My Sister & Tom Jones
It took a village for my sister to meet Sir Tom Jones
…by Michelle Roedell | Jul 1, 2018, midnight
Heartfelt thanks to all who contacted Northwest Prime Time to say how much the story of My Sister & Tom Jones touched you. For those who read the original article, you know that my sister is extremely disabled with Alzheimer’s, but that she is still able to enjoy life in the moment… especially music, and especially the music of Sir Tom Jones (‘he of the deep, booming voice and sensual delivery’). “He’s sexy,” she declares when she hears him sing. And then, sadly, “I’ll probably never meet him.”
We have good news to report. Shortly after learning of my sister’s love of Tom Jones, I discovered that he would be performing in Seattle. As it turns out, not only did we attend the concert on the night of June 1, but we met Tom Jones in person!
It really did take a village of family, friends and well-wishers to fulfill this dream come true for my sister, and what a magical night it was.
By the time we found out about the concert at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, the box office showed no tickets together that would accommodate my sister’s wheelchair. But her son knows someone at the Paramount and uncovered the secret stash of accessible seating tickets kept in reserve. Her husband purchased four tickets for a girls’ night out, so my sister and I could be accompanied by her daughter and our niece.
Our ever-generous parents splurged on a limousine to whisk us to and from the concert in style, with her husband and our other sister donating to the limo fund.
After the original story came out, many well-wishers contacted us with us kind words. A family friend gave us a favorite Tom Jones recording we didn’t have. But most contacted us to say they hoped there was some way my sister could meet Tom Jones. One reader, the wonderful Keri Pollock of Aging Wisdom (a Bellevue-based aging life care management practice) called to say, “I did something a little unusual.” She knew someone (her husband!) who knew someone and was able to submit a request for a backstage pass to just the right person. Voila, a “meet and greet” with Sir Tom was arranged. As it turns out, Tom Jones’ staff also provided deluxe front-and-center tickets for us.
When the long-awaited moment arrived, Tom Jones could not have been sweeter or more gracious. His staff could not have been kinder. Sir Tom greeted us all and then bent down to my sister in her wheelchair and said, “Hello, Gail. How are you, Love?” My sister rose from the chair and told him, “I love you!” He replied, “Oh, love,” and kissed her on the cheek.
My sister still recalls parts of the experience, especially the kiss, how Sir Tom knew her name and called her “Love.” She now enjoys greeting people with a “Hello, love.” And when we drive around listening to Tom Jones music, she is sometimes moved to shout out the window, “We know him! We know him!”
As my sister’s memories fade, I will remind her of the enchanted evening we shared with Sir Tom Jones. And, I close this article as I did the last: I will remember that night on my sister’s behalf for the rest of my life.
The original article can be found at http://northwestprimetime.com/news/2018/mar/31/my-sister-and-sir-tom-jones/