February 22, 2009
The following is a guest post by longtime reader Vanessa Prince. She shares a story about Carrie Underwood that has also been featured in Country Weekly.
When fate called, I was napping. The phone would not stop ringing, so I angrily answered, “Hello.” It was the Carrie Underwood Fan Club, letting me know that I had been selected to attend a Meet and Greet at her upcoming concert.
When the big night came, I awaited my meeting with Carrie. I was joined on line by a little girl named Hayley, who was with her aunt. The girl was so excited, I asked her if she wanted to go ahead of me, and they did. She was so cute, jumping around and asking where Carrie was. I asked her, “Do you have something for Carrie to sign”?
Her aunt said “No, just the tickets.” I had brought my Carnival Ride cd jacket, so I offered her a picture from the booklet. Her eyes were so big when she said “Yes, please!” Her aunt was very appreciative, while seeming to slightly tear up. She told me that Hayley was supposed to meet Carrie this past April, but it didn’t work out with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. My heart sank as I learned that the little girl in the cowboy hat has leukemia. They had managed to get meet-and-greet passes for the show at the very last minute.
A gentleman named Matt, who works with Carrie, told Hayley to peek around the corner. She looked, and then she covered her mouth with one hand. She looked back at us and said, “She’s real pretty!” Once Carrie made eye contact with her, Hayley barreled over to her, nearly knocking the young singer over. I didn’t think Hayley was going to let go.
As Carrie was signing their tickets and the picture from the booklet, Hayley’s aunt started to tell her about the Make-a-Wish foundation. The tickets had come through so late that the artist wasn’t aware of why Hayley had meet-and-greet passes. Without missing a beat, she went on with Hayley like she wasn’t there because of the possibility of the inevitable. There was no sign of remorse or pity.
Hayley noticed a Little Mermaid bag on the autograph table and asked Carrie, “What’s inside there?,” Carrie looked in the bag and said, “Some letters. Do you like the Little Mermaid?” She said “Yes,” and Carrie said, “I do too”. When Carrie brought the bag down to Hayley’s height and opened it, it started to play “Under The Sea.” Carrie started to dance and sing the song to her. Hayley was laughing and dancing, too, and told Carrie, “You’re silly!”
Carrie knelt down and asked for one last hug, and asked, “Do you know the words to ‘All-American Girl’?” She said “No, but I know ‘Wasted’!” Carrie told her, “You can’t do that one! If I ask you to come on stage with me, will you dance with me again and maybe I can sing the words that I tell you?”
Carrie delivered on her promise. Only a handful of people knew the story behind Hayley being on the stage, so I’m pretty sure people thought I was crazy for crying so much as I watched them sing together. The way they danced together on stage was how they were dancing downstairs to the Little Mermaid bag. Carrie let her finish the song, and as Hayley hits that final note, Carrie’s got her hand in the air, closes her eyes for a second, then looks at Hayley with the most joyful of smiles. I knew at that moment that Hayley’s dream had come true.
I still look back on that night with amazement. You think your problems are bad and the weight of the world feels like it is on your shoulders, until something like this comes along and happens. You see how courageous Hayley is, happy and positive. You see the way Carrie was with her and how her kindness can impact things. I find myself wanting to be a better person, to be more positive and helpful. I hope to one day see Hayley again and tomeet her mother, so I can thank them both for the impact they made in my life. I also hope that Carrie will somehow find out about all the good that came from her amazing act of kindness.
Carrie Underwood on stage with Hayley: