Randy Travis Gives Shawn Patrick’s Grandma the Gift of a Lifetime
To me, there is nothing more important in this short life we live then to make those you love know that you love them everyday. My family always did a great job showing me as I was growing up, and now that I am capable, I strive to return the favor. To show my love to my grandmother, I took her to see one of her favorite musicians, Randy Travis, this last weekend at the Union Colony Civic Center. What happened that night was magical, and is a memory I know she will carry for the rest of her life as will I.
To make a long story short, I have always been extremely close to my mom's parents, my grandma and grandpa. Sadly, about seven years ago my grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away within a few months. To this day, it is still the hardest thing I have been through, but before grandpa left us I promised him I would take care of grandma for the rest of her life. Knowing the toll grandpas death took on me, I couldn't imagine what my grandma must have felt, so I vowed from that point on to be one of her best friends. To this day I make sure to call her at least once a day, have dinner/lunch at least once a week, and when possible get out and do something fun.
Even though she is getting up in age and has battled health issues for quite a few years now, including the need to be on oxygen at all times, I thought it would be neat to get us tickets to go see one of her favorite singers, Randy Travis, when he came to Greeley. So, for Christmas that is what she got, and boy was she excited! But, we hit a small bump in the road when she got tripped up at home and fell bumping her head pretty good and sending her to the hospital. Turns out, it was a good thing her fall happened because while there, doctors discovered she also had major heart issues. After an operation and over a week in the hospital grandma got to go home, but clearly wasn't her old self. Heart issues, asthma, and weak legs can take a toll on a 70 year old and I was worried that she was going to miss the Randy Travis show. A head cold added to her troubles in the week leading up to the show, and even she wasn't sure if she was going to make it to the show, but we decided if we took it slow and put her in a wheelchair we could make it to the show. So we went.
Throughout the beginning of the night I could tell grandma wasn't feeling great, but we eventually made it to our seats. Mr. Travis came out, sounded wonderful and was very entertaining as he put on his hour and a half 25th anniversary show.
Then, because I am fortunate enough to work in a great industry that often offers perks some never have the opportunity to experience, I was able to take my grandma backstage to meet one of her idols. When we got to the green room to wait for Randy Travis to come say hello, everyone was relatively quiet except grandma. She had the whole room chuckling as she asked me questions like "Do I need to put on lipstick," "Wonder if he would sing Amazing Grace if I asked," and "My friends on Facebook are going to be so jealous!" We were informed that for whatever reason Mr. Travis doesn't sign autographs, so it was just a picture and a handshake and then head out.
When it was grandmas turn to go up and take her picture, she jumped out of that wheelchair like she was 25 and said "this is a dream come true" in so much excitement that she once again had the whole room laughing, including Randy. He gave her a big hug, she took her picture, got back in her chair, and as I was pushing her out a woman came running up to us as if we had forgotten something. The woman who is Randy Travis' fiance told my grandma and I to wait around in the lobby for a few minutes as she had something special for her. Pretty soon my grandmother had the only autograph Randy Travis signed the whole night.
She probably could have not only gotten out of the wheelchair and walked to the car, but ran. It was magical what he did for her. A poor farm girl almost all of her life, in 70 years it was the first "famous" person she had ever met, and one of her favorites too. Artists do meet and greets with fans every night, and at times they can turn into real impersonal occasions. Randy Travis has recently went through a divorce, had a highly publicized arrest for public intoxication, and he has been meeting with fans every night for 25 years. It would have been really easy for this meet and greet to be impersonal and ruin my grandmothers only experience like this in her 70 plus years, but Mr. Travis made it special. He realizes it is people like my grandma that have made him who he is today, and those 5 minutes he was kind to her will go down as a highlight of her life.
Grandma didn't sleep at all that night, has been telling me how good she feels since then, and of course has told everyone she knows about the "coolest" experience of her life. Just a small example from my little world proving once again that love and kindness can cure anything!
Thanks to my grandma for a wonderful evening, and a huge thank you to Randy Travis and his fiance for the memory of a lifetime!