My family (Mom, Dad and sisters) were planning a trip to Southern California, one of our favorite vacation spots. We were excited, looking forward to all the fun events we had planned! It had been a while since we had taken a vacation like this and lived in CA and I couldn’t wait.
I’m one to believe that with God, all things are possible and to carry my faith into every aspect of my life. Prays for a good trip. Prayers for good weather. Why not prayers for something extra fun on the trip like meeting a celebrity? I carefully added specifications to my request: that the person be a very well known celebrity and one we really like. We would be in southern CA and I find it an exciting possibility, kind of like whale watching. Yes, you can see celebrities when you’re part of a studio audience or pay to see a show or concert. But there’s something exciting about seeing one out in public, kind of like seeing an animal in the wild verses the zoo. (Okay, I should totally edit that last part out but the analogy is just too funny to me. Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of this before!) It’s like finding someone you know in a crowd full of strangers.
One day on our trip, my family and I were enjoying the day at Disney parks. We had just entered Disney California Adventures when my sister Hayley noticed someone. There was a woman who looked familiar. My family had just watched the Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Ray Romano’s real life wife appears on the show. Now here was a woman standing near the park entrance who looked like her. Then she noticed the very tall man standing next to her. Very tall. Hayley let me know. I eagerly walked over there to meet him and ask for a picture. Standing next to his wife and daughter who were talking, I waited for an opportune time to ask. Ray noticed me first – how could he not – standing there beaming at him with a huge smile on my face, excited for this answer to prayer. He gave a positive reaction and broke out in a smile, realizing what was happening. Then his wife and daughter turned, startled to see me standing there. Ray then jumped in, asking nicely if I wanted something. He graciously agreed to give me a picture and put his arm around me as we both turned to pose for the picture. The thing is, no one was standing there to take the picture (pretty humorous). So I quickly called my family over and my Dad took the picture of Ray Romano, my Mom, sisters and me together. He was really nice and we chatted before we left to enjoy the park.
God really answered my prayer. Ray Romano is one of the most popular television sitcom stars ever (and one we really like)! At the time of the meeting, Everybody Loves Raymond, a hugely popular and successful show, had just finished its last season. As exciting as it was to meet him, it was even more exciting to know God had arranged it for us as an answer to prayer. And that’s how I met Ray Romano.