A dream come true
When Tony and Pam James gave their daughter, Kristen, her Christmas present in December they didn't get the reaction they had hoped for at first.
When the 19 year-old opened the box to find a new flat screen television, she didn't seem too excited.
But when her mother handed her a second gift, tickets to see country music star Reba McEntire in concert, the reaction was much different.
"I thought she was going to faint," Pam James said. "She was so excited."
So excited in fact that James sent the Christmas tape of Kristen opening her gifts to McEntire's personal secretary.
A short time later, McEntire's representatives called and said they had backstage passes for Kristen to meet the star before her show in Tupelo, Miss., on Valentine's night.
"I started counting down the days then," said Kristen James, who was born with Cerebral Palsy. "I am Reba's biggest fan."
She said she really became a fan when a television show starring McEntire began airing six years ago.
Since then, she has been hooked.
"She's got the prettiest voice ever," she said.
The James' had the opportunity to meet McEntire and first season American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson prior to the show.
"It was the best night of my whole life," Kristen James said.
Before leaving Russellville that evening, she made sure to pick up a dozen roses to give to McEntire as a Valentine's Day gift.
"My (twin) sister thought the roses were for her, but I said, 'no, these are for Reba," she said with a smile.
When she arrived, however, security personnel took the flowers but promised to make sure McEntire got them.
"I told her, 'make sure you get your roses," Kristen said.
After having pictures made together, the family took their seats on the sixth row of the coliseum.
Kristen was later taken to the front row where she had a better seat.
"Reba walked by and pointed at her and waved during the concert," Pam James said. "It was all so great. Reba and Kelly were so nice and treated us all so good. It was just perfect."
Kristen's grandmother, Barbara Marsh, who went to the show also, said her granddaughter gave McEntire a big hug and kiss.
"Reba said, "oh, we've got a big hugger here," Marsh said.
Kristen spent most of Friday looking for a way to get to McEntire's next show in Virginia, but will have to settle for the next time she performs a little closer by.
"I told daddy, 'daddy, you've really done it big. It was amazing," she said.
"If Kelly Clarkson hadn't been with her, I would have got on that bus and went with her."