What makes you excited to wake up every morning? What are you anxiously anticipating? It’s different for all of us. From fresh baked cookies, to riding a motorcycle on a sunny day, to sweet, quiet moments with loved ones, to attending eardrum blowing concerts of your favorite band. Life has endless possibilities for meaning and quality. Even at the end.
Chris Brown has always been a Trisha Yearwood fan. He is also a Center for Hospice Care (CHC) patient. When Chris was dating Darlene in 1993, they saw Trisha on her first tour. From that point on, they made it a point to see her every time she has been on tour, no matter where that took them. From Pennsylvania, to New York City to Tennessee, the Browns have followed Trisha Yearwood devotedly, appreciating her smooth country vocals.
Then Chris was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. His diagnosis came in March 2016 after he had already realized significant struggles. He had to retire at 46 years old. The possibility that they wouldn’t be attending future Trisha Yearwood concerts was a disappointing reality.
In September 2015, Chris asked his wife if she wanted to go to Milwaukee. Trisha had just released a cookbook and she was doing a book signing at a small bookstore. Two days later, Chris, Darlene and their son took off for Milwaukee. He stood in line, cane in one hand and a coffee can full of daisies (actually, pens with silk daisies attached) in the other. Any Trisha Yearwood fan knows why. Her “Cowboys are my Weakness” lyrics state:
You'll never hear me knockin' an old pair of boots
A man who wears his Wranglers for a Sunday suit
The kind that ain't afraid to get dirt on his hands
And brings you fresh daisies in a coffee can
Needless to say, Trisha was thrilled. However, Chris always wondered if those daisies eventually got tossed aside. As a celebrity, she was bound to get so many gifts from fans. In April 2016, Chris had just had an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic. His decline was hastening and he had gone from a walker to a wheelchair. “I went down to the lobby to get him some breakfast,” Darlene shared. “I came back, and he was sobbing.” Worried that something awful happened, Chris quickly explained. “You don’t understand. These are happy tears.” Before Trisha does her Saturday morning network show, she has an online coffee talk. Chris was watching. There, next to Trisha and her assistant, was his can of daisies! Chris quickly reached out to her via online chat. He said, “You have no idea what that can of daisies and seeing them right now means to me. I just got diagnosed with a terminal illness.” When she wrote back to him, she shared that she has the daisies with her all the time. She keeps them in her dressing room. She sent her thoughts and prayers to him. And Chris wept with joy.