Thursday, May 25, 2006

Living the American Dream

As expected, I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like this week. Wonderfully, I did get to spend time with family and be largely uninterrupted by church-related requests. I also got to write about 1/3 of a post for my topic The Basics. Hopefully I'll get that and a couple others out tomorrow, but who knows...

So here's my media moment of the last few days:

My parents are fans of American Idol. I had never seen it before, but my wife and I watched some of the final episode and some of the awards presentation with them. Talk about a production! They had all the cool toys, gadgets, set-pieces, tons of cameras. I thought the overal production was excellent, especially since it was live.

On Wednesday Taylor Hicks won the right to be the next American Idol. My parents were thrilled. That's who they tried to vote for, though their call didn't get through. Taylor seemed pretty happy, too. He shouted something like "I'm living the American Dream!" during his last song. And we all lived vicariously through him, loving the attention, the spectacle, the reward for hard work, the fame, the adoration, the hope for the future.

Press "pause" on Idol for a moment. And rewind back into our family trip...

The day prior, my five-month-old daughter visited her great-grandmother Wilcox for the first time. Great-Grandma had been waiting all day in the sunny entrance to her assisted living facility because -- though she couldn't tell you what she had for breakfast that morning -- she knew her great-granddaughter was coming to visit that day. She didn't know what time, though. So she waited there for hours, happily anticipating our little girl's arrival.

What happened at 4PM was a moment I'll never forget. My grandmother -- weekened by the recent passing of her husband, two moves in a few months, an earlier battle with cancer, numerous falls and broken bones, and the more recent loss of memory -- held my little girl for the first time, the first Wilcox great-grandchild.

Great-Grandma smiled. A lot. Which is much more than normal, I'm told. Honestly, I think it pretty much made her year. At one point she said through tears of joy, "It's just great to be family and to be together." She was right.

On Wednesday night, when Taylor Hicks won, I couldn't help but remember our family moment that occurred the day before without any cameras, lights, hype, makeup, or hoopla.

When Taylor Hicks is 85 years old and has been totally forgotten by his fans, I hope he has a great-grandchild to come to visit him.

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