When I was about nine years old I developed a huge crush on Donny Osmond. I soon learned that he was a Mormon. As a Catholic living in New Jersey, I didn’t even know other religions existed, so the concept of Mormon meant nothing to me. I soon learned that it meant he didn’t drink or smoke.
As the years went by and I entered junior high school, my friends started to drink and smoke in the woods behind our house. Whenever they offered some to me, I would always so “no.” Why? Because I truly believed that Donny wouldn’t like me and of course he would never marry me if he knew I drank and smoked!!!!
During that same time my mom would read “Reader’s Digest.” There were often ads in there titled “What Keeps the Osmonds Together and Happy.” You could fill out a form and receive info about the church, so I did. I started to learn everything I could about the faith. (Donny was married by this time, so I knew all hopes of marrying him were over!)
When I was a junior in high school, the missionaries came into the store where I worked. I looked at them and said, “Are you Mormon missionaries? I have been looking for you my whole life!” You all know the rest of the story. This past December was the 25th anniversary of my baptism.
How did all that lead to Donny’s singing to us for our 20th wedding anniversary?
About this time last year I received an email from Donny.com promoting his new CD which was going to be released in April. I completely FREAKED OUT when I saw (and heard a sample) that he sang our wedding song on the CD!!!! What are the chances of that? Not only was Donny coming out with a new CD in April on which he sang our wedding song, but April also happened to be our anniversary month!
I completely FREAKED OUT again when I saw that Donny was going to perform in some small venues, one of which was in my favorite place in the world: New York City. So our anniversary was all planned. We would spend the weekend in NYC and see Donny and hear him sing our wedding song.
The only problem was the tickets were “General Admission.” Such things put me in panic mode, especially when it comes to Donny. Sometimes I’m glad that he never performs around here because honestly, if I don’t have the front center seat I can’t go see him. Just the thought makes me panic. I need to know that HE KNOWS how he is affecting me. It’s a very difficult feeling for me to describe.
So here is how it all went down: I am sitting on the couch in the hall at Church one Sunday last March (a few weeks before the concert) and I start talking to a lady I had never seen before. She told me she had been attending our ward sporadically for about a year or so. They had a condo in Florida and a house in Connecticut. I then asked her if she evers goes to NYC, told her that we would be going in a couple of weeks to see Donny, and she said how fun it would be if she and her husband could also get tickets to his show and meet us in the city. (We had an instant connection!)
I then told her the venue, which was “Feinstein’s at the Regency” to which she replied, “Oh, my husband’s best friend owns that hotel!!!” WHAT?????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My panic about having a “General Admission” ticket immediately subsided! A couple of phone calls is all it took and we got the best seats in the house!!
Now let’s fast-forward to the night of the concert. I was sitting in the lobby of the venue while Neil was waiting outside for our new friends to arrive. While I was sitting there, I turned around and there was Donny and his son Don walking right behind me in the lobby!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ran up to him and blurted out some kind of nonsense about how I had loved him my whole life and how I had always wanted to thank him for the example he was to me and thank him for my eternal family. I also kept saying, “AGHH! I can’t believe my husband has the camera!” I also told him how he would be singing our wedding song and that we were celebrating our 20th anniversary.
WELL, fast-forward to the concert…the time comes for him to sing the song. He looks at me, asks me my name, and calls me up on stage. He told the audience how he saw me earlier and that I was upset because my husband had the camera. Neil then takes a picture of me with Donny. Donny then proceeds to call Neil up on the stage, too. He pulled two stools over for us, sat us down, and sang the song to us.
I COULD NOT BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At the end I hugged him and said, “Thank you for my eternal family.” It was more than a dream-come-true. I had wished to have that one moment to look in his eyes and thank him, and it happened.
So, there you have it! When people see the pictures (I carry around a little book and show them to EVERYONE) they all ask how Neil arranged the whole thing. Funny thing is, all he did was pay for it! We all know who arranged it…and it wasn’t me and it wasn’t our new friends…
P.S. What is the song? “If” by Bread. The one that goes “If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you?”…
**STORY UPDATE Jan. 18th, 2010**….Wow! It’s been a really long time since I have read this post. As I read it again almost three years after it happenied, it still makes me smile. It also still makes me hyperventilate. One of my biggest wishes was to look Donny in the eye and personally thank him for my eternal family. I feel so extremely blessed to have been given that opportunity. Right there, that very moment on stage with Donny on one side of me and Neil on the other side, I KNEW that God was aware of me and my desires. That is not a feeling that is common to me, even though I know it should be. I am so thankful for the experience to not only thank “my missionary,” but also to feel God’s love for me. 😉