Monday, May 21, 2012

It ISN'T Just About a Singer....

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post a new blog.  Its' been a busy and emotional weekend, ending in a long day of traveling home, so I was going to rest.  But on Facebook, my cousin, who, I DO love, once again made fun, bashed my Clay 'love' so to speak.  He has done it in the past and while I never have appreciated it, tonight it made me mad and made me think, and got me to post tonight.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a big fan of Clay Aiken.  But many do not know the whole story, do not understand the whole story.  Many of you, my friends who are also fans, DO understand...

For those of you who don't, I am going to try to tell you, although much of it is hard to put into words.

As you know, ten years ago this month, I was diagnosed with cancer and went through a tough year.  About that time, American Idol 2 was on and we were hooked from the moment we watched Clay during the audition shows.  We watched every week and wanting him to win!  There was just something about his voice and personality that got under your skin.

I got through treatment, yes he came in second, and I had NO idea how much this man and being a fan of him would change my life.

I decided that I would no longer just sit around and watch my life pass me by.  What is the purpose in that?  I knew that life could be short, saw it many times, was faced with it myself.  My new mantra was find your STILL is....for without it, what is the point???

Somehow I found the message boards....imagine boards of people who got it!  Who were Clay Aiken fans....of the voice...and soon, of the man.

Kayla and I got to share many many things that I would never had even imagined.  We traveled from coast to coast, seeing places I would never have dreamed to see.  And I still am.  I just returned from another trip to New York City to attend the Celebrity Apprentice finale.  ME?!  Yeah. I did that...  What a blessed life I am leading. I am thankful each and every day.  But it is far far more than just going 'places'.

It is about the charity Clay started. It began as the Bubel/Aiken Foundation.  Imagine a charity about the one thing I had fought for each and every year for Jamie.   INCLUSION.  Making sure ALL kids belonged.... This charity has evolved into the National Inclusion Project.  It continues to grow and continues to make a difference not only in the lives of the kids with disabilities, but in the lives of the kids without and in the lives of the parents.  This charity has my heart. I have supported it from the beginning and always will.  ALL children matter. Clay gets that...and he is making sure that everyone else does too.

Do yourself a favor, check it out yourself!

But you know what? It is not just about the incredible voice.  It is not just about the heart. It is not just about the Project.  It is about people.  It is about the friends I have made.  People from all over the country, the world even.  Other people who get it.  These people...we hug, we laugh, we cry.  We don't just love Clay Aiken.  We love each other. I cannot imagine my life without them!

Respect. Simple word. One that I wish many would think about......So, my dear cousin, and anyone else, maybe you should think twice next time before you bash, or make fun, or say anything negative.  Try to imagine there might be a reason...or many reasons, that I am a fan of Clay Aiken.

I just hope that others can find something or someone that brings as much joy to their lives as Clay has to mine!

That, my friends, is what is on my mind tonight!


  1. Joy, beautiful post. I was heartbroken once again when Clay rightfully should have one and did not. I admire him so much and he has brought many together as family. I flew to Raleigh NC to see him sing, I am scared to death to fly and also stayed with another Clay fan who opened her house and home to me, picked me up at the airport. I wonder if there are any other artists whose fans do this. I doubt it. God brought him into the fans lives "who get it" for a reason. Hugs and love to you my friend.

  2. Joy... you know i was in the same state with cancer at the same time.. and like you i was touched so deeply by Clay's voice on AI..
    it was conforting at a time when my world was turn upside down.
    i too have loved the heart of this wonderful man, the kindness, the generousity, and the love he has show for these children who were left on the side watching others having fun and doing things they could only dream of.
    i personally have learned so much from someone so young who could be my son.. so much wisdom in someone so young...
    remember.... i came for the voice and stayed for the man !!!
    never was it more true that now !

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  4. Joy, This was beautiful! The thing about all of us is, we are all birds of a feather! Not everyone had a disease, although many did. What we all had was a space, a place that needed filling. Whether it was about fellowship, or the need to make a difference, or about simply needing fun, we all found it and nurtured it to watch it grow. What grew was exactly what you spoke of! We all found respect and great love for a young singer who was a teacher! He certainly taught us a great deal. We have all become better people with fuller lives. We have all found JOY! xo