Seventeen years ago, Scott had a ticket to see Garth Brooks but had to give it away at the last minute when he started a new job that required him to be out of town that week for new-hire training. Scott had mentioned this to me some years later, and although I felt for him missing the concert I was secretly glad since if he had not taken that job I never would have met him several years later (it was his first job in the pharma industry). I could imagine it being a coin toss for him as to whether or not to stay in town for the show and pass on the job… but he is a very responsible and hard worker.
Right after we were married five years ago and unbeknownst to Scott, I joined the Garth Brooks fan club on the crazy chance he’d come out of retirement and perform again… it had been since 1999, I believe, that he had put on a concert.
Well, imagine my surprise when I received an email early this year that Garth was going to be performing for a limited engagement in Las Vegas at the Wynn’s Encore Theatre. I have to say, Las Vegas is Scott’s and my least favorite city… something else we are compatible on. We have to go there once, sometimes, twice a year for company meetings and we absolutely dread it… but we’d overlook the locale for Garth! I went ahead and surprised Scott for Father’s Day with two tickets to the Oct 24th performance… it was a Sunday and we’d fly in and out over the weekend for the show. I knew at the time there was a chance that we’d be pregnant (our transfer had already been targeted for July) but I figured, at most, we’d be 3+ months in. I selected front row balcony seats so I could sit, if needed.
But, alas, that opportunity to see Garth live would not come to pass either for Scott. By early October my doctor had written an order that I should not fly for work. I was traveling almost every week and to the west coast… which is just about as strenuous from Knoxville as it is to get to Europe! My blood pressure had spiked and my hands were cramping… neither good for trying to rush through airports and then sit in meetings/dinners for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Scott felt so strongly about protecting our two little girls that he quickly decided we should forgo even a relaxed trip to Las Vegas despite it meaning he’d miss the concert again. I wasn’t surprised though at how well he took it, he’s an awesome father. I felt badly though.
Well, four days after we missed that show… and on my birthday no less, Garth announced what became nine Nashville Benefit concerts to raise money for this summer’s historical floods. He must have decided to come back since we had to miss the Wynn show for the twins… how sweet of him and what amazing timing!!
My girlfriend, Sallie, immediately called to tell me and we planned how we were going to work our computers the day of sale until we secured tickets. When I told Scott he was beside himself… it appeared God had been pleased with Scott’s responsible decisions in the past and provided us a third time as the charm. Since we’re only two hours from Nashville by car, the trip is doable for the twins and me.
We decided to attend two of the shows… this Monday and Tuesday. Nonna and Poppa had the kids for their annual pre-Christmas trip to Gatlinburg so we were clear. Monday night we went with Sallie, her husband and son. It meant a lot to be there together since Sallie is also a huge fan and one song… “If Tomorrow Never Comes”… is extra special to her ever since she had an aneurism 10 years ago and learned what it feels like to almost not make it through.
For the second show we went with Scott’s brother, Brent (who was the thrilled recipient of Scott’s ticket 17 years ago!) and our sister-in-law, Karen. What Scott didn’t know was that for this second show I splurged and secured us a different set of tickets… sixth row center!! When my girlfriend, Wendy, was visiting two weekends ago for our baby shower, she pushed me over the hump to buy them… Scott’s already sent her a huge thank you!!
I conserved my energy all day Tuesday and the twins were great… they let me make it through the whole show without a single potty break, even though they started kicking during “Friends in Low Places”… which Scott and I thought was ironic, considering they’re usually slaying on my bladder!!!
It was our last hurrah before the girls are born and we’re coddling 7×24… and it was a good one. Garth has some really silly songs but also some with profoundly beautiful lyrics. “Unanswered Prayers” will always remind me of my desperate prayer to God thirteen years ago when my sister, Julie, was first diagnosed with cancer that it would be better for it to be me than her. And now I think our new family song is “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”… with three terrific kids already and another pair on the way!!