My Dad, the cowboy

My Dad loved him some Garth Brooks.

And that hat.

And his “Garth Brooks” shirt.

I’m pretty sure he wore a hat similar to that one up there to my wedding reception.  Did I have any idea he planned on busting that out on me at the reception…. yeah, no.  Walking in and seeing him in that hat, I at first rolled my eyes, wanted him to remove it ASAP, but then just had to laugh.  Because that was my Dad.

A couple of  weekends ago, Garth Brooks came to town.  It was Garth pandemonium.





Central Illinois went crazy.  They broke the internet with the demand for tickets to his show, which he ended up doing four of them in town.  TJ & I went to his Saturday night show with friends and it was absolutely amazing.  Best.concert.ever.

But I couldn’t help  but think of my Dad multiple times during the concert.

He would have LOVED it.

Dan, Ashley, and Mom at the concert
Me, TJ, and friends at the concert


Before my Dad was too terribly bad, my Mom surprised him with Garth Brooks tickets when he made a stop in Chicago.  She tried her best to keep it a surprise, but he wasn’t having it.  She finally had to spill the beans on the way up to keep the peace.  They had the best time.  They stood the entire three hour concert and enjoyed every moment.

So, as you can imagine, seeing Garth without Dad was a little bittersweet.

Mom posted on Facebook, “Going to the Garth Brooks concert tonight was very emotional. Geren loved Garth and I sure did miss him tonight. Garth was fantastic as was his wife, Trisha Yearwood. If Tomorrow Never Comes got the best of me! So happy we all got to go see him in Geren’s memory.”

“If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she’s my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes”

Funny story…. of course with all the Garth mania came LOTS of Garth Brooks air time on the radio.  The beginning of “Tomorrow Never Comes” starts with the line, “Sometimes late at night, I lie awake and watch her sleeping.”  We heard that in the car one afternoon and Brock says, “Well that’s just creepy!”  I about died.

But, the song that got me was “The Dance.”

Dad and Jillian dancing at Dustin’s wedding

“Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance”

Am I glad I didn’t know the way it all would go?

Yes and no.

Would I have done things differently?  Loved him any more or any less?

I definitely could have missed the pain… the pain of watching him lose his memories.  The pain of watching him walk right past me not recognizing me or the kids.  The pain of watching him lying in a hospital bed, strapped down in restraints.  The pain of watching the light in his eyes go out and then the pain of them not ever opening again.

Our lives aren’t left to chance.  It may feel like it, but God has a plan.  A master plan for each and everyone of us.  One day I’ll fully understand why during this time of our lives we had to experience so much  pain and why exactly it was in His plan.

But like the song says, without the pain, I’d have had to miss the dance.

I loved every moment of dancing through a life of having Geren Roberts as my Dad.

And for that, I’ll be forever thankful.


2 thoughts on “#GarthInChampaign

  1. Judy Roberts says:

    These tributes get me every time! Sitting here with tears running down my face! You have a way with words, Heather Dawn, and it is quite beautiful! I’ll never forget the day he came home from Pards with his Garth shirt. Going to Chicago that day was special. He in his Garth shirt, cowboy hat and boots, and loving every minute of that concert! A memory I am so thankful we were able to make together. Thanks for sharing. I love you!

  2. Aunt Bobbie says:

    I feel the same about my mom. Keep on writing – you are touching lives and sharing God’s message.

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