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Rascal Flatts ‘Broken Road’ Story Winner Shows Happy Endings All Around

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Rascal Flatts brings their ‘Live And Loud Tour’ to The Ford Center this Saturday and there are plenty of tickets left for you to grab before showtime.  Only one person can claim to be the winner of our ‘Broken Road’ contest, and she spilled her life story, making many of my co-workers shed a tear.

Congratulations to Jessica of Evansville who will be sitting in the front row and going backstage to meet Rascal Flatts.  She showed true emotion in submitting the following letter:

Sometimes looking back on the memories of my life up until this point, I honestly wonder how I survived. My story is one of struggle, but also of perseverance. I was sixteen years old, a junior in high school, when I found out I was pregnant. I was still a baby, and I was going to have a baby. I remember the moment I told my mom, I was so ashamed of myself and so terrified of what she would say. But she didn’t say anything. She got up, started crying, and walked away. My whole world would be different from that moment. My first reaction when I found out I was going to be a mother was “I need to get rid of this problem” IE. I need to go have an abortion. Afterall, teenage mothers don’t have the best reputation for being responsible young adults. My family had very mixed feelings about my decision, but they supported me because they wanted to see me happy. They made the appointment, and on the day that I was supposed to go I decided I didn’t have the heart to go through with it. To this day, that was the best decision I ever made… To choose life for my daughter. But that is not the happy ending to the story. You see, the day I just described was almost 6 years ago. And, boy, what a ride it has been ever since. When I decided to keep my daughter, I lost the support of my boyfriend who is her father. Both of us at the time I learned of my pregnancy were battling depression and mental illness. I turned to family, he turned to drugs. Throughout my entire pregnancy I watched him try to kill himself 3 different times. I watched him as he took his drugs and turned into a completely different person…a person I was afraid of and wanted nothing to do with any longer. Shortly after my daughter was born, I broke it off with him for good. It was incredibly hard to be a single mother. I finished high school with better grades than I had going in. Boyfriends came and went, I spent my days working 2 full time jobs at minimum wage just to be able to pay the rent and keep food in the apartment. I could feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into some sort of zombie like state. Then something terrible started to happen. In my constant exhausted state, I suppose I didn’t realize that something was not quite right with my little girl. She stopped eating, she stopped playing, she complained of constant headaches, and eventually all she did was sleep. Every doctor found another excuse for what was happening to her. One day, I watched all the color drain from her face, she got sick and collapsed on the kitchen floor. At that moment, I had enough. I knew something was wrong. After several ER visits and scans, xrays, etc…I could finally put a name to the monster that had taken over my daughters life. Craniopharyngioma. A brain tumor. After choosing life for my daughter, I would now have to fight for her life as well. Her first surgery went well, or as well as a brain surgery could go. The whole family was in shock, nobody really knowing what to do or say about the situation. But even though my heart was broken for my little girl, something inside me told me to keep going. Keep fighting. Beat this monster. Less than 6 months later we returned to the hospital in Indianapolis with our fingers crossed that it all would be over. Our dreams were nearly shattered that day…we learned that the tumor had not only grown back- it was bigger and harder to reach than the prior tumor. Surgery was scheduled for the following Monday. It was the same routine as before, only the doctor did not look so happy when he came out of the operating room. My daughter had started hemmhoraging and they could not remove the tumor. A new plan of action needed to go into place. About 9 oclock that night, a stranger came into our hospital room with some very scary news…she was going to have to have 6 weeks of radiation directly to her brain. I was sitting there, alone in that room, not knowing who to call on. I called on a friend I had met a while back, who somehow always managed to make me smile even when I kind of wanted to punch him in the nose. I called on the man who is now my husband, Daniel. I remember that phone call being so wordless, and so full of emotion. He picked up and all I could say was ‘Daniel…’ before I was crying so hard I could not even breathe. I literally felt like life was out to get me. Why was all of this happening? When would it end? …and Daniel sat there quietly, I’m sure he was freaking out in his own mind. The only thing he said to me was ‘It is going to be okay, Jess. I promise you it is going to be okay.’ And since that night, it kind of has been. 6 weeks of radiation were like 6 weeks of hell on earth. Being away from home, seeing my baby connected to all kinds of tubes and hoses, seeing her be put to sleep every day…it was terrifying. But every weekend, Daniel was there. Every weekday he was available, he stayed with me through the treatments and held my daughter’s hand whenever she needed him. My daughter is now 5 years old, 1 year clean from all tumor activity and treatment. She is healthy, growing like a weed, and doing great in school. And Daniel and I have been together ever since. I swear that he is the angel I needed to make it through all the hard times. June 22, 2013 I married that angel and now I see all the pieces of the puzzle starting to put themselves together. He makes all the hard times worth it, and he is such a fantastic dad to my little girl. He is my best friend, my rock, my salvation, my reason to keep hoping for a better tomorrow.

A side note: My little girls real father has now successfully been clean from drugs for over a year, he earned his GED and is now in college to become a therapist for recovering drug addicts.

I swear there was a reason I met Daniel, some kind of divine plan. Ever since I met him, life looks different. I think God was sincerely looking out for me even when I thought I was alone in this world. On our wedding day, we played Rascal Flatts ‘The Broken Road’ as the bridal party entrance song. I truly believe there is not a better song in the world to describe how I feel about that wonderful man.

Thanks for sharing, Jessica and I hope you have a great time seeing Rascal Flatts this Saturday!

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