The OffSpring and I recently went on a whirlwind 3+ week RV trip with my parents. We left Spokane, Washington and headed to Yellowstone, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, Denver, Colorado, and all points between.
While in Denver, we took an opportunity to visit Red Rocks Amphitheater.
We went to a Film On The Rocks night. The movie showing that night was Catching Fire.
As it turned out, we were fortunate to get tickets. It was a sold out show, with nearly 9,000 people in attendance.
My dad and I entered the venue from one entrance, Mom, Curtis, Gregory, and AnnMarie from another. As my dad and I entered the venue, there was a booth set up along the stairs. I immediately recognized what was going on. They were swabbing potential bone marrow donors. The organization was Love Hope Strength Foundation (@LHSF) and they are partnered with Delete Blood Cancer. Love Hope Strength is an amazing foundation that tours with musical groups and inspires people at concerts to #GetOnTheList. They are based out of Denver, Colorado.
It’s not often that I run across a bone marrow donor drive. They just don’t happen that frequently. I was giddy. You see, Gregory was with us. I could share our story with them, introduce Gregory, and hopefully inspire the volunteers to keep doing what they do. Letting them know that the work they do is vital and has a significant impact on people’s lives. Gregory was across the venue, so I jumped in and introduced myself. Well, actually I just blurted out, “My son is a Delete Blood Cancer recipient and SURVIVOR!” This is where the chaos and synchronicity blossomed.
They were jacked to meet Gregory. I met Rob Rushing, tour manager for Love Hope Strength. He was practically jumping out of his shoes. They all were. He asked me if Gregory would want to go on stage before the flick, when they told the audience who they were and what they were doing. I said sure, but would need to check with Gregory.
Gregory has been terribly shy and felt awkward in this limelight that he has been thrust under by his mom. He has watched me do some crazy stuff in the spirit of advocacy, awareness, and sharing our story. As he has aged over the last five years, he is learning what his diagnosis with cancer and his treatment mean to him. It is constantly changing as he works on figuring it all out. Sounds like something we all do, right?
When I presented the request to him, he got excited. Really excited. In a way I have not seen in him before. I have never talked about what his advocacy should look like. I have never even suggested that he should advocate. Yet, he has been listening and absorbing the craziness that is his mom. He immediately wanted to head down to the Love Hope Strength tent and just hang with them. There were a couple acts before the flick started and Gregory’s appearance on stage. He met everyone at the tent and they graciously gave him a rockin’ green LHSF t-shirt, along with our wristbands for backstage.
Rob asked Gregory is he wanted to say a few words to the audience while on stage. To my utter amazement, Gregory said yes. With zero prompting or coaching from me. Whatever he chose to say was to be all his words. It seemed like forever for our time onstage to arrive. When it finally did, we headed back there and hung out for a bit, waiting for them to breakdown equipment from the previous band. While there, Rob snapped a couple phone shots of Gregory on the rocks backstage. Apparently this is hallowed ground. It’s fuzzy, but I don’t care.
Then it was time. We walked out on stage, Rob did his thing and so did Gregory. AnnMarie caught the moment from the audience. The quality, once again, isn’t great, but she got it.
Freaking amazing, huh? Right after this, we went up to the LHSF tent and Gregory swabbed potential bone marrow donors. Yep. My kid CLAIMED his story and advocacy that night. To say the night was magical is a huge understatement.
The moon even offered us her magic.
Nearly two weeks later and I am still soaring from this night.
With a spirit filled with magic, synchronicity and love,
MindiTheMagnificent (Gregory, too.)