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G is for Gratitude

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” –Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.” –Charles Dickens

It’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude when we are constantly bombarded by negativity. Just watch the evening news. It’s enough to make anyone depressed. Social media isn’t much better. Since I’ve been trying to adopt “an attitude of gratitude,” I now limit the viewing of both of these sources. Appreciating the gifts we’ve been given isn’t always easy, but creating a gratitude list is an effective way to develop and sustain a positive outlook on life.

I’ve started a “30 Days to Happiness” challenge, and the first thing that’s required is to list three things I’m grateful for every day. By day five, I’m finding it harder to do. I trudge on. My brain benefits from searching for the good in life.

So today, I’ve decided to give thanks for my five senses, which are so often taken for granted. The older I get, the more I realize how lost I would be without the ability to see, hear, feel, smell  or taste.

My eyesight isn’t as sharp as it used to be. I no longer have 20/20 vision. I need reading glasses for fine print. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without being able to read a book, watch the next season of Game of Thrones, or immerse myself in nature’s vibrant colors and beauty.

I’m grateful I still have my hearing, even if it is a bit damaged from listening to loud rock-n-roll during my youth. I need music to lift my spirits, to energize me or lull me to sleep. I would be as frustrated as my father without his hearing aids if I could not follow a conversation or hear birds singing in the distance.

I recently became a grandmother, and let me tell you, there is nothing sweeter than the feel of a baby in your arms. I just want to kiss all over her soft, smooth skin, rub her baby Buddha belly, massage her little legs, and caress her tiny fingers and toes. Doing so calms my nervous energy. There’s also something soothing in petting a puppy or kitten, or curling up with a silky blanket or lounging on cool bed sheets.

My sense of smell has always been strong. I can spot a foul odor a mile away. If it’s coming from within my house, I hunt it down to eradicate it. Before I leave town, I clean my house so that upon my return I will be greeted by fresh scents. I use essential oils, incense, and scented candles to cheer me.

As for the sense of taste, mine has never been overly picky. I’ve always been a fast eater, never lingering on what my taste buds might have to say. I know I need to slow down and savor each bite, but eating always seemed to be an inconvenience to me. I used to wish there were pills I could take to bypass the whole process. Now I know I’m missing out on what the French have always treasured: making mealtime a pleasurable indulgence. A glass of red wine with cheese or chocolate are some of the few treats I truly cherish.

Yes, I am thankful for these gifts. Not everyone has use of all five senses. As a child, I was fascinated by Helen Keller. I read every book I could find about her. For a woman who was deaf and blind, she accomplished more than many of us and appreciated what life had to offer her. I would like to be more like her. By acknowledging my blessings every day, I hope to shift my mental state and respond to life from a place of strength and sensibility.

Be grateful for the good in your life.

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F is for Family and Friends

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind and serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised and today is short.” –Unknown

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating  virtues of humans, are created, strengthened and maintained.” –Winston Churchill

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” –Alex Haley

I think of my family and friends a great deal. They are what either boost my morale or knock me back down to reality. They can break my heart or fill me with joy. Friends come and go, but family remains until death do us part. People often talk about dysfunctional families. When I was younger I thought my family was abnormal, but soon realized there is no such thing as normal.

Many years ago I interviewed my mother long before she began showing signs of dementia. I wanted to discover what made her tick, and in doing so, find out who I am. I learned through deductive reasoning why she became who she is, but I am still trying to see how it links to me. Her memories of her birth family are vivid even now when she is half mad, but she cannot recall events of my childhood. Was her inner life so unbearable then that she blocked it all out? Did having three small children drive her insane? Her mother died when I was three years old, and for many years to follow there were hints and murmurs among adults that she lost her mind with grief. Now, she calls me six or more times a day looking for her long dead mother and sister, crying for someone to come get her and take her home. She also reverts back to the time when my youngest daughter was small. My mother and mother-in-law took turns watching Morgan while I worked. Those were happy times for us all.

So it is only the happy times she recalls. I don’t blame her wanting to go back. If only we all could go back to happier times and relive them with relish. I want to be there for my mother, even though we are miles apart. I wish I could comfort her while she waits to return to the family she lost so long ago.

