When my husband and I were invited to a recent charity gala at the renowned Boca Raton Resort & Club, I was excited and nervous at the same time. I haven’t been much of a gala-goer since leaving the community social scene to raise our son. These days when I’m not working in the home office, I can usually be found up to my elbows in laundry, scurrying through the drive-through at Chick-fil-A or introducing the Cheerios to the dust bunnies as they intersect beneath the couch.
I think the nervousness about the event came with that age-old question women love to hate – What on earth should I wear? Once you cross that hurdle, you ladies know there are decisions pending about the right undergarments, matching jewelry and, of course, you have to have the right hand bag and shoes. Ah, the pressure to be a grown-up.
After all that decision making, I finally headed to the gala with my handsome hubby in his grown-up tie. (Guys have it so easy. Their only decision is which tie to wear.)
During the evening, a woman stood up and mentioned that two tall attractive women sitting near us were the daughters of the legendary singer, Nat King Cole, known for enduring hits like “Unforgettable” and “Mona Lisa.”
“Wow, that’s so cool!” I thought out loud nudging my brother-in-law, Steve.
“I wonder if they’re twins,” I questioned.
Steve said, “I’d like to know for sure if they really are Nat King Cole’s daughters, because I own a tuxedo that once belonged to Nat King Cole.”
He went on to explain that he bid on the tuxedo at a charity auction, and if the women really were the daughters of Nat King Cole, he’d be happy to give it to them.
After a little “recon,” I found out the women were indeed the twin daughters of notorious crooner Nat King Cole and younger sisters of Grammy-award winning artist Natalie Cole. I told them the story about my brother-in-law and the tuxedo, and they were thrilled.
Not only would the tuxedo be special to them because it was worn by their father, but it would also benefit their foundation, Nat King Cole Generation Hope in honor of their father’s musical legacy.
They are raising awareness and funds in hopes to bring back music education to many schools that have cut the programs.
In no time at all, we were all fast friends, exchanging numbers and planning a time to deliver the special tuxedo.
Three days later, I found myself at the home of Timolin Cole, where she and her twin sister Casey, along with Timolin’s yellow lab, Treble, warmly welcomed our little entourage–my 3-year old son, Luke, my brother-in-law Steve and me. Steve unveiled the tux with tails, which was worn by Nat King Cole when he met Queen Elizabeth after a Royal Command Performance on May 16, 1960.
I was in awe admiring the tux and imagined the music icon wearing it as he bowed before the Queen of England.
As the adults chatted, my son Luke was enamored with Treble, the yellow lab who is about the size of a small pony. In between giggles with the Marley-esque canine and tossing rubber toys his way, we were able to see some wonderful music memorabilia.
While Luke was distracted by the dog, I was drawn to a gorgeous framed photograph of Timilon as a toddler, seated at a piano.
Hovering over her was her father, the late great Nat King Cole–a tender moment featuring a true legend and his precious little girl.
I was holding Luke high in my arms, where he felt safer watching Treble’s antics. I quietly explained to him that the little girl in the photograph was “Ms. Timolin” when she was a little girl and that the man helping her to “tinkle the ivories” was her daddy.
“He was a very famous singer,” I tried explaining to my toddler, although sadly, I realized he didn’t have a clue who we were looking at.
Later that night I was thinking about our sweet visit with the Cole twins and what a treat it was to see family treasures from their legendary father.
I wish my son had understood what a special connection we made, that we were in the presence (so-to-speak) of a legend. Yet, Luke was unaware and much more interested in the dog.
That reminded me of us as Christians. Do we have a clue whose presence we are in when we wake up in the morning? Do we understand whose presence we are in when we pray? Do we have any idea whose presence we’re in when we sit next to our loved one in the hospital, when we’re at church or even at the grocery store?
How about when we’re driving our cars or “debating” issues with our family members, spouses or children? Would we act differently if we understood whose presence we were in?
Do we have a clue that we actually have access on a daily basis to the ultimate Daddy of all dads, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Maker of Heaven and Earth and the Creator of life? Or are we clueless when we start our day?
In Chapter 16 of 2 Chronicles, the Bible says, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
I wonder if we’d be fully committed to him if we realized just how fortunate we are to tap into the presence of the King of kings on a daily basis.
Karen Granger is a Christian speaker and writer who lives in West Palm Beach. You can contact Karen by e-mailing her at [email protected]