I loved him then but not 'Like I Do Now'

A few months ago, I put out into the infinite abyss (aka Twitter) a tweet about Chris Botti. I wrote about how much I loved his music and how much of a peaceful escape his music offered me when I was deployed overseas in Iraq. I went to see him in concert in Fort Lauderdale a few years ago shortly after leaving the military and he autographed my ticket.

Now, I had a lot going on when I did this. First, seeing him play live was amazing. Secondly, I bought a ticket for someone to come with me but was stood up (good friend, aye? And my "friend" didn't even offer to reimburse me after standing me up. Blah)  Anyway, it didn't matter that I was there alone because I enjoyed his music alone. And ... I wasn't alone. I was with him listening to his music. So, I suppose the experience felt more intimate because I didn't have someone with me who didn't enjoy him as much ... (see how jerks do you a favor by not showing up in your life sometimes? Seriously. It's true!)

Anyway, so after the concert, I waited in line and wondered how, in a brief moment, could I convey to him all that his music meant to me. How in the evenings when the world was dark and stars were out and the sound of weaponry never ceased, I would put on his music and disappear into a mental state of peace.

My daughters and I at the beach. Because this post
is about how happy I am ... it only makes sense to 
add a happy pic of me and my girls. 

To say the least, through holding back some tears (cause it was emotional to explain to him face-to-face) I did a horrible job telling him what his music meant to me. I get back the ticket and there it is "Lisol" which makes perfect sense for how my name is pronounced but is wrong nonetheless. My name is Liesl. 

Damn. This silly difficult name of mine struck again! But who cared. I was happy to have been at the concert, meeting him and the overall experience.

Then time passed (years, actually) and I wrote that random tweet because Chris Botti was playing and my mind drifted back to things ... and lo and behold, his tour manager, the person who reads and responds to his account, messaged me about my tweet. And, from there he said he'd send something signed with my name correctly. HOW KIND!

Well, time passed. They were traveling. He said he dropped it in the mail but I never got it. I reached out and he said when he's back from overseas he'll take care of it. Cool. Seriously, it's the offer that matters the most and that he even took the time to respond. He didn't even have to do that.

Forward time a bit and I reached back out and was saying how I'm saving for his concert to see him again and bring a friend who DOES listen to him and has him on her iPod. LOL And he graciously offered a ticket to me.

That's how I woke up today. I randomly checked my twitter (@lbmarelli) which I rarely do and saw a message from him. A ticket?! Oh my goodness. It's around the time of my birthday so it's SUCH a wonderful birthday gift and is a perfect way to roll into a new year (hopefully one with less stress).

So to Chris Botti and the man behind the messages (his tour manager) ... I'm so grateful for waking up to that message. It's a small but significant act of kindness I'll never forget.

I cannot wait to see him again!! And hopefully shake the tour manager's hand (and give him a hug). Can't lie ... I may still tear up again when it happens. LOL  (Note to self: wear waterproof mascara) 

(and the tile of the blog is a little tribute to the song "Like I Do Now" which is one of my favorites of his) 

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