As for friends? Few stay. I rarely let go of a friendship, unless they let go first or die. My grandfather once said, “If you have one good friend in life you’re damned lucky.” I have a handful who have been around for many years. Will they be there in a flash when I’m in desperate need? It’s doubtful. Mainly because their families come first. I understand.

Instead of allowing my mother’s grief and my longing for friends to drive me insane with depression, all I can do is try to remember something I once heard: we are the memories we keep in our hearts.

As for you, dear reader, cherish your loved ones. Never waste an opportunity to let them know how much you care. Those moments will become the memories that sustain you.

“What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life–to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” –George Eliot

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” –Confucius

 

 

 

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D is for Daddy

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Me and my Daddy.

Not every man merits the name Daddy, but it’s a term of endearment my father deserves. I called him Daddy when I was a child, but soon switched to plan ole Dad once I hit my teens. It wasn’t until recently that I reverted back to calling him Daddy. It came automatic even though at times I feel we have traded roles. C. Wayne Greenlee was the “go-to” man when any of us kids found ourselves in a rough spot. If he couldn’t fix things for us he had earned the money to pay someone who could.

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My daughter Miranda showing her “Papa Wayne” how to be gangster.

He grew up poor on a farm where his family barely scraped a living. He was outgoing, friendly, worked hard and loved to play football. He played at Breckenridge High School (two time Texas All State team and Texas Football 3A Champions) in small town Breckenridge, Texas. Receiving a football scholarship, he went on to play offensive and defensive tackle and earned a degree in Geology from The University of Oklahoma. His 1955-56 team won back-to-back national championships, and their record for 47 consecutive wins still stands unmatched today among college teams. After graduation, he and my mother struggled financially for many years. Before he became a Petroleum Landman, he worked three jobs as an oil scout, gas station attendant, and high school football referee while my mother raised us three kids.

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My Daddy and Mommy: Wayne and Dixie. It wouldn’t be Christmas without another OU sweater.

His perseverance and hard work paid off. After we kids had grown and moved out, he went out on his own and became an independent Petroleum Landman. He is the true definition of a self-made man. He came from nothing, climbed to the top–stumbling a few times along the way–and did what he set out to do: to become financially independent while working at a career he loved. He always said the oil and gas business was a lot like gambling. He thrived on it and, at times, got lucky. Many people bash the oil and gas industry, but they don’t realize it’s not all about the big corporations. There are good, decent, honest men out there like my father who sometimes pay their dues working for corporate America but eventually head off on their own.

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The Orange Bowl: where my Daddy’s team won a national championship. It wasn’t until many years later that the university offered these legends their championship rings.

As for the personal side of my father, I know you would fall in love with him once you met him. Always looking on the positive side of life, he is the most generous and laid back man I know with a sense of humor that is endearing. I’m proud to call him my Daddy.

He has taken excellent care of his family. Now at the age of 80, he is slowly coming to terms with the fact that it’s his family, his children, who need to return the favor. He is determined to take care of his wife of 60 years, my mother, who, after several falls leading to head injuries which doctors blame on a series of mini-strokes, has been diagnosed with dementia (possibly Alzheimer’s, but the jury’s still out on that one). His role as caretaker is taking its toll. What can we do, but help him hold onto his dignity and independence for as long as possible?

momanddad.phpSo now when I go see my parents I have to speak a little louder and repeat myself often. And when I hug him goodbye I always say, “I love you, Daddy.” I’m not even sure if he notices that I’ve resumed my childhood term. I should have never stopped using it. “Daddy” doesn’t sound childish to me anymore. It sounds beautiful . . . like true love.

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C is for Courage

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, we will fall!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

And so they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.

–Guillaume Apollinaire’

C is for Courage. The ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, or uncertainty. Ernest Hemingway referred to it as “grace under pressure.” There are days when it takes a tremendous amount of composure to face the present. The past may be poking and prodding at your back while the future is screaming in your ear, “Take action!”

Philosophers through the ages have professed that dying is easy; it’s living that’s difficult. This is especially true if your life isn’t going as planned, and you’re stumped about what action to take. It seems that the older you get, the more courage you need. You have less time to waste and feel pressured to find and/or fulfill whatever dreams you may have once envisioned. You may have to accept that dreams from your youth will never be obtained and have the determination to create new ones.

