Way back 25 years ago, when I was in the 11th grade, a very wise teacher had us to list out some goals and dreams that we would love to achieve. In this day and age, it’s called a Bucket List. So, my 17 year old self that was shy, backwards and horribly awkward, thinks of a few things that will satisfy the teacher and turns them in. All of the items are in random order, with the exception of the first thing! It is the most important.
- Meet Chuck Norris
- Fly in an airplane
- Travel Overseas
- Ride on a train
- See Washington Redskins play
- Go on a Cruise
- Visit the Statue of Liberty
I must admit. Number 2 and 3 were a given. Not much faith required there. My Dad had sent my brothers overseas for a graduation present and I was graduating the next year, so that was easy.
Fly in an airplane – First time in 1986 and since then I have flown several times. I love it. Will fly anywhere you send me.
Travel Overseas – My Graduation trip (1986) was to Germany, Austria and Switzerland! An amazing 12 days was spent seeing the castles, learning the history and taking in the breath taking scenery of the area.
Ride on a train – I was able to ride on a train through the Swiss Alps. We stopped for a snowball fight with complete strangers as well as students and adults that were traveling with us. The train ride was an experience to remember.
Visit the Statue of Liberty – I have always adored Lady Liberty. She is so beautiful, strong and a symbol of hope for many coming to the United States for the first time. Completely unexpected, my Dad sent me, my sister Angie, my Step Mom and my Cousin Mike to New York for a 4 day weekend. We stayed in New Jersey and took a train into New York everyday. We were able to visit the Statue of Liberty as well as take the elevator up to her crown and look out over the city. I completely enjoyed it, even though I’m horribly afraid of heights. That trip also allowed us to visit the top of the World Trade Center – for which I’m eternally grateful for such a gift. Again, the fear of heights kept me close to the wall and away from the railing – but I am able to say that I have that memory. The memories of this trip is full of great laughter as people tripped over luggage or the curb of the side walk several times before we made it home safe and sound.
See the Washington Redskins Play – This was during a time when Charlotte NC did NOT have an NFL team. I had the privilege of having this dream come true on a basket ball court! The Washington Redskins played the Miami Dolphins in a charity event at the UNCC college campus not far from my house. My Dad found out about it and took me to see them. Hey – the sheet didn’t say that it had to be a football game now did it? Mark another one off!! Side note – years later, when we did get a team, stadium and the works, I was able to see them play a few times.
All of this has happened in a matter of a few years. I’m down to 2 items, Meet Chuck Norris and go on a cruise. Every new movie that came out, I’d watch, desire and wish more, but honestly….do I stand a chance of meeting him, naaah.
Go on a Cruise – 1990, I’m several months pregnant and another dream is about to come true. My Dad sends me and my step mom on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. I’m so excited as I get to fly again and mark one more thing off of my list. The plane ride is wonderful. I’m sick, but blame it on the baby as I had never been sick when flying before. We enjoy the wonderful dinners, the shows, the tours, the island and the ocean – the vast, wonderful ocean. Every night, we would park ourselves out on the top deck and sleep, listening to the sounds of the ocean gently rocking us back and forth, cradling us in this dream come true.
Steve has always known of my fascination of Chuck Norris. When I met Steve, I used to have a small 3×5 framed picture of Chuck Norris in my room. Somewhere over time, that picture has disappeared, but the desire never did. It only grew as more movies came out and then Walker Texas Ranger leapt onto the scene. Chuck Norris was playing in a new episode every week, right in my living room. I’d watch the episode, secretly despising Alex Cahill for always getting kidnapped or needing to be rescued. I’d watch the movies with great joy and hope of meeting this TV star that was virtually unreachable.
In 2003, I revised my list as I had crossed off everything but one item. I make the additions while sitting beside the ocean during Memorial Day weekend. My kids were 12 and 8, and because my Dad’s heart was giving out and his death was in the near future, I was in a situation where I was thinking about life, it’s ending and I decided That the list should be updated with more goals and dreams. A few of the new items are:
- Visit and do something in all 50 States.
- Stay at the Hotel shaped like a sail in Dubai
- Start a Non Profit and make dreams come true.
- Read a book a month
- Read through the Bible multiple times
- Visit the Equator
This is just a few of the items that are on that list. I’ll post the list elsewhere at some point. The point is, the number 1 item was still just that…Number 1 and never going to be crossed off. (Just being honest here.)
Social media is amazing. I love twitter and the many, many connections and friends I have made. I love learning about others and developed a list of things about me that I often share with others. Number 6 on that list is I have wanted to meet Chuck Norris since I was 17. (Really, can you help with this?) I share this list weekly as well as talk about meeting him and on his birthday this year, the entire day I tweeted Chuck Norris Facts. Many have seen the Chuck Norris request and have asked, emailed and tried to get me to him. YOU know who you are and I Thank you!!
