Little Miss Emily

Emily’s dad is fighting brain cancer… She tells us how her & her dad are both coping with the help of Sugarland’s music…

I’m just nineteen years old, a freshman in college. Throughout my nineteen years of being alive I have experienced a lot of heart ache but nothing compares to what my family and I are now experiencing. Two months ago my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Then a week later I received a phone call from my mom telling me to pack up some clothes for a couple of days and that my aunt was on her way to my college to come pick me up and drive me to Durham, N.C. where my father was being treated for brain cancer. So my aunt, my sister and I arrive in Durham that night and meet my brother, mom and father at the hospital and we find out that my dad will be rushed into emergency surgery tomorrow morning. After the surgery we find out that my dad has stage four brain cancer, the worst it can be. He is now back at home in Greenville, S.C. and has started chemo and radiation therapy. He has started to lose some of his hair and is in week 3 out of 6 of his treatments until he has to go back to Durham to get more tests run to see what the next steps are.

Growing up my dad and I spent a lot of time together running errands for my mom or just having father-daughter bonding time. My dad is a huge music fan; he loves all kinds of music except maybe rap. The first time I ever heard a country music song was when I was about seven years old, “We Danced” by Brad Paisley came on the radio and I fell in love with country music as soon as I heard that song. So my dad would always put on the local country radio station for me to listen to when we would be in the car together. I’ve been obsessed with country music ever since that day I spent with my dad. I love how country music just tells life stories and how so many people can relate to the songs.

I’ve been a fan of Sugarland’s ever since they released their first album “Twice The Speed Of Life” but it wasn’t until I hit high school that I really began to understand how powerful Sugarland’s music is. The emotion in Jennifer’s voice when she sings makes you really believe in the song and the music. I feel every emotion that Jennifer and Kristian feel when they sing their music. It’s such a powerful thing that they do. I’ve seen Sugarland in concert twice and every time I go I love watching Jennifer’s facial expressions when she sings the songs, to me that explains so much about their music that they really feel all the emotion in their songs, they aren’t just singing them they are living them. For me the song, “Little Miss” means so much to me especially now that I am dealing with the fact that my dad has cancer. However, whenever I listen to “Little Miss” I am reminded that even though times are rough right now it will be alright again and that I’m gonna be okay. Whenever I’m upset about what will happen to my dad I play “Little Miss” and it reminds me that it will be alright again.

Country Music and Sugarland music especially will always have a special place in my heart, because it’s something that brought my dad and I closer together. I want to someday work for CMT and I didn’t realize that is what I wanted to do until I was at a Sugarland concert and just became fascinated with music and everything that goes into making an album and music. I knew I wanted to somehow do something with country music, but I can’t sing to save my life so being a country music singer was not going to work out. So the next thing I thought of was the broadcasting side of country music and I knew that is what I wanted to do. If it hadn’t been for my dad I would never have found what I feel in my heart I am supposed to do with my life and I would have never discovered Sugarland’s music. Whether the cancer takes my father from me or not I have been given the best gift by having him as my father, he made me fall in love with country music and I will always hold that close to my heart.

My father and I are exactly alike, we have the same personalities and whenever I’m with him I can really be myself. But seeing him become so weak and so emotional has really been rough on not only me but also my entire family. He sleeps most of the day and if he’s not sleeping he’s laying on the sofa watching TV. His memory is not as good as it used to be but he can remember random things, I was driving him to treatment one day and I had the radio on and within the first 20 seconds of the song he could tell me who sang it, the title of the song and what album the song came from. By the way the song was “Settlin” by Sugarland off their album “Enjoy The Ride”. My father hasn’t been able to work since he became diagnosed with the cancer so money is now an issue, which has, put so much stress on my father and mother. It’s crazy to see that something you never imagined happening to you happen and your life just gets flipped around so fast. Talking to my dad about the cancer he told me “Emily, it happens”, which I think he took the words from Sugarland’s song “It Happens” because that is his favorite Sugarland song. We are staying strong and hoping that my father kicks this cancer in butt.

I used to be little miss one big mess but now I’m little miss brand new start and I know, it will be alright again thanks to Sugarland.


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