Friday, July 8, 2011

Our night at the Kennedy Center

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First we got to have a wonderful dinner at the Rivers at Watergate. The parking garage was an adventure for sure. I am so thankful I packed my flip flops. There's no way I could have pushed Chaz up that hill much less around all night in heels.

We dined with General Chipman, Vice Admiral Vitali, their wives, the Executive Director of the Wounded Warriors' Trust, Kirk, his girlfriend, Denise, and this adorable older couple who had been married for 66 years. We had lots of great conversations and were greeted, but all sorts of other generals, musicians and others ranks I am not sure of and so many people that I seriously could never remember all of their names. The food and people there were absolutely fabulous.

Chaz and I were pulled out to do an interview. I have no idea for what nor when it is going to be shown. But we had fun with it. He and I both greatly underestimated how big this event was. I am very thankful for that, because we would have been even more nervous. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. By the time we realized how big the event really was we were already in the middle of it. Looking back we are both thankful that we did it, but we were quite intimidated for a little while.

When dinner was over we walked over to the Kennedy Center. What an absolutely amazing place?! Beautiful is just not a good enough word to describe it. We were seated in the box closest to the stage. We were just a few feet from the orchestra. We were then tapped on the back to go backstage.

I got the pleasure of pushing my hubby out on stage (yes ladies in the heels, the flip-flops were in his backpack). The color guard presented the colors and the orchestra played the national anthem. It was gorgeously perfect!! Then we were introduced. I was moved to tears when the entire, orchestra and choir stood up to applaud Chaz. It literally took my breath away and the tears filled up, but I held it together. It's that whole I am wearing mascara and it will run down my face if I don't suck these tears up, that always keeps me together. Then Kirk read a poem that he and Chaz wrote together about me and the girls and I teared up again, but once again didn't cry. Then it was my turn to speak. I decided at the last minute to not use my speech. I put it in Chaz's bag and just spoke. I did get a little choked up, when I talked about that day and that call, but could you not. I talked for a few minutes about how important community support is for our families. I thanked everyone for what they have done and what I hope they'll continue to do. I also said please remember we are only one family and there are many more of us out there. Then General Chipman talked about Chaz and I and then Chaz talked and simply reminded everyone we are just doing what we have to, but we need all the support we can get. Then the Navy Admiral and his wounded warrior spoke. It was one amazing thing to be a part of. But seeing and hearing everyone cheer for my hubby was the best part.

We walked off the stage and General Chipman came up to me and said I am so glad you put that speech away. You are one amazing person and you definitely don't need a speech to help you talk. I am so glad I got to meet you and Chaz and be a part of this. Kirk then came up and said I liked your speech, but I like it when you just talk so much better. He said every person was leaning in to hear me. I was too busy telling myself not to freak out that I couldn't tell you what anyone was doing while I was talking.

We went back to our seats and enjoyed the amazing concert. It was then that I really sized up the crowd. Holy moley there were thousands of people there. There were stars on uniforms and ladies in ball gowns. WOW! And we spoke in front of them. During intermission Chaz and I had a line of people coming up to thanks us and hand out hands. We waited for the intermission bathroom rush to calm down so we could take our turn. I put on my flip-flops and down the hall we went. While I was waiting for Chaz this super cool guy came up and gave me a high five and said he was amazing that I could stand up and talk about that phone and not cry. He said when I paused he teared up, but sucked it up when I did. Then he said, alright you are way too cool wearing comfy flip-flops. I told him, my friends will tell you I can only be a girly girl for so long. He said I was definitely one cool lady. His date was really sweet too.

Chaz and I went back and enjoyed the rest of the concert. SFC Motes and his date escorted us to our van and got to get stopped every few feet so we could talk to everyone. But somehow we escaped and came back to Fisher and crashed!!! So I guess we're on the news here this morning because our Fisher House manager Maurice says this morning, "I didn't know Fisher House was housing such important people." Funny huh?!

Well that was our incredible night! We are going to chill out today. I am at Fisher waiting for our credit card to be delivered via Fedex and Chaz is at PT. Once he returns we are doing NOTHING! We are going to call and catch up with the girls and then just chill out!

Have a great day!
=) Jessica

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