Fans for Life
Big Sister Brandi and her Little Sister Brynn love to sing to CDs when riding in the car. This simple activity recently led to a special adventure with some important life lessons.
At the end of March, Brandi and Brynn attended the Bobby Bones “Raging Idiots” CD release ‘meet and greet’ event held in Austin. It was not the normal fan day experience however, as the two received VIP passes to meet Bobby Bones and his crew in person. “So many positive things have come out of this,” Brandi said. “It’s one of the neatest things I’ve ever experienced.”
According to Brandi, the pair listen to Bobby Bones’ music a lot and talk about his life. “Bobby has a song about wanting to go fishing with his dad, but not being able to because his dad left when he was five. When his mom remarried, his stepdad took him fishing. I use this song to remind Brynn that we don’t always have all of the people we think we’re ‘supposed’ to have in our lives and that our families don’t all look the same, but that if we look closely, we’ll find that there are many people who love us and who will do what they can to make our lives good.”
Brandi was trying to create something good for Brynn when she first heard about the Bobby Bones meet and greet. She also heard that people were lining up for 5 hours to meet the crew. “I knew we couldn’t do that,” Brandi remarked, “since it was a school night.” She emailed KASE101 directly and explained that she was trying to do something special for her Little, and they agreed to help make the meeting happen.
“This was about Brynn meeting her first celebrity and the fun in that, but it turned into so much more,” Brandi explained. “It gave me the opportunity to teach Brynn about the importance of trying new things, even when you’re a little scared, because wonderful things can come out of doing that.”
Dressed in her “When I grow up I want to be a… Veterinarian” t-shirt, Brynn got to meet Bobby and the crew, plus tour the Tour Bus. Bobby also asked Brynn about her shirt and her hopes for the future.
Talking to Bobby about her life goals was another important learning experience for Brynn. Bobby had a rough childhood and overcame obstacles to achieve the success he has today. He exemplifies the phrase “you can be whatever you aspire to be.” And he understands the importance of having a mentor. It is why he was once a Big Brother himself and why he has been a supporter of BBBS’ Ice Ball.
Brandi believes their encounter also taught Brynn that people she doesn’t know can care about her and be kind to her. “That’s such an important lesson,” she said. “Brynn’s confidence was built up so much the day she met Bobby; it was an amazing thing to be a part of.”
It was important in many ways for Brandi to be part of this experience as well, since Bobby did something very special for her eight years ago. Brandi’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer and she was going through a difficult time. She reached out to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America who was also battling cancer. Robin left a very heartfelt and encouraging message on Brandi’s voicemail. It was a message that helped Brandi’s mom through her treatments, and a message that ultimately helped Brandi when her mom lost her battle with cancer. The message was so important Brandi wanted a way to hang onto it. In stepped Bobby Bones.
“As an avid fan of his show, I decided to email Bobby to see if he knew of any way to save the message,” Brandi said. “He had his producer schedule time for me to come to the studio and they worked to get the voicemail onto a CD. I was able to listen to it whenever I was sad and needed encouragement. I still do to this day.”
Brandi and Brynn are planning to make a video of themselves singing one of Bobby’s songs to send to him along with photos from the meet and greet. Brandi also plans to tell Bobby that Brynn is doing well on her homework – something that is already motivating Brynn to do her best in school.
So, while singing in the car may be a simple thing, Brynn and Brandi have learned that simple connections – such as being a match – can open up a world of possibilities with life-long impacts.
“Bobby did something really nice for me. It was simple, but it has had an effect on my life. Now, eight years later, he’s doing something that’s affecting my Little’s life,” said Brandi. “This whole thing has just really touched me.”