I am usually never at a loss for words, but I worry that I won't be able to even put into words, this moment -- or rather, this day-- that I know has truly changed my life.
In order to fully tell this story, let me back things up to last month.... when it all started with an email.
I received this particular email from a non-profit organization in Appleton, WI (which is about 20-30 minutes from Green Bay). This group supports individuals with developmental disabilities. For several years, their funding has decreased to now only allow them to provide food, shelter, and medical needs. The email went on to say that this organization (Agape of Appleton, Inc.) also believes it is important for folks to participate in the community and have an opportunity to live their dreams.
They created a program called "Live Your Dream" in parallel to a program like "Make-A-Wish", which grants their clients an opportunity to do something they've always dreamed about. I was told that some clients dreamt of attending concerts, Green Bay Packers games, or Milwaukee Brewers games. But they had one particular client in their program that had a different dream.... and it included me.
I can't begin to tell you how honored both myself and my co-host felt to learn that one client's dream-- above anything else that she could have wished for-- was to meet us. Her name is Beth and her dream, after listening every morning to our radio show, was to get to come in the studio and meet us in person. I had no idea at that moment that meeting her would change my life.
When she arrived on Tuesday, it honestly felt like Beth lit up the room immediately. Her happiness was contagious and she made us feel so special. We showed Beth what all the many buttons do in the studio, how the microphones work and we took pictures with our guest of honor. I asked Beth if it would be ok to share the pictures online and she was really excited about that. She said, "I'm going to be famous."
"This is the best day of my life". To hear those words from someone as innocent and honest as Beth, filled my heart with something that I've never felt before. I can't even accurately describe it. I mean, here we are, going about our jobs and putting on a show like we do every morning. And to Beth, we just made her dreams come true. Something that took such little effort, could make such a huge impact. And she wasn't even asking for much at all. We knew immediately that Beth was one special person.
To the students of Lawrence University in Appleton, WI: If you happen to meet Beth in your college cafeteria where she works, please be kind. I know your lives are busy and your thoughts are probably consumed by upcoming exams, term papers, and all the things you plan to do with your future. But please take a few moments out of your day to get to know this wonderful lady. Your heart will be touched immensely and she will teach you things about humanity and the joy of life that no college class could ever hope to.
And to Beth: I don't know if you'll ever read this. But if you do, I want you to know something. I remember as we hugged goodbye and you said, "Thank you for letting me meet you." But Beth, thank you for letting me meet you. This may have been the best day of your life (as you told us on the show) but it was also one of the best days of mine, too. You are a beautiful person, both outside and most importantly, what you have inside. Your joy is infectious and I hope that I am half of the person that you already are. You're wise beyond belief when it comes to what's important in life- how you make others feel. I'm so glad we could make your day special. Take care and I hope to see you again.
From your biggest fan,