It was a Friday afternoon, my deadline was rapidly approaching and I was trying not to panic because I hadn’t yet found a celebrity couple to interview for the June 2009 “Bridal” issue of Luxury Las Vegas magazine. It can be challenging to find just the right person who fits the criteria you’re looking for, but two celebrities are nearly impossible.
I got the address for Vince and Amy’s publicists in Nashville and sent off a quick email. Surprisingly, I got a phone call about 20 minutes later from Vince’s PR rep, Alison Auerbach. It was nearly five o’clock in Nashville and she was leaving on vacation the next day, but she said she’d forward my request to both Vince and Amy’s managers. (Country singers and their representatives tend to be extraordinarily nice.)
I thanked Alison, thinking that was the end of that. Less than 30 minutes later, she called back. That’s usually not a good sign; things just don’t happen that fast. Unless, of course, it’s meant to be. In this case, it seemed to be divinely orchestrated, because Amy and Vince’s managers both said yes.
Alison fit me into Vince’s busy schedule and arranged for us to talk by phone the following week from whatever city he was performing in. She also put me in touch with Amy’s publicist who sent up her interview.
That was late Friday afternoon and by the following Wednesday both interviews were done! That’s unheard of in the world of celebrities and journalists, especially when you’re asking for an hour with each person.
LIFE LESSON: When we’re in tune with God/The Universe, things can happen effortlessly. Try connecting with your inner-spirit more. I listened to that voice that whispered in my ear, I took immediate action, and I was rewarded with immediate results. It’s not always like that, but when it is, you really feel the connection to a higher power.
Interviewing Amy and Vince for the June issue was especially poignant because their road to marital bliss was a journey filled with lots of twists and turns. Amy and Vince were both married to other people when they first met in 1990. Vince had a daughter; Amy had a son and two daughters. The two of them became good friends and worked on projects together on and off for years. It was only after Vince got divorced in 1998 and Amy got divorced in 1999, that they allowed themselves to consider something deeper. In 2000 they got married and in 2001 they added a baby girl to their blended family.
Amy and Vince’s love story is inspiring because so many of us don’t get marriage right the first time. It might be because we’re young and immature with unrealistic expectations; maybe we’re stubborn or insecure. Maybe we’ve been lugging around the emotional baggage of always needing to be right, the fear of being alone, or resentments that keep our souls forever wounded.
If you’re like me and you believe in second chances, in true love, in soul mates, in miracles and happy endings you’ll enjoy this nine-minute clip that’s part of a conversation Amy and Vince had with Larry King back in 2003 where they talked about how their friendship blossomed into something deeper.
For those who’ve known the loss of love for whatever reason and have felt abandoned, for those who left a marriage that didn’t nurture their soul, or for those who may want to leave, but are scared to start over again, it’s important to remember that at its core, love is about being supportive, sensitive, joyful, respectful, and caring. That’s what you should not only be giving but receiving.
When I talked with Amy, I loved the way she expressed herself. Her voice is soft, yet she’s strong as moves through life as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend. When I asked her a question, she took the time to think before she spoke. You could hear the wheels turning as she searched for the best way to express what she was feeling. When she did speak, what she had to say was comforting and nourishing, satisfying and pleasing to my spirit.
Here’s what she said when I asked her who had most influenced her life.
“Vince altered the course of my life. I was married when I met him and my ex and I had spent a lot of years in counseling. Then Vince came along and recognized something in me and called it out, something I had been waiting years for someone to do. A few years ago we were driving in the car and I was spilling my guts to him about something I can’t remember now. He was quiet. I hoped he was listening. Eventually he made a comment or two that made me feel as though he fully understood me, maybe even more than I understood myself. In the quiet that followed, I studied his profile and I was filled with gratitude and relief that here in my forties I was experiencing what I had dreamed of and longed for since I was a young woman. I tried to find the words to communicate my wonder in being fully understood by a man.
I was filled with gratitude and relief that here in my forties I was experiencing what I had dreamed of and longed for since I was a young woman. I tried to find the words to communicate my wonder in being fully understood by a man.”
Finally he said with a smile, “Amy, I don’t want to take credit where it isn’t due. I love you, but I can’t say I always understand you. What I can say is that I welcome you and whatever you bring to the table is enough.”
“I thought, better still.”
Ah, to be loved like that, to be enough, to be all that someone needs, even when you’re at your worst, is something to be treasured.
I also asked Amy what life lesson she had learned and once again her answer touched me:
“In life you find what you are looking for. If you’re looking for the bad in your mate, or a co-worker, you’ll find it because we’re all a mix of everything. But if you look for the good, you’ll find that too. Also, in our lives, the darkest times, the days that are bleak and black, add depth to every other experience. Like the dark bits of color in a mosaic, they add the contrast and shadows that give beauty to the whole.”
In our lives, the darkest times, the days that are bleak and black, add depth to every other experience. Like the dark bits of color in a mosaic, they add the contrast and shadows that give beauty to the whole.”
Both Amy and Vince have left their footprints on my heart. Vince has a great sense of humor, along with a sensitive side that allows him to write songs like “True Love.” In my interview, Up Close and Personal with Amy Grant and Vince Gill, you can see how their answers differ to the same questions.
Last month, Vince was scheduled to perform at the Las Vegas Hilton. I emailed Amy, not knowing if she would even remember me from the previous year, and asked if she was joining him. She answered back as if no time had passed. She said she wasn’t coming because she was on the road herself, but she made sure I had two tickets and backstage passes so I could say hi to Vince.
After the show my friend, Steven and I went backstage, along with quite a few members of the Vince Gill Fan Club. I waited until everyone left before I went up to Vince and introduced us. Vince was so incredibly gracious. We talked for about 30 minutes, then we took a few photos. In one of them I held up a copy of the magazine so that Amy would know she was there with us in spirit
You can’t help but feel her energy. She touches you with her kindness, her sensitivity and thoughtfulness. When I asked what she was passionate about how her answer touched my heart.
“Creating unique moments… I’m passionate about recognizing that our time is limited. It takes so little to make a moment special. It just takes being aware and asking how can we value this? I’m passionate about not letting life slip away uncelebrated. I think that’s why I’m a song writer. I’m either trying to capture a memory or articulate something that matters. It’s all about marking things as meaningful.”
LIFE LESSON: Take Amy’s advice. Don’t only celebrate the special occasions; make the ordinary and mundane, sacred as well. Be present. Rethink your definition of the word beauty and notice it is everywhere around you, even in the most unexpected places. Smile and give thanks for the miracle called life.
In this music video “Better Than a Hallelujah” you get a glimpse of Amy’s heart as she sings this beautiful song about the love lost and the passage of time. I sat there with tears streaming down my face. It conveys the loss and pain that people go through. Some of it is not of our making, but some of it is. If we keep our hearts open and are willing to communicate in a truly meaningful way with each other, we can prevent so much emotional pain and eliminate so many misunderstandings. It’s all about LOVE! Giving it and receiving it.