but I could feel Jake all around me, which was incredibly special. I got to shake hands with Kenny before telling him about Jake and asking if he'd wear one of Jakey's wrist bands for our picture. Aside from being strikingly more handsome than I expected, Kenny was very gracious and said, "absolutely, I'll wear this for your son." Kenny put the blue PERSEVERE wrist band around his left wrist, which is where Josh and I wear ours. I got a little choked up, but I fought back the tears, so that I could get a good picture -- just check out the gigantic smile on my face below. He also signed a small poster that I had kept since my first Kenny concert back in 2005. Kenny was impressed!
Meeting Kenny Chesney was an amazing experience and the fact that he wore Jacob's wrist band truly meant the world to me! Being able to share Jacob and his story of perseverance with others is one of the ways I can honor him and continue to experience the difference he has made in this world.
As an extra added bonus, I got to spend the day with some of my best friends, and sing-a-long with thousands of other fans to some great music. Fun times!! If you want to talk about finding the JOY in your life, this is what it's all about.
|Kenny Chesney and me (with about the biggest smile I could possibly have). Check out Jake's wrist band on Kenny's left arm, which happens to be wrapped around my shoulder.|
WHERE WORDS FAIL MUSIC SPEAKS
Very special thanks to my father-in-law Paul for making this happen, as well as his friend Terry and KRTY 95.3.