Who was it that first said, “The best laid plans of mice and men oft’ times go astray?” Whoever it was must have been reading my mail!
As you know if you visit our web site often, last week was the 7th Annual Grand Ole Opry Cruise to the Caribbean. I had been looking forward to this cruise for a long time, because in addition to the fun and sun, the making of music and memories with our fans and friends, I was taking my daughter, Terri, and her husband, Grant, not only on their first cruise, but on their first vacation in almost five years. It was hard to tell who was more excited, dad or daughter.
All went perfect until Wednesday night when Grant became extremely ill during dinner. When his condition didn’t improve after his resting for awhile, we took him to the ship’s infirmary where they ran some tests and speculated that he might have suffered a heart attack. The ship’s captain was told of the situation, and guided the ship into Grand Cayman an hour earlier than scheduled Thursday morning. Grant was rushed by ambulance to the main hospital on the island where more tests were run. I could not in good conscience leave Terri in a strange place so far away from home to handle such a tenuous situation by herself, so I excused myself from the cruise and stayed with her and Grant.
Long story short, the doctors ruled out a heart attack, but think now the problem may be neurological. We’re all safely back in Nashville where Grant will be evaluated this week by his own doctors. I ask that you please keep him in your prayers.
To the many fans and friends aboard the ship, I apologize for having to leave the way I did, but I feel sure you understand. To the folks on Grand Cayman, especially the doctors and nurses at the Cayman Islands Government Hospital, your compassion and caring won’t soon be forgotten. To Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Jim Ed Brown, Jeannie Seely, Eddie Stubbs, the Po’ Folks Band, tour coordinator Joe DeFranco and his staff from Corporate Travel, along with Opry manager Pete Fisher, I know the shows went on without a hitch because you are all consummate professionals. (And Brad, we’ll still finish that song together. It will just be on dry land somewhere instead of on the open seas!)
I did get to attend the all-day autograph party on Monday, host our fan club luncheon on Tuesday, and perform my full concert on Tuesday evening. I hope you’ll check our News page for pictures from those events which we hope to have posted soon. As I once wrote and sang, “It was fun while it lasted…but it just didn’t last long enough!”
However, if the Good Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise, as Hank used to say, I’ll see you folks Friday night on the Opry and Saturday night in Ottawa, Kansas!
My thanks and best to you all.