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Big Apple, Bigger Surprise

Friday, Dec 1, 2006 from New York, New York

Today was epic. Today was a testimony to success, dreaming big, and going for everything I’ve ever known. Today was one of the greatest days of my life. Today was the most joyful day of the year.

For over a month I’ve been talking to producers of Naomi’s New Morning. They wanted me on the show. It was in Oregon that they had me meet up with a film crew to get some footage of me on the road. And today was the big day, the in studio interview with Naomi Judd.

I woke up this morning with no sleep. For one I was on a 3-hour time change from LA to NYC. Secondly, I wasn’t so much nervous, just excited! Flown into NYC for a talk show?!?! I mean c’mon, wow! In a way I knew it would happen sometime, but to be living it is something else. I was restless all morning. The time came, the car was here to pick me up, I met the producers, had my makeup done, waited around in my dressing room, and by late afternoon it was already time to go on. There I was, lights, cameras, action! And what a blast.

We came back for a second segment and Naomi asks, “How long since you’ve seen your family?” “3 months,” I say. And then she leaks the big news, “We have a surprise for you.” My face lights up and all I can think to say is “You’re kidding!” Out of nowhere come my mom, dad, and brother. Never in my life have I been so speechless, surprised, and joyful. To have them on the air with me and be surrounded by them after all that’s taken place on this trip was astonishing. And they knew all along! I was clueless. On air, Naomi presented us with a gift, dinner at a great Italian restaurant and tickets to see Les Misérables.

The joy, happiness, and excitement that I felt today tops anything I can remember. Tonight I got to spend a night with my family in New York City! And another day tomorrow. I never imagined that I would get to see a Broadway performance with my parents. Because of the kindness of others it happened. And the dinner, wow! The food kept coming out. There was a round of four appetizers for us to try, then a round of four pastas, then a round of four main dishes, then a round of 3 desserts to try. The chef of the restaurant even came out to give us a personal greeting. It was crazy, just crazy. This surprise and the gift of a night on the town with my family is the exact same kind of hospitality and welcoming I have found everywhere I’ve gone. It has made this trip what it is.

There are very few moments in life that stand out the way it did today when my parents and brother walked out. I didn’t think I would see them for months and months from now. These moments are impossible to summarize, but etched into my memory forever. This is truly one of the most special days of my life.

Blog Date Posted: Dec 1, 2006 | 545 words | comments 17 Comments
Comment by Kristy Snyder

BUGSY! after reading this i had tears in my eyes!! I am SOOO happy for you, what an incredible thing to have happen to such an incredible person! I am soo happy for you! We love you and miss you so much!!

Comment by Dave Sarazin
From Houghton, MI

wow dude, that is seriously amazing. I can't even imagina the feeling.

Comment by Kayleen
From Riverview, MI

It's so good to see you so happy! They say "what goes around comes around" as well as "you'll get yours". With your huge heart that you have, this trip along with Naomi's show are just some ways of the world repaying you for all the love that you give to everyone! We love you Justin!

Comment by Your Favorite Madison Girls
From Madison, WI

Bugsy!! We all gathered around the laptop to read your recent blogs and are so happy for you! We were a little bummed that Naomi didn't ask us to surprise you out there...but oh well (just kidding). Anyways, have a blast in NYC! Hearts and stars, Angie, Nicky, Brigid, Megan & Heidi

Comment by Barb and Lowell
From L'Anse across the Bay, MI

Hey Justin! Now how great is that eh? Your dad called us and said go down to church, Nancy has something to tell you guys. So we went. How nice to be told in person. This was one secret that was to be kept a secret. So happy you were surprised and are having a blast. Good for you. Good for all of you. Have fun and enjoy the moment.

Comment by Nancy
From San Luis Obispo, CA

WOW!!! I couldn't finish reading this blog thru the tears!! I am so happy for you and your family! We always watch these wonderful surprises on TV, but never for someone you know and have come to love so much!! Naomi, you're my hero to do this for such a special family!! Can't wait to see the pictures! We love you!!

Comment by Kelly
From Madison, WI

When and on what station is this show on? I want to see it!

Comment by Nicole P.
From Chicago, IL

That gave me goosebumps and made me tear up! That is so great!

Comment by Lisa
From San Luis Obispo, CA

Bugsy! Nancy told me to read this and it was truly amazing that your family could be there with you! How great! Have a great time the rest of the way....That is awesome! It's snowing in Tahoe...let's go boarding!

Comment by Elise
From Lansing, MI

Awww Bugs that's awesome. I miss you, k? You havent called me since the time I was watching football, call me again sometime. I miss talking to you!

Comment by Melissa
From Madison Heights, MI

I'm so happy for you! It's great how travel can make your really appreciate the things you left! When is this show going to be on? I hope I didn't miss it!! :) Good luck, keep rockin.

Comment by Kristi Sauer
From Hugo, MN

That is sooooo awesome!!! What a great surprise!!

Comment by Natalie
From Madison, WI

Awesome! I enjoy reading your stories and this one's pretty cool. You do so much getting to know other people and their ways of life, raising money for Melissa, and now you get something that's well deserved.

Comment by DonnaMac
From Baraga, MI

I just popped over to your Mom and Dad's for a quick minutes, and they are FLOATING! What an incredible experience for you all! What an AWESOME, AWESOME journey! "May the road rise to meet you".... And may the Good Lord continue to Bless you and your adventure!

Comment by Chris
From Ann Arbor, MI

Yo bugsy - congrats on your success on the road. I just got an excited phone call with details from my parents, so I had to check the website. I hope you are kicking back and having a great time. Great website too!

Comment by mom
From baraga, MI

bugsy, the anticipation and the ultimate surprise on stage was one of the best experiences of my life. you just don't know how hard it was to keep quiet about the surprise. And how often we 'just imagined' what your reaction would be! It was just awesome to be in NYC with all 4 of us, like a fairy tale. so...do we apologize now or later for our initial skeptisism about the HIT??!!!! love you lots.....

Comment by Bugsy
From East Lansing, MI

Oh, those were the days.