No one goes through life unscathed by some sort of crisis, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Sorrow is a part of the human condition. But with courage you can do more than survive misfortune–you can learn and grow from it. You may begin questioning every belief and notion you have staked your life on. Were you living a lie? Were you a fool? If you are unafraid to look deeply and answer honestly, you might find a comforting message: you were doing the best that you could at the time or you would have done otherwise. Stop beating yourself up. By letting go of fear and regret, you let go of the past. By embracing the present, you give yourself a gift: a chance to heal and an opportunity to be your authentic self.

A little bravery is necessary to overcome everyday problems. You must face reality, the here and now, even when feeling inadequate and uncertain. Take time to reflect on what is important in your life, and afterwards, surrender and concentrate on your breathing, being mindful of each inhalation and exhalation. All you have is this very moment. Savor it, looking only for the good. It is there. It may be hidden deep within the folds of your consciousness, but it’s still there. Keep looking. Never stop.

We are constantly evolving, moving from what is to what could be. If we are fearless and receptive to ourselves and to others, we become responsive to the process and transcend all the spheres of existence. With our eyes open, we are free to fly, to choose new paths, to let go of any negative energy and embrace the positive as it occurs.

Courage allows us the choice to appreciate the true beauty called life.

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B is for Beauty

B is for Beauty. Its definition numerous. It surrounds us in nature if we open our eyes and truly see. But what makes humans beautiful? Remember the old cliche? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In the marketing world, a beautiful person is a sleek, young man or woman with air-brushed skin and the bone structure of a marbled statue chiseled to perfection. In society as a whole, youth is the epitome of beauty. I would have to agree; I looked better when I was young (sure miss those days). But we need to broaden our view and look beyond the physical for beauty transcends appearances.

Have you ever met certain people and upon first introductions nothing about their looks made you take notice, but after becoming acquainted you found yourself attracted to them? Their beauty springs from a well within them: their attitude, demeanor, and personality.

These traits can be honed as we grow. Like a fine wine, we should become better with age. If we don’t let life’s disappointments drag us down into a mire of negativity, we can shine with an inner beauty that has more to do with our philosophy about life. It radiates through what we say–for our words have an impact on the universe–and how we act and what we create.

I once read that the greatest gift we can give to others is being a role model, by setting a good example. When stripped to our essence, our beauty is more about our wisdom and the love we share. True beauty emanates from the eyes of the beholden.

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From A to Z

If you’re interested in joining the A to Z Challenge, check out Damyanti’s blog Daily (w)rite. She’s a co-host to the A to Z Challenge.

I considered the Challenge, but knew I couldn’t write about twenty six subjects in less than a month, a year maybe, but never a month. I’m lucky if I blog every three months as it is. The motivation is gone. Where it went is beyond me. I should have named this blog Brain Fart instead of Brainstorm. I’d go ahead and change it, but I’m not sure how to do it. Who knows, maybe it’s too late. What can I say? I’m still technically-challenged (though I did finally buy a smart phone and am slowly learning how to use it). My brain doesn’t function the way it did when I was younger. It’s slowing down. Yours will too one day. Enjoy its brilliance while it lasts.

I’ve read so many different people’s ideas on what a blog should be. Most people pick a topic and stick with it. Not me. I’m random. And I don’t care if others say that’s not the way to do it. I don’t want to write about writing all the time. Plenty of other writers do that already. The subject is well-covered; I don’t have anything else to add. Besides, I’m still learning. I’m no expert. I’m an expert of nothing.

Even though I’m not joining the A to Z challenge I think I’ll try the basic concept. I need to blog more just to keep it from dying. My next post—and I have no idea when it will be, not that you’re holding your breath or anything—will be about something that starts with an A.

If anyone even reads this post, if you have any ideas please feel free to share. I need all the help I can get.

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March 22, 2014 · 8:46 pm

JUST A FAN (OF A ROCK AND ROLL BAND )

As a child in the seventies I fell in love with the voice of lead guitarist Justin Hayward of the British rock band The Moody Blues. Once I saw him on the album On a Threshold of a Dream I discovered he was as beautiful as he sounded. I prayed for the chance to see him in concert, but it wasn’t until 1994, some twenty-odd years later, when my prayer was answered.

