Friday, April 19, 2013

Generous Surprise Gift from a Stranger: The Memorable Night

Brielle and I were sitting in the waiting area of our car dealership service department in early January when a stranger approached us. With hardly a word, he handed us tickets to the Taylor Swift concert and walked away. Disbelief in his generosity overwhelmed us as I scribbled a note of gratitude to leave on his empty desk.

Wow! Tickets to see Taylor Swift!
If you haven't read my post about that part of the story, be sure to read it!

That brief interaction started months of building excitement about the upcoming event.

He reached out to us again in February and offered us two more tickets so that our whole family could attend the event together. He showered the girls with two backpacks filled with all kinds of Taylor Swift goodies.

Taylor Swift overload!
Be sure to read my post about that day as well!

Over the last few months, Mike has become our friend. He is no longer that stranger at the car dealership, the man I initially thought was trying to scam us.

A few weeks ago, Ashley learned that her new sorority was doing their initiation events the weekend of the concert. It was not practical for her to leave directly from her Thursday afternoon class, drive the seven hours from Orlando only to meet us late at the concert and then have to turn around the next morning to get back for the evening's events at her sorority. After months of looking forward to this event, Ashley was incredibly disappointed and so were we.

We decided to give her ticket to Brielle's best friend, Victoria. Her mother suggested we wait to tell her about the concert until her birthday, which was just two days before the concert. Victoria screamed with excitement when we called her on the phone to wish her a happy birthday and tell her about the concert. We made one special girl very happy, just as the "stranger" had for us back in January.

Victoria on her birthday
when we called to tell her
she was coming to
the Taylor Swift concert
A week ago, Brian learned that he had to go on a business trip to Pennsylvania for several days and would miss the concert as well. Ugh. What now?

Jessie has been a part of our family's lives since we moved to the Atlanta area nearly five years ago. She is more than just Ashley's best friend. Jessie babysits Brielle often and they have truly formed a special bond.

Silly girls!
Jessie is a Taylor Swift fan and we immediately thought of her. She, too, was in shock when we offered her the extra ticket.

Last night was the big night. Brielle could hardly get through an hour of our day without talking about Taylor Swift and how excited she was to have her two friends be able to go with us.

Brielle could hardly wait!
We shared some of the goodies Mike had given the girls with the birthday girl, Victoria.

What a birthday gift!
Brielle and her BFF could hardly stand still to let us take a picture of them before we left.

Wiggling with excitement!
And off to the concert we went!

Who's ready for Taylor Swift?
Despite the exasperating drive to the venue (which took nearly two hours in the awful Atlanta traffic), we were all tingling with excitement when we finally saw the stage.

On our way to find our seats.
Just before the concert!
The start!
Taylor Swift put on an amazing two-hour concert. What a performer! The girls were in awe of her many costume and set changes. Taylor certainly has no fear of heights!

Yes, that's Taylor on a secondary stage
WAY up there!

Yikes! Now she's on a small platform
suspended WAY up there
moving from the secondary stage
back to the main stage!

Good grief! Now she's on a platform
that raised up and swung out high over the crowd!

The girls rockin' out!
Final bow!
It was another exasperating drive home (taking nearly 90 minutes). Victoria feel asleep, but Brielle was still wide-eyed from the experience and hungry when we got home despite it being nearly 1am.

Popcorn at 1am? Sure!
She slept until eight this morning and the first words she signed to me was, "Taylor Swift. Wow." That says it all.

Although I can share the story, it is difficult to articulate how amazing the whole series of events was. Mike's generosity has renewed my faith in the human spirit and given us a night we will never forget. Although Ashley and Brian were not able to come with us, I feel a small sense of heartfelt pride knowing we were able to "pay it forward" in some small way by sharing tickets with two special friends.

Again, Mike has promised another "special surprise" (not related to the Taylor Swift concert). I can't even wrap my head around that one, so I'll keep it to myself for right now. But, be reading for more details about that in the fall!

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  1. Such a sweet story and the concert sounds wonderful! I know Jessie had a blast with everyone - thanks so much for inviting her.

  2. Brought tears to my eyes... again! Blessings all around for sure! Victoria had an absolutely amazing time and I thank you again for inviting her! We love you both! <3


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