She was young and beautiful when I met her. She had a couple of hits on the country music charts and was on a huge arena tour as the opening act for Country Superstar Tim McGraw. She was dating "Superman", actor Dean Cain. It appeared she had it all.
Right now, I'm remembering the young girl, thrust into the spotlight with no real solid family support to keep her grounded. I'm remembering the young girl who was trying to raise her 2 young brothers while not really being a full-fledged adult herself.
Right now, I'm remembering the girl who had our bus driver pull into a Walmart in the middle of the night and went in by herself to buy a large assortment of cold medicine and a humidifier for the bunk area because our bass player was fighting a bad cold and she thought it might help him. She truly had a nurturing side and wanted to care for those around her.
I'm choosing to remember that girl tonight.
I met my husband in Mindy's band. He was the guitar player and I got hired to play keyboards. We always used to jokingly say we were thankful to "God and Mindy McCready" for bringing us together. The last time I ran into her was at Ted's Montana Grill here in Nashville. It was about 5 years ago. She saw me from across the restaurant and ran over to hug my neck, still with the exuberance of a little girl. She told me that she had someone in Los Angeles that wanted to record some tracks on her, and seemed hopeful for the future. Then she asked me about Mike... "Are you guys still together?" she asked me. "Oh Yes", I said, "We've been married 10 years now." She looked down at the ground, then smiled looking me in the eye and said, "Well, at least I did something right back then."
It wasn't long after that that I saw her on Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab. I had a bad feeling from that point on. Although I can't say I was surprised at the tragic ending to her life today, it really hit me hard. Maybe partly because I just buried my dear Mother this week and her death is still too fresh. But I'm truly saddened to hear that she lost her battle. Her battle with addictions. Her battle with life.
My favorite tweet tonight about Mindy's passing came from my friend Brent Hodge, who is the Crosspoint Community Church, Franklin Campus Pastor:
" This tragic news of Mindy McCready reminds us that every life is fragile and people need love. Show someone hope, every chance you get."
Hope. Something Mindy tragically ran out of.
Rest in Peace Mindy.... thinking of you tonight.