This past summer when I was in Nashville recording my upcoming album “The Journey”, I was in a honky-tonk bar with my brother Matt. We were heading back to our hotel and decided to stop off and have one more drink before we called it a night. It was a Wednesday at 10:00 and the crowds were fading. We sat at the bar, two fish out of water and had a beer. There were only sixteen people in the bar. A man approached me and asked me my name. He said that I looked very familiar. We went back and forth for about thirty seconds, and I said with a smile “ you have the wrong guy.”
I toasted his bottle, turned my back and moments later I felt a tap. He asked where I was from. “Manhattan”, I said. He told me that he was from Michigan but had been spending a lot of time in New York City this past year. “Is that right? Where? I asked. ”Memorial Sloan Kettering”, he said.
My brother and I looked at each other. I could feel the chills going down his spine and he mine as we were astonished. I then said with a smile, “Well that’s how you know me”. I told him about Max. He then shared with me his story about his daughter Emily who is Max’s age and has a brain tumor. He remembered me from the playroom. I was with Max shooting hoops and his son, who is ten years old and is autistic, came over to play. Max and I welcomed him into our game, which lasted over an hour. Along the way others joined. Most of the kids were the siblings of other patients. “Peter is my name, and I am from Michigan” he said. “We were having a rough day with Emily. You made it so much easier for us. Thank you for including our son in your game. It was great to see him laughing and playing.”
He and I have been in touch. Emily is doing great!! He will be in New York for scans in January and our families will meet. I already told Max, that there is a pretty little blond girl coming to New York that wants to meet him. He asked me, “who”, and I responded, “her name is Emily, she is a very special little girl, and her daddy is my new friend.”
What were the odds that I would meet another father from Memorial Sloan Kettering, in Nashville, at 10:00 P.M. on a Wednesday night in a honky-tonk bar, with only sixteen people in that bar including my brother, myself, the two bartenders and the bouncer. Was it a coincidence or fate? I am not sure…..