The Moody Blues came to town and performed with the local symphony. A radio station announced an opportunity to meet the band for one hundred dollars. I wanted so much to meet my idol, but I was a thirty-two-year-old mother of a toddler and a teen, returning to college for my elementary certification, and therefore, tight on money (plus, my husband wouldn’t let me). I bought tickets, but didn’t get front row seats. I kicked myself for months afterward. Why didn’t I ignore my husband? Kick. Why didn’t I spend the money I didn’t have? Kick. I could have charged it!

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A younger Justin Hayward.

The night and music were magical. Afterwards, I wanted to play all my old albums but my turntable was broken, so I bought CDs to replace my antiquated collection. I listened to their music every day until my husband said, “You know, The Moody Blues used to be my favorite band, but since you’ve played the hell out of their music, I’m getting kind of sick of them.” To appease him, I played their music every other day.

My prayer was answered, but I wasn’t satisfied. I had not been specific enough. I wanted to be up close and personal, so I added this wish to my daily meditations. Before the concert I went through a writing dry spell, but after listening to them I felt the muse awaken. I wrote a corny short story about a woman who fantasized about Justin Hayward. (Hey, what can I say? Most fiction is based on reality.) In time, this phase played itself out. Years passed, my children grew, I began teaching. Life became hectic. Occasionally, I would loll myself to sleep with fantasies of Justin, but the obsession abated.

Seven years after my first Moody Blues concert I heard they were coming back. I made damn sure I was in line early to purchase tickets. This time I got front row seats. The day of the concert I went to the salon to have my hair styled. If I was going to make eye contact with my idol, I had to look my best. My husband laughed. When we found our seats at the auditorium, we sat next to a fellow who had been behind me in line when purchasing tickets. My husband whispered something in his ear. A few seconds later the man grinned and said, “By the way, your hair looks lovely.”

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Photo I took at the April 2013 concert.

The concert was fantastic. I was close enough to get some great photographs. I looked Justin in the eyes and couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. I floated on a sea of sighs throughout each song. In the end, the audience moved closer to the stage and the band members threw guitar picks and drum sticks, while shaking people’s hands. As Justin moved in our direction my husband pointed at me and shouted, “She loves you!” Then it happened. Justin shook my hand. My second prayer had been answered.

I begged my husband to walk by the backstage doors, but he wouldn’t. “Only groupies do that,” he said.

Well, I wasn’t a groupie, but after that concert I thought maybe my obsession had something to do with a spiritual connection. Maybe that was why I always wanted more. I shook hands with Justin Hayward. It should be enough. It wasn’t. I started dreaming about talking to him.

When I heard they would perform in Oklahoma City during Spring Break I about wet my pants. I would be in Norman, Oklahoma then, visiting my daughter who attended college there. I ordered tickets.

On Sunday, March 16, 2003, my twenty-two-year-old daughter Miranda and I met Debbie, a friend from OKC, at the Civic Center to embark on another Moody Blues voyage. Our seats were at the back by the lighting crew. Though far from the stage, we had an excellent view. Some of the songs brought tears to my eyes. When Justin sang, “I know you’re out there somewhere” and the lights flashed on the audience, I wanted to wave and shout, “I’m over here!”

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What girl wouldn’t fall in love with a face like this?

Once the concert ended, we sauntered out back and waited around with other fans, hoping to catch a glimpse of the band. After some time, they came out. Drummer Graham Edge and guitarist John Lodge and his wife left in a black limo. The rest of the band, along with Justin Hayward, left in a white van. Miranda took several photographs.

With a sigh, I said, “I wish I knew where they were staying.”

Debbie said. “Let’s go have a cocktail.”

“Where’s the nicest hotel?” I had an idea.

We drove by two. At the second one, the Renaissance, I saw a guy walking in, carrying a Moody Blues album. “I bet this is the place. Let’s have a drink here.”

On our way to the hotel lounge, we saw Paul Bliss, the keyboardist, and Gordon Marshall, the other drummer, talking to fans. I felt my blood pressure rise. We found a table and ordered drinks. The band members came in and sat at the table next to us. The drummer leaned over and asked if they could use one of our chairs. As my heart pounded through my ears, I said to my daughter and friend, “God, I hope he’s here.”

