It’s been nearly a year since Jimmy’s diagnosis with a brain tumor completely changed his life.
Jimmy and his wife, Rachel, of Four Oaks, NC, have always had a love for the mountains and for country music. They had dreamed of a chance to visit Nashville to see the birthplace of the genre they adore. When Jimmy became sick, however, the thought of traveling became out of the realm of possibilities.
The trip may have remained impossible if not for Rachel and Jimmy’s daughter, Sue, hearing about the Fill Your Bucket List Foundation on the local news. It was at this moment that she hoped her parents would be able to experience the joy of fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Without her parents’ knowledge, Sue contacted Peggy Carroll, Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation, and, with the help of many volunteers and angels, they coordinated all the details of Jimmy’s dream: a trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
After the trip was completely planned, Sue finally shared the news with her parents. “Daddy, you’re going to Nashville!”
Rachel recalled Sue saying. “At first, you could tell he was really shocked and he just kept looking at me,” Rachel explained of Jimmy’s reaction. The moment caught Rachel and Jimmy both completely by surprise. They were both thankful for an opportunity that would take their minds off of Jimmy’s diagnosis.
“As time got closer, I could tell he was getting really excited,” Rachel said. Before they could get to Nashville, however, they had to conquer a slight fear of Jimmy’s – flying.
As always, Rachel was there to help him through it by talking to him throughout the entire flight. They arrived without a hitch, were escorted to a fancy hotel room, and then – Nashville was theirs to explore.
The first stop on their trip was the Country Music Hall of Fame, where they were able to brush up on country music history. The next day they went to CMT, where they had the chance to listen to several stars sing, view the recording studios and sit in the same seat that Reba McEntire had sat in just a few days before them.
The excitement did not end there! That night, Jimmy and Rachel had the chance to go the Grand Ole Opry, complete with a backstage tour and the opportunity to meet legends Vince Gill and Little Big Town. Vince even asked to take a picture with them!
It was an incredibly special night for two country music fans. Rachel said when they got onstage at the Grand Ole Opry, she began to see tears in Jimmy’s eyes. What he had thought was an impossibility had become a reality.
“He was one happy man,” she said. “It was a trip that we will never, never forget.”