And fist bumps (complete with teaching Mr. Green the jelly fish add on). And hugs. And autographs. And …getting the chance to tell someone that their creation has touched you deeply.
Yeah…that all really did happen tonight!!
Earlier tonight, I posted the following on FB:
“The Fault in Our Stars author & actors meet and greet.....there is an amazing, wonderful story to tell for why Madison and I are here. Will share tonight...right now I am going to stand here watching my precious daughter have the night of her life. Life really is so good!!! — at South Side Ballroom.”
At the time, the story, while amazing, was still actually short enough to share on FB…Not so much anymore.
A while back now, Madison found and fell in love with the book, “The Fault in Our Stars”, by John Green. It was a story she could relate to….characters that are her age, medical issues, oxygen, bipap, wheelchairs, g-tubes, and the list goes on. The book touched her deeply, and she became a huge fan of John Green. Like a huge fan!! Heck, she even had this book as the theme of her birthday party last year!! She was SO excited when she heard that they were making a movie based on the book, and has been talking about, and anticipating the opening (June 6) ever since.
As part of the movie promotion, a Tumblr contest was held to pick the four cities Mr. Green and the actors, Shailene Woodley (Hazel Grace), Ansel Elgort (Augustus Waters), and Nat Wolff (Isaac) from the movie would visit this week to kick things off, and Dallas was one of them. So a week or so ago, Madison asked about going and I told her we would play it by ear.
I desperately wanted her to be able to do this. It’s been a rough few months and she so needed something like this to give her spirit a lift, but when I asked about it again this week, she said she had heard it was drawing huge crowds and she didn’t think it was something she could probably do.
My heart sank.
And in that moment of desperation to find some way to make this happen for her, I went to John Green’s website, found a contact person, and composed an email that I sent on Wednesday. I shared a little of Madison’s story, and a lot about how much she loves this book, and then hit send and figured I wouldn’t hear anything back. It was just 2 days before the event after all, and I wasn’t even sure there would be time for them to see the email, much less respond to it. And I didn’t say a word about it to Madi. I knew the odds were against us, and didn’t want her to be disappointed.
I checked my email regularly. Just in case. And hadn’t heard a word.
Madi and I walked in the house late this afternoon after a long day, that ended a really, really, really long week. All I could think about was sleeping as soon as possible, and Madi was about the same.
And then my phone rang, and I didn’t recognize the number. Normally, I’d ignore the call, but something made me answer it.
It was “Josh”, with The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) crew, and he asked if Madison and I were there at the venue yet!! I told him we weren’t, and he went on to say that he had a VIP pass waiting for us, and to call when we got there and he would get us situated!!!!!
OMG!! OMG!! OMG!! OMG!!
I so badly wish I had captured Madison’s face when I told her she had to get ready because we were going to the TFIOS meet & greet, and we had VIP passes waiting for us!! It was absolutely priceless, and something I will think of to make me smile forever!! She was OVER THE MOON!!!
We rushed out the door and to the venue, where there were literally thousands of young people circling the block waiting to get in…it was INSANE!! We made our way to meet Josh, got our VIP arm bands, and were escorted in to a special section just to one side of the stage, but with an amazing view of what was going on. Madi and I just kept looking at each other in disbelief!!
My precious girl was SO happy…and so, I was about as happy as I could be.
We got to see a sneak peak of the movie, and then watch as Mr. Green and the actors answered questions. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and all four endeared themselves to us all (Ansel even did some break dancing for us!!). It was an amazing hour, and it was so cool to have been able to be a part of this special event. There was something like 3000 fans in the room, and it was loud and full of energy!!
And then we found out there was more…the small group of maybe 20 in the VIP area were going to be taken back stage to meet Mr. Green and the actors for autographs!! We had NO IDEA, and were again pinching ourselves to make sure we were not dreaming!! Seriously, how in the world could this just keep getting better!?!?
And yet, it did. It got amazingly better.
We made our way back, and as soon as we were in the room back stage, we had the chance to meet the lady that had ultimately gotten my email just TODAY!! She kept thanking US for coming, and telling me how much it meant to them, and all I could say was that we needed to thank them!! It was a HUGE honor to be there!!
There we photos taken, autographs (with ad libs) done, and an incredible moment that neither Madison nor I will forget anytime soon.
And then…as they gathered this small group of VIP’s together for a photo, Mr. Green & the actors joined the group, and he got right next to Madison for the photo. Then there was a fist bump, then HE TOOK A SELFIE WITH MADISON ON HIS PHONE, then he asked for her Instagram name and allowed HER to put it in his phone for him, and then I got a hug, and then Madison did!!!!
Our cheeks hurt from smiling, and we kept literally pinching ourselves as we made our way home. I earned the “Mother of the lifetime” award this evening per Madi…
More…I saw my girl smile, and be happy, and love life tonight.
So, so, so incredibly grateful. An exceptional life indeed.