“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May. I guess you’d say, what could make me feel this way?” Ellen! Ellen! “Talkin’ ’bout my girl!”
Ellen who? Ellen DeGeneres of course! The epitome of hope, joy, and optimism, Ellen enters millions of homes each day through the miracle of electronics. She dances her way into living rooms and hearts, including mine. I have been a fan for 12 years now, but this year has brought a whole new dimension. Even when I’m having the crappiest of days, I turn on Ellen, and I am overcome with joy. She makes me smile, laugh, cry. She makes me forget. For one hour. Jokes, music, celebrities, and the most inspiring human interest stories from all over the world touch my heart. Stories told by children, students, teachers, families, and so many others who promote the power of positivity when facing tremendous tragedy, loss, and adversity. It reminds me. It comforts me. My heart flutters when Ellen raises the light for these people who have lost hope. Once again, it makes me recognize my blessings.
“Ellen” was part of my bucket list. Going to the Ellen show was BIG on my list. Thinking I would ever make it there was way at the bottom. But leave it to Gregger. He always knew how to make things happen! It was our 37th anniversary. He handed me a manila envelope. This was different from the small silver wrapped boxes I usually received. Not that I expected it, but over the years he had developed a reputation as one of the BEST in the gift department. So what could possibly be inside a manila envelope? Paper? That’s the 1st anniversary. This was our 37th! But I was thrilled to get THIS paper. Inside was a picture of “My Girl, Ellen” with the words: “Happy 37th Aniversary! Time to Get your Dance on!” Gregger was taking me to L.A. with V.I.P. tickets to the show! No, Way! This was beyond awesome! A dream come true! And Gregger was going with ME! The icing on the cake. Four tickets! Ashley and Tyler were meeting us to join the anniversary celebration! Wow!
We flew to L.A. on Sunday. Our wonderful chauffeurs, Ashley and Tyler, greeted us at the airport, and we were off and running. We spent an incredible day playing tourists. Brunch at Urth Cafe, afternoon in Malibu, happy hour at The Ivy, dinner at Ocean Club! Absolute perfection! Good times. Fun times. Family times. Monday morning we were pumped for “our girl.” Filling a few hours we started off at Nate and Al’s, walked Rodeo Drive and then headed out to Burbank. Even with V.I.P. tickets we wanted to get there early. It was a full on adventure. We had to take pics, shop for Ellen gear, and soak it all in.
It was a good long wait, but who cared? We were at the ELLEN SHOW! We were ready to get our dance on! Even Gregger was feeling it. A little pushing and shoving and we made our way to the front. Truly the front. Front row center! Up close and personal with “my girl.” She came dancing through the aisles, spotted Ashley and danced face to face with her! What a moment! Gregger was rockin’ it. We were rockin’ it. You just couldn’t help but laugh, smile, sing along, and DANCE! Selma Hayek, Kellan Lutz, Luke Bryan, and two high school boys with a heartwarming and inspiring story. But it was Ellen who continued to warm the room. Her genuine charm. Her sincerity. Her kindness. Her generosity. It swept over the room like a breath of fresh air.
I was blessed with Gregger in my life for almost 40 years. I am blessed now. Ellen reminds me that there is always someone suffering from something greater. If they can get through a day with smiles, so can I. She ends every show with the most beautiful message: “Be Kind To One Another.” What greater message to send to the world. Spread it. Share it. This was Gregger’s legacy. Kindness. Compassion. Goodness. If I can keep this going, it will be all the success I will ever need. I can be something better, do something better. It is hope. It is power. It is joy.