[SOFT MUSIC] I included Johnny and June Cash and Chris and Dana Reeve in my acknowledgments for very specific reasons. They were very, very close friends of ours. We lost both of them-- well, all four of them, actually, in the same year, pretty much, which was just inconceivable. And they were very special-- very special people in our lives. They also were the godparents to my twins, Johnny and Kris, who are named after them.
Johnny Cash and June I met when I did "Dr. Quinn." They came and they acted on "Dr. Quinn." And my husband James Keach directed them. And we became very close friends. And, ultimately, Johnny Cash asked us if we would make a movie about his life. And he only trusted us. He didn't trust anyone else. He said, I don't trust anyone in Hollywood, but I do trust you. What is the story?
And so we had this extraordinary experience of spending time in their home, being with them in Jamaica. James went on the road with Johnny. I hung out with June and collected her klediments, which were, like, little knicky-knacky things she liked to buy. And we just developed an amazing relationship.
And Johnny and June blessed our children. I actually have video of them blessing the children. And I also have video of Little Johnny sitting on Big Johnny's lap when Johnny was singing to the track that he just recorded of his last album. And Little Johnny was six years old at the time. And certainly, you know, Johnny Cash at that time was not well. He was in a lot of pain. He was sweating profusely. He was-- you know, he was not the kind of person a six-year-old would just want to jump on the lap of and hug and kiss and be close to for 45 minutes. I mean, I don't know any six-year-old that will sit anywhere for 45 minutes.
But Johnny just totally melted into his arms and hugged him and loved him. And at the end of this 45 minutes when the music stopped, Johnny said, do you have more? Do you have more? I want to hear more music. And Johnny said, well, I don't have any right now. And then Little Johnny left. And Johnny Cash turned to us and said, that boy just ministered to me. And we said, what do you mean? And he said, I was in a lot of pain. A lot of pain. And he just took all my pain away. He said, I just feel like he was an angel, like a spirit. He just-- he just came into me and just cleansed me of all my pain.
And I have to believe that Johnny and June are above there, because Little Johnny is now a recording artist. He's writing the most extraordinarily beautiful, great songs. And they're not songs of 14-year-olds. They're not songs like anything I've ever heard before. They're as appealing and speak to people of all ages. And he's just 14, and it's all just coming from somewhere. We like to believe it's Johnny and June.
And then Kris-- the other twin, Kris, is an amazing athlete, like Chris Reeve was. And also a musician too, but not in the same way that Johnny is. But Christopher Reeve and I made a movie a long time ago called "Somewhere in Time," in which, really, the premise was that you meet people and you have other lives, you know? That you-- you die, and then you come back in some form. And that at some point, you can meet the man of your dreams, or the woman of your dreams, the person that's supposed to be your soul mate. You might not necessarily be, as it were, in the same life zone or time zone. It can be you have to go back in time to meet them. And this is what the premise of the story is.
And it's just a beautiful, beautiful, romantic movie. And I think it's-- it's been ridiculously successful too. It's one of those little movies, rather like "Dr. Quinn" that everyone said, oh, this is, you know, no one's going to want to watch this movie. And to this day, it's just got the hugest following. And Chris and I, when we made the movie, we just loved it. And there was a real bond that happened between us. And we remained really, really close friends until the day he died.
And after he had the accident, I said, you know, how can I help you, Chris? I want to do anything I can do to help you. And he said, well, help me help the people that are left behind in the rehabs because their families have deserted them, their insurance companies have deserted them, and they're just sitting there in chairs facing a brick wall or maybe watching television. But we have to find a cure. We have to find something.
And I think Chris Reeve and Dana as a caretaker-- she represented the ultimate caretaker. And there are so many people out there who are angels for caretaking, for taking care of people who can't take care of themselves. She was an extraordinary woman in her own right. And I think what Chris did is rather than dwell on his pain and his inability to do things, he looked on what he could do.
And what he could do was to help those people. What he could do was to use his fame and his ability to communicate and his notoriety as a movie star to get money, to set up a foundation, to find the greatest doctors on the planet, to address the issues of spinal regeneration. And, of course, whether you approve of it or not, I mean, he was right there on the forefront of championing the stem cell research.
And a lot of people are now really being-- benefiting enormously from the research that Christopher Reeve went out of his way to fund and kind of mobilize. So that's why they're there, because I believe that all four of them are angels.
In this series of videos, bestselling author Karen Kingsbury talks about Christmas gift-giving, the decision to add a new puppy to her family and her Red Gloves collection of Christmas stories, available from Guideposts Books
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