It is not just another October 14th, by any means. This is a significant date in my life. It was in 1994, marking 6 months and 5 days after being shot in the neck at point-blank with a 9mm pistol, when I came back to sing again. The momentous event occurred at the Rosemont Horizon, (now, the Allstate Arena) at the first-ever home game for the Chicago Wolves Professional Hockey Team.
Anniversaries of significant days where we have experienced great joy and triumph live alongside those memories that are sometimes painful and melancholy. I believe that we must learn to forgive in our lives, but we also need to realize the importance of not forgetting. For me, to walk out on the red carpet that night with Kathleen, my amazingly strong wife, hand-in-hand and in lock step in every way, is a moment of exhiliartion that became real as our Stadium Announcer Ed Vucinic said, “Six months ago, his voice was silenced… Tonight, he’s back.” The mere thought of that moment can bring a chill up my spine.
As a CSP, (Certified Speaking Professional), I frequently relate the personal experience of this drama to audiences with the hopes of bringing them into that moment very personal which has become a lasting memory. Living life with your eyes open is the message that I bring to my audiences. Enjoy that unique moment in time as it presents itself. Life rarely follows our own script. In fact, a saying that I frequently share in my presentations of “Words & Music,” it says, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him YOUR plan.”
Whatever plan was laid out for me, included a serious test to my toughness and a clear message of how to use my gifts and talents for the good of others. Not a day goes by without feeling extremely grateful to still be able to do what I love… and to love what I do.
It’s a great day to be alive!