Many of you who are my Facebook friends know of our family's love of Danny Cox. Especially Lea! Danny works for Kensington Community Church, something in arts and music. I don't know his official title. But I know he has a lot to do with planning the services that we love so much. He also has a CD called In All Things that is one of our favorites Of All Time.
But let me set the record straight: I do not like Christian music. Sure, in church, wrapped up in the moment. A good rockin' version of Mighty To Save can bring tears to my eyes. But when I try to listen to the Christian radio station or a CD, I don't know what happens. My thoughts wander, instead of focusing on the words I find myself thinking, "this sounds second rate." So I flip on some REAL music.
But a little while back, Kensington was promoting a new CD released by Danny Cox, all original music. We had heard him and knew he was good, but to be honest, my intention with buying the CD was to be supportive of a fellow KCC member. As I listened to it, something strange happened. I could feel God around me, I could feel His presence. We ended up listening to it in the car quite a bit and the kids liked it, too. After some time, Lea started requesting it when we were driving. She loves to sing and soon had learned most of his words and was able to sing along. Loudly.
One thing Lea never realized is that Danny does go to and work at our church! One day when I picked her up from her homeschool classes at our Troy campus, this was our conversation: Me: "Lea, guess who I just saw!!!!" Lea: "Who?" Me: "Danny Cox!!!" Lea: (said like I am a complete lying fool) "Mommy. Come on." I had to try to explain that he works there, and while he has a great CD, he isn't really a big worldwide star.
Now for the stalker part of the story. I attended KCC's women's retreat with my amazing friend Susan. I was totally freaked out when Danny himself walked out to perform for us all weekend! I, of course, was singing along as I, of course, know all the lyrics. The next day, I decided I would just die if I didn't say HI and get a picture of him for Lea. (And maybe for me, so what?) So I went up and told him about Lea and that she loves him as an artist and thinks he is a big, huge star. I asked if I could get a picture with him and Susan took it for us. Danny said he would love to meet Lea sometime. OMG. That would be sooooo great! (I didn't say that, though. I played it cool, said "Oh, sure. That sounds good. Whatevah.") Then I proceeded to follow him into the hallway and discuss Christian music. Which, as I already explained, I don't like. It was interesting that he said he didn't like much of it either! I was hoping to see him in our eating area for a meal where I planned to casually sit at his table, but he never showed.
So I showed Lea the picture and told her Danny said he would love to meet her. She was so excited! But life goes on and we never ran into him at our campus of KCC.
Jump forward a few months. Our family had experienced the horrible tragedy of my niece Megan's death. The circumstances surrounding her untimely death are too horrible to share here, although many of you know the story. We all had and continue to have a very hard time processing this. Lea especially. Again, without lots of details, what I can share is that she has horrible nightmares and is very scared that this could happen to her. She barely played Barbies anymore and never wanted to be alone. She started following me to the laundry room, the bathroom, my closet. She started coming with me on every errand, even when she didn't have to. She was truly so sad. I wanted to do anything I could to bring her some happiness. One day as we were driving and she was having a bad/sad moment, we were listening to Danny's CD. I remembered (or God reminded me!) of our conversation at the retreat. I thought, "Oh yes, I've got it!" So I asked her if she would like to meet any rock stars to make her happy! "Ooooo, how about Billy Joel!" Crap, that didn't go as planned. I explained that I didn't have any way to contact Billy Joel, but I could get a hold of Danny Cox! "Oh yeah!" she said excitedly!
So I began trying to contact Danny. I started off my email with something like, "Yeah, remember me? The stalker from the retreat? My daughter wants to meet you!" He did remember, and he was so gracious. He said we could meet for sure! Time got away again and we never set up a date. Lea's sadness continued so I did what any loving mother would do and emailed him again! This time we set it up. We were going to meet at KCC at his office for about an hour.
Lea prepared in advance by making some crafts for Danny: a painting with his initials on it and a melty bead creation (you know, the kind you run a hot iron over to make it stick to itself?) She also prepared some interview questions and poems. She told me "He isn't just a rock star, Mommy. He is a wisdom guy." She wanted to talk to him about Megan. She got all dressed up and got her little pink guitar ready to go. But she told me, "I am not going to be a crazy fan." We waited in the lobby:
We eventually found him after some confusion and hung out in his office. Lea gave him her gifts which he was very fond of. She started off with the interview questions. She sat in rapt attention listening to his answers.
Then she read him a poem she wrote about him. It talks about how he is a star and her light. I thought I would burst into tears! But then she read another poem about vampires and blood, so the tears went away. I didn't even know she ever wrote a poem about vampires. But it wasn't the good kind like Edward. She hasn't even seen Twilight! Anyway, she got to play his guitar:
Then he signed hers! She was so excited.
So that was Lea's special day! She talked about it a lot. This made her so very happy and I am forever grateful to Danny for allowing us this time with him. She still has sadness and confusion over Megan's death. But she also has the memory of this day, one of the most special of her life!!