Someone recently asked me a very simple question that I have been thinking about a lot lately. It wasn’t a question that would really change the world, and it wasn’t a question that men have pondered for generations, but it was a question that has replayed in my mind over and over again. The question was, “If you could meet any five people in the world, who would they be?” When the question was asked, I didn’t have to give it much thought. I quickly rattled off the five names of the people I would most like to meet. Those five people were: Doris Day, Joanna Gaines, Kelly Ripa, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton.
Like all good questions, there was a follow up question: “Why those five people?” Now, I have to admit, this is the question that I have been thinking a lot about. I answered not long after the question was asked, but I have continued to think about why I said those five people. What is it about these people that I am drawn to? What do they have in common? What makes them special? I am going to do my best to answer those questions, and hopefully I will learn a little bit more about myself in the process.
I am not 100% sure when or by whom I was introduced to Reba McEntire. I believe it was in the early 90s that either my friend Toni or my brother Andrew first told me about her, but too many years have gone by for me to remember for sure. I guess it really does not matter how I came to know Reba McEntire. All I know for sure is that I am very thankful that I did.
I am a huge music fan and truly enjoy all genres. I like classical, easy listening, rock, pop, and country. As I look back on my life, it seems that my musical preferences have gone through phases. I believe that we all have a soundtrack that accompanies our lives and when I hear a certain song, memories of that time period come flooding back in an instant. When I was introduced to Reba McEntire, I was going through a country phase. This was during a time that country music was enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and it seemed to me that Reba was leading the pack.
The very first Reba McEntire album I ever owned was bought for me by my grandma. She and I were at Wal-Mart and I told her that I was looking for a certain CD. We found it, and like most grandmas, she insisted on buying it for me. I listened to that album over and over and memorized all the songs. This first album left me wanting more, and I began buying all of Reba’s albums.
One album that was particularly important to me was entitled For My Broken Heart. Reba recorded it after several members of her band had been killed in plane crash. When I first heard the songs on this album it was 1994, and my Grandma Weaver, my dad’s mom, had just passed away. I had recently gotten to know my Grandma Weaver better and had spent more time with her than I ever had, and I was very sad when she died. The songs on the album For My Broken Heart seemed to be perfect for where I was in life, and they each brought me a lot of comfort.
Soon Reba started doing some acting, and I wanted to see everything she was in. I even rented the movie Tremors, which was not the best movie, just to see more of Reba. Reba began making made for television movies, and I watched all of them too. The entire time that I was watching Reba act, I was continuing to buy more of her albums. Then in 1995 Reba wrote her autobiography which was entitled, Reba: My Story. When I read the book I was amazed to find out that, like me, Reba has gone to school to be an elementary school teacher. She student taught, but then her career began taking off and she never became a full-time teacher. After reading her book, I felt an even deeper connection with Reba.
In 2001 my mom and grandma began telling me about a new television show that they had been watching staring Reba McEntire. I am not a big television watcher, but after years of hearing how good Reba’s show was, I began watching reruns, and I loved it. I enjoyed seeing Reba on television, and I loved seeing her being funny. Reba’s show made me laugh so much and brought me a lot of joy when I watched it. Jeff and I own all the seasons of Reba’s show and have revisited it many times over the years, and it continues to be one of my favorite shows.
In 2007 our little guy, Peyton, was born and I could not think of a better middle name for him than McEntire. That is how much I loved Reba.
So you see, Reba McEntire has definitely been a huge part of my life for a long time. I am not sure if I will ever meet Reba, but you can bet if I do I will thank her for the joy and the tears that her music has brought into my life. I will thank her for the laughter her show brought me and for the inspiration her movies gave me. Most of all, I will thank her for the peace her songs, movies, television show, and book have brought me because PEACE MATTERS!