Bertani’s Backyard Benefit Concerts Knock it Out of the Park
March 25, 2020
Dakotah’s wish couldn’t have come at a better time. Even though our wheelchair van is on its last leg, I gladly packed it for our trip to Tampa. I had a friend braid Dakotah’s hair so she would have her own form of “dreads” like Michael (and she went barefoot also)! Michael’s manager was so nice and came out to meet us when we arrived at the park. We enjoyed some food and dodged a few sprinkles and then it was TIME…..TIME FOR DAKOTAH TO GET HER WISH AND MEET MICHAEL!!!!
We were also lucky that Sara was there with him so we got to meet her too! Hugs were exchanged as if we had known each other. He held hands with Dakotah and talked to her. I brought her “What I Be” book and he gladly wrote inside, “Dakotah-Life is Bettter with You”. (It’s now proudly displayed on her dresser in her room.) He also gave her a guitar pick. After taking many pictures and talking for a bit, we stayed “backstage” and were able to enjoy the music before Michael went on. Sara was so, so sweet and kept checking on us to make sure we were doing okay or if we needed anything.
I know that “Life is Better with You” is really more of a love song, but it is my song to Dakotah. Some days are better than other days, but my life is better with her in it! The song means so much to me that I asked Sara if she thought Michael would write “Life is Better with You” on my foot so I could then go have it tattooed. She thought it was a great idea and asked him. Michael came over and sure did it. Sara recorded it (or took pics) with her phone and my friend took pictures. I went the next day to have it tattooed exactly how he wrote it and now it is a permanent reminder of that special time/day and when I’m having a rough day, I just have to look down and read that.
Showtime……..the ground was muddy because of the rain that evening, but no worries….Sara took the time to find someone to help us get Dakotah’s wheelchair in the pit in front of the stage (even Sara helped push/pull her chair)! The show was fantastic and when Michael was getting ready to sing “Life is Better with You,” he told the crowd that Dakotah was there. Then, as he was strumming his guitar and about to sing that first note, he looked over at Dakotah and said, “This is for you Dakotah.” I cried, my best friend cried, my son’s girlfriend cried! It was so moving! This mom even got on stage and danced at the end of the show!
You know, most “meet ‘n greets” would have been over before the show, but not with Michael and Sara. They both came up to us after the show, hugged us, and asked how we liked it and if we needed anything. There was never an “air” of Michael being a famous musician. In fact, it was so much the opposite. He was so down-to-earth and humble that the night will forever be ingrained in my heart.
P.S. We are forever fans now and will drive to see him ANY time he’s in Florida (and maybe even GA – if we end up getting a new van) 😉