Not long after that, Justin Hayward walked in. I thought I would faint. We watched as they toasted each other with champagne. Fans came by, asking for autographs and photos. Debbie and Miranda kept saying, “Go over there. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.” I didn’t want to interrupt their celebration. And I was terrified.

Debbie told the waitress I wanted to meet Justin but was too shy. The next thing I knew, Miranda whispered, “She’s telling him. They’re all looking over here.”

I don’t know what the waitress told him, but she came back to our table and told me I was welcome to go over. Still too scared to make my move, I felt like crying. I started slamming down my beer, looking for strength in my liquid courage. When two chairs became vacant and it was last call for alcohol, the girls urged me on. “Go, go,” they chanted.

I took a deep breath, made myself stand, turn around, and plop into the chair next to Justin. I felt like a complete idiot. To make the situation more awkward, Justin was talking to a man sitting next to him. I couldn’t be rude and interrupt. Trying not to let on I was in a panic, I introduced myself to the female backup vocalist. Thank goodness, she was nice.

Before much else could be said, Gordon the drummer came back to the table. I said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m in your chair.”

He sat in my lap “That’s okay,” he said in his charming British accent. “I’m the birthday boy!”

Oh joy! Comic relief. I wrapped my arms around his waist and laughed. “So how old are you?”

“Thirty-four.” He held up his glass and cheered. Everyone was laughing, including Justin.

I said, “You’re just a baby.”

“I mean forty-three.” He got out of my lap and sat next to me. Now I was sitting between Justin and Gordon.

Trying to keep the conversation alive, and not knowing what else to say, I stuck my foot in my mouth. “So did you get your birthday spanking yet?”

Everyone cracked up laughing. The female singer asked, “Is that with or without clothing?” More laughter.

They probably thought I was making a sexual advance. I felt my face begin to burn. Thankfully, the lights were dim. I tried to regain my dignity. “You don’t know about birthday spankings?” A shake of smiling heads. Obviously not.

“You get one spanking per year old you are, and then a pinch to grow an inch.” More laughter. Oh God, what did I just say? Why not the variation, “And one to grow on?”

Gordon said, “In that case I’m not 43, but 4003.”

When the laughter died down I introduced myself. I shook Justin’s hand and said, “You don’t know how many beers I had to drink to get the nerve to come over. I’ve loved you since I was a kid.”

He said something like, “That’s okay. I understand.” He was so nice. His voice was soothing and he looked as handsome as ever.

I felt like a silly young girl sitting next to him. At this point, I lost my senses and the rest of the story is the best I can recall.

Someone asked if Rebel was my real name. “Are you a rebel? Have you lived up to your name?”

“I was, but I’ve mellowed with age.” I explained that my mother’s name is Dixie.

Justin pointed to Miranda. “What’s your sister’s name?”

I laughed. How sweet of him. “That’s my daughter.”

I introduced Miranda and Debbie, though they remained in their seats. Everyone exchanged hellos. Justin asked why I didn’t name Miranda along the same lines as my name. I explained about hearing her name in a song and thought it was pretty. He smiled as if he appreciated I got her name from a melody.

Debbie said, “Rebel drove all the way from Midland, Texas to see you.”

I added, “I saw you last year in Midland.”

“That was two years ago,” Justin said.

“I had front row seats, you shook my hand, and my husband screamed, ‘She loves you!’” The band laughed. At least now they knew I was married, perhaps they didn’t think I was some hussy. Then I said, “I did something that made me feel really stupid.”

Justin leaned forward. “What’s that?”

“I was clicking away, taking pictures, when this roady told me to turn off my flash. I didn’t even think about how it might temporarily blind you.”

More laughter. Why worry they might think I was a groupie? By now, I’m sure they thought I was a complete idiot.

“The flash doesn’t bother us.” Justin shook his head. “Heavens no, we don’t care. It’s the concert hall that decides whether you can take pictures with or without flash.”

Relieved to know I hadn’t blinded my favorite guy, I still felt foolish for not thinking about all the stage lights and how much brighter they are than any flash.

