Thursday, November 6, 2014

AIPAC Conference, Dallas 2014: The Rehearsal

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Saturday morning, we had likely the best breakfast we've had in years as a family.  Room service had a distinct way of making you feel like someone appointed you princess for a day.  A little daisy floating in pink water on a table... tablecloths, food garnished with delicate touches.   I've never experienced such a fine dinning experience from room service in my entire life.   It was so comfortable for Noah, as he had his leisurely breakfast in front of a cartoon, giggling with delight.

Speech Rehearsals were scheduled early afternoon for those speaking.   I decided to attend rehearsals alone so the boys could do lunch and relax.  I headed to the Majestic Theatre in Dallas to practice the speech I'd be delivering the very next day.  Immediately as you walked through the doors you could feel the Theatre seeping with rich history.  Gorgeous detailed paneled walls and staircases that itched for you to explore where they'd lead.  The kind of place where if you listened long and hard enough the walls might divulge secrets. 

The Majestic Theatre was built in 1921 and once hosted a variety of acts including, Houdini, Mae West and Bob Hope. The idea that I was about to be on the same stage as legendary greats made my palms quiver and my heart flutter.    The backstage production was so elaborate and well planned.  Sound, lighting, curtains... and everything that comes with lights, camera, action!  It was my first inclination of just how big of a production the AIPAC Team was conducting.  It was breathtaking.  As I was hooked up to a mic, and headed out to face those stage lights and all those empty seats, I felt so incredibly honored that anyone would find my voice... my words important enough to hear.   Hearing my voice echo, words that I never thought I'd speak... words I expected would forever remain simply written in a collection of Noah's blog posts, felt powerful and emotional as I re-lived those words - those moments in time.
Majestic Theatre Staircase

The Walls at Majestic Theatre

Majestic Theatre Chandelier

We ran through a quick rehearsal, and we were back off to the hotel for some down time.   We decided that the weather had warmed up just enough for us to tour the streets of Dallas.  We walked to a fountain that Luke could see from our hotel window that he was so excited about.  He called it a waterfall and we knew Noah would also enjoy seeing it up close.  After we inspected the fountain we walked around the corner to Nasher Sculpture Center, which just happened to be having a free admission day.   Noah had the best time.  I love looking at the wonder in his eyes.  His silent understanding and curiosity of new things in the world he's never yet seen before.   In fact, we were ready to head back to the hotel when Noah protested and demanded to take one more tour around.  He certainly is a little boy who knows what he wants.
Fountain across the street from Fairmont Hotel
Noah in awe of a sculpture he was admiring
We made it back to the hotel to get ready for a dinner scheduled at the Dallas Museum of Art.   A sea of tables, bar stations, and live music welcomed you as you entered.   Cocktails and those touring to look at the museum while attendees waited on dinner.  Every single person that I spoke to incredibly warm and loving.  It gave you the feeling like you were amongst family.  This giant family embracing you with love and acceptance, although knowing very little about  us or our special needs journey.  I joked I wanted to pack everyone I came in contact with in my suitcase and take them home with me.  I don't think I've felt that much unconditional love and acceptance in one place since Noah's birth.  AIPAC's members are an incredible group of people.  
One of the dinner areas at the Museum
I had the pleasure of meeting some new friends.  We immediately connected with a beautiful lady by the name of Sharon.  She took us under her wing for the evening introducing us to so many wonderful people.  Her husband Bob, equally talented and well accomplished, engaging in conversation with us that evening.   We couldn't have been in better company.  Dinner was a large buffet assortment.   Each buffet station having something different.  People mingled about giving each other hugs, sharing stories, and offering each other congratulations for good news... a wedding... a new birth of a grandchild.   People who genuinely cared about each other.   My soul soaked up that feeling.  Not knowing the next time I'd feel such a room filled of love. 
Sharon, Myself and Chris at the Dallas Museum of Art Dinner
It was the perfect ending to our first full day in Dallas. 


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.