Every March 10th – I send out my usual Happy Chuck Norris Day email. It’s his birthday and it’s just what I do. I may talk about what he has done, his code of ethics, his career, and his handsome good looks or just rattle off my favorite Chuck Norris facts. I usually add pictures because one can never have to many pictures of Chuck Norris.
I sat beside the ocean January 1st, 2010 and dreamed of what this year would hold. Never in a million, bazillion years would I have guessed that I would be writing this article. Never. In fact, I talk about meeting Chuck Norris, laugh at my favorite jokes, but had just decided that it would never happen. He turned 70 this year and in my heart of hearts, I felt that there was no way that I would ever get to meet him.
May 12, 2010 I get an email that said Chuck Norris is going to be in Charlotte on Friday at the NRA Convention. Well, the convention center was 10 minutes from where I was sitting. I hop online and it’s sold out. Wouldn’t you know it? So close but so far away. Friday, I’m pouting on facebook. I even make a statement like ” Ugggh!!! How can I be soooo close….and yet sooo far away?!?!?!? *pouting* what in the world?!? [shaking head]
Friday afternoon, my cousin Mike calls and tells me to check my email. A sales guy just left their office, leaving them with none other than tickets to the NRA at the convention center – which in HIS mind and MY mind equals ONE THING!!! OH my GOSH, I get to meet Chuck Norris!! I pick up the tickets, HUG my cousin and float through my night.
In line on Saturday morning, to purchase the book Black Belt Patriotism, it hits me…Today, I’m going to meet Chuck Norris! The tears start flowing. I get the book and get in line. Not far from the front of the line, Todd turns me around and points and sure enough – there HE is! WOOOOW!! I see him!!! I’m going to actually meet and talk to him! (more tears) We wait patiently! He’s been signing books and chatting for a while, now. I’m speaking with one of his workers and seeing that Todd and I are next in line when the worker tells me that Chuck Norris is going to take a break for a little bit. I laugh!!! How funny is that! I’ve waited 25 years to meet him and he walks away! I tell the worker that I’m tweeting that, and send outa tweet that said I was “next in line to meet Chuck Norris and he leaves….come back!!!” He watches, making sure that I’m not sneaking a photo. Altho, I’d love to have a photo with him, but that just was not the case today.
He comes back, I extend my hand and Chuck Norris shakes it. I clasp his hand with my left hand and I’m giggling like a child on Christmas morning holding the best present ever! I look him in the eyes and get the chance to tell him that I’ve wanted to meet him since I was 17 and have waited for these 25 years. He doesn’t rush us. He listens and even comments that me wanting to meet him for so long is sweet. He looks up and smiles, says Thank you, calls me by my name and shakes my hand again. *grinning* “I TOUCHED Chuck Norris!!” I think to myself! I do the 2 handed hand shake again…I have his hand in BOTH my hands!! Wow..my heart is pounding. It’s racing. I just met Chuck Norris! I tell Todd to shake his hand, and he does. Todd then takes a picture of “the hand” that shook Chuck Norris’s hand and facebooks it. It’s nice to see my son excited! I call Angie first. I’m crying and can hardly speak. I met him!!! She laughs with me! She knows how I’ve desired this for all these years.
I gaze at my autographed book. With the hundreds of people that were there today, he will not likely remember me, unless he remembers the silly “older lady” that bounced over to his table immediately following the first break, giggling like crazy. (and clapping) But me…well, I will never, ever forget that today is the day that a 25 year old dream came true. Never! I can’t even begin to express how I’m feeling. How my heart is full of unspeakable joy. It is just amazing that this dream has now come true.
My best friend and her husband called to “check on me” later on in the evening. The only way I could describe myself was that I was “paralyzed with JOY” – I was (am) so happy that I didn’t know what to think or do. I tried to write this article earlier and the words wouldn’t come. My heart was soaring well beyond cloud 37 ½!
What dreams do you have? Do you feel like they are simply out of reach? Have you waited 10, 20 or 30 years and still have not had your dream come true. Don’t give up. Don’t! While this may seem very insignificant in the realm of things, it has always been important to me. I’ve joked about it, laughed about it…and have desired it greatly. Don’t give up. Keep Dreaming and then move in the direction of your dreams!
I called my Mommie today. I told her, Mom…guess what?!? Finally, mom, finally. I met Chuck Norris…can you believe it? With that, the tears started again. I could hardly talk. I Love you Mom! I’m so glad I could share my joy with you!
[whispering….] Hey Dad….guess what Daddy? (Tears falling) Did you see today? I got to meet Chuck Norris! [nodding] and it was completely awesome! I touched him and everything. I wish you were here….I do. I miss you so.
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