Learning to appreciate timing

by Jessica Garvin

When I was six, my dad bought me a guitar and I started taking lessons, which I complained about all the time, along with practicing every night. I never became a great guitar player, but I did develop a passion for music and a small obsession for Garth Brooks.

I remember dancing around my bedroom and blaring his music, using a hairbrush as a microphone to sing every word of every song he ever recorded, and praying daily that I’d get to see Garth in concert. I remember listening to his records on repeat, trying to teach myself to play them on my guitar. Then, even though we lived in town, I went through a phase where I wanted a leather belt with my name stamped on the back, just like all the real cowboys and cowgirls.

I remember during my guitar playing days, every time my parents asked me what I wanted for any holiday, I’d reply to go see Garth Brooks, not realizing how expensive a gift that was. My dad promised me that someday he’d take me to a concert. When Garth retired in 2000, I cried for a month after realizing my dream of seeing him in concert would never come true.

When he came out of retirement, I tried to get tickets several times, but never could find anything close. When I was younger, I was disappointed we never got to go see him and as an adult, I’ve wondered if my dad ever thought about his promise. I realize now how selfish my disappointment was after everything my parents have done for me. I never wanted for anything growing up. My parents both worked hard to make a better life for us than what they had. Once I realized all they sacrificed for us growing up, that disappointment quickly disappeared.

In May, my dad asked what I wanted for my anniversary. I reminded him it wasn’t until September, and I hadn’t thought about it yet. I thought he’d show me the “next greatest gadget” he’d bought for their house or something for their dogs. I about fell over when he handed me his phone and there were Garth Brooks’ tour dates but zoomed in on July 30. He smiled and said, “I promised you a few years ago that I’d take you to see Garth Brooks. I haven’t forgotten, so I hope you’re not busy that day, because we have a date in Arlington, Texas.”

The concert was everything I dreamed it’d be and quite honestly, I think if I’d gone when I was six, or ten, or even twenty, I wouldn’t have appreciated it the way I did that night. My parents are frequent concert goers, but when we got mom’s cancer diagnosis a few months ago, I honestly didn’t know how many more concerts she’d be able to attend but God is in control. She recently finished her treatments and on July 30, I sat right between her and my husband. 

When I was six, my obsession with Garth taught me to love music. But at 36, my obsession with Garth taught me so much more about life.

I’ve learned how special it feels to have a promise fulfilled, that I shouldn’t take time with my parents for granted because I don’t know how much more time God will give us, and that Garth Brooks was right—some of God’s greatest gifts really are unanswered prayers.

If you have any questions or concerns on legislative matters, please email me at Jessica.Garvin@oksenate.gov or call (405) 521-5522.