I told him about how I had kicked myself for years for not attending the hundred-dollar event to meet the band many moons ago. He didn’t know what I was talking about. I explained hearing about the 1994 concert charity benefit, how I could have purchased a ride in a limo, had front row seats, and a chance to meet the band members.

“Aw ha!” Justin said. “That’s the catch . . . a chance to meet the band members. We don’t do those kinds of things. You can’t trust all you hear on the radio. Good thing you didn’t spend your money.”

I’m not sure what I said in reply. At least I didn’t have to kick myself anymore.

We spoke of other things. I told them about Stephen Stills playing in Midland, how there had been no advertising and a poor turnout for the concert. “It was embarrassing.”

“It was the promoter’s fault.” Justin pointed to the man sitting next to him. “That’s what he does. He’s the promoter here.”

The man scowled pure hatred. He looked like he would rather see me dead. I tried to ignore him, but his angry gaze made me uncomfortable. I struggled for something to say, so I mentioned seeing Bob Dylan in OKC. (Oh great, now I really sounded like a groupie, mentioning all the concerts I had been to.)

Justin pointed to the promoter again. “He promoted that concert, too.”

Someone asked, “How was he?”

“He was good,” I said, feeling my words begin to sputter. “The concert was outdoors.” I looked at Miranda. “Where was it at?”

“The Zoo.” The look on her face said, Mom, they don’t really care.

I continued regardless. “They sold beer there, so you could drink while you listened.” (Oh great, now they think I’m a lush as well as a babbling idiot.) “It was a lot of fun. A friend of mine broke her wrist . . . I mean her ankle while we were there.”

Gordon said, “Well, get it straight. Was it her wrist or her ankle?”

Everyone laughed.

“Her ankle,” I said, not knowing why I even mentioned it in the first place. Feeling even more flustered, I said, “Anyway, I turned my daughter on to The Moody Blues.”

Justin smiled. “What did you think, Miranda?”

“It was great!” She smiled.

The rest of the evening was a blur. I talked with Paul the keyboard player for some time. At some point Justin spilled a drop of red wine on his sweater. I asked if he had tried white wine to get it out.

“That doesn’t work,” he said.

“How about club soda?”

“That doesn’t work either.”

I couldn’t believe it. Here I was talking to Justin Hayward about laundry.

We talked some more, or should I say, I talked some more. I rambled on about how much fun Miranda and I have together, going on trips and concerts together. All the while, I could see Justin from the corner of my eyes, leaning back with his chin in his hand. Was he just listening? Or was he thinking: How did I get stuck with this weirdo at my table?

At one point, he asked about our stay at the hotel. I rushed on to tell that Miranda went to school in Norman, I was staying with friends there, and Debbie lived in OKC. He may have thought I was stalking him. I don’t know why I didn’t explain how luck (or divine intervention) had drawn us together.

The band had a long drive to Nebraska the next day and I had a long drive home. We all stood and shook hands. I would have left it at that, but my dear friend Debbie used her brains (she knew mine had been blown away). “Before you go,” she said. “Could I get a picture of you with Rebel? This would mean a lot to her.”

He was gracious and said yes, mumbling something about the wine spot on his shirt. We stood and put our arms around each other’s waist. I glanced at his face, still in a haze, not fully comprehending that I was next to HIM.

Miranda took my camera and shot the photo. “I think I blinked.” I moaned.

“I think I did, too,” Justin said.

“Take another one,” I ordered.

“I can’t,” Miranda said. “That was the end of the roll.”

I wanted to say, “Oh shit!” but instead I said, “Oh well, at least I got to touch you.” (Fortunately, the photo turned out and our eyes are open.)     

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Justin and me. April 2003.

As the band headed toward the elevator, we girls waved, saying, “Goodbye, have a safe trip.”

I called, “We love you guys!”

Debbie, Miranda, and I went outside and hooped and hollered with joy. It had been a perfect night. I saw them in concert again this April. My husband and I had second row seats. I made eye contact with Justin. I couldn’t tell if he remembered me. Who knows, if he did, he may be afraid.

I still would like to meet him again so I’m working on another prayer. Never underestimate the power of prayer. I’d like a second chance to prove I’m not a stalking, babbling idiot. I’m just a lifelong fan of a singer in a rock and roll band.

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