The Awards Ceremony over, Jon Bon Jovi arrived in is hotel room, looking both grateful and tired that the night was over.
After all these years, tonight he and the band had finally done it. They had won a Grammy. Twenty-five plus years and finally the critics were showing them some respect.
Their latest CD was a huge hit. He and the band were deep in the middle of one of their most successful tours ever.
“But why do I feel so empty?” he thought to himself as he took of his tuxedo jacket threw it on the bed.
He had everything now. A successful career, four healthy and happy children, good friends and a charitable organization that he founded that helps so many people with everything from building homes to funding medical centers.
Jon walked into the bathroom. He took off his tie and glanced in the mirror for a moment. He was tired. Tired of touring, tired of giving interviews, tired of having all of this attention.
He signed and looked down at the gold cufflinks given to him by his late wife Dorothea.
He smiled solemnly. “I did it babe. Can you believe it?” he thought as he took off the cufflink and carefully put them in the medicine cabinet.
She had been gone for almost a year now. Her struggle with her illness not only strengthened him, but also changed his view on life, but on the way he was living his own.
He no longer took anything for granted. Especially his time with his children and bandmates. There was a knock at the door. Jon walked over to it and there stood his good friend and songwriting partner, Richie Sambora.
With a smile on his face, Richie knew only too well what his best friend was going through. Since his recent divorce, he knew what a balancing act it was to be a single-father with a successful career.
He also was wearing a tux, but in true Sambora fashion he had no tie. Just a black silk Gucci shirt unbuttoned down to his chest with his tux jacket on. In his hands were his Grammy and Jon’s.
“Hey man, you forgot this at the after party.” Richie said giving him the award. Jon snickered.
“Thanks.” Jon said taking the award and putting it on the dresser.
Richie looked around at the hotel room. “You doing okay with all of this?” he asked his friend. Jon smiled weakly and sighed.
“I suppose,” he said.
“What’s wrong?” Richie asked.
“Rich, don’t you think the award a little too late?” Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled and grateful that we got one but-“
Richie interjected. “Yep. But- you know Jonny, this one’s special. I don’t know if we would have gotten this a while ago that things or the feelings that we have making this CD would have been the same. I'm really proud of this CD. I love our other ones, but the places in our lives that we were in when you and I were writing this, I wouldn’t trade it.” Richie told him.
“True. It’s never been about the critics.” Jon said.
“Damn straight. How many times have you preached it to the choir? Richie asked him. “Our writing became that much better because we didn’t or ever had that pressure to top this song or see if we can win another award for the label to put up in the lobby. We were all able to perform from our hearts and souls freely.”
“I miss my kids.” Jon said bluntly. ‘Jesse had a baseball game today. “ He continued.
“You’ll see him in a day or two Jon.” Richie said in an attempt to reassure him.
“Did you know my mother had to e-mail me an article that Stephanie wrote for internship at Interview?” he said. “Step wrote that article about up with a famous parent months ago. “ he told Richie.
“How was it?” Richie asked.
“It’s very good.” Jon said. “It was written in journal form. She didn’t hold back. She talked about the time I spent away from home. But she also talked about Dot and me and how she loved our relationship. She wrote more about Dot and how she was dealing her illness. But there’s a bit of anger with me in her. Especially at the end. In one part she wrote. Mom’s having a bad day today while dad’s out promoting the new CD. Welcome to my life folks. “
“It’s not your fault Jon. Dot wanted you to keep things as normal as possible.” Richie said.
“Maybe it was wrong do that. Like I said, she wrote that article months ago. And she NEVER told me that it was getting published. Mom told me earlier this afternoon.” Jon told him.
“Oh man, I don’t think that was on purpose. Maybe she didn’t want to tell you until she was sure it would be published. “ Richie told him.
“I can’t do this anymore. Not right now anyways. “ Jon said.
Richie looked at his friend in shock. “Jonny, we can’t quit in the middle of a tour.”
“I need a break. My kids need me. Richie, I sing these songs night after night and for the very first time. I don’t know why and really don’t feel like singing them. Did you know that Jakey things that me going in a helicopter and limos is a normal thing to do and Romeo? He looks at me as if I’m a total stranger. I swear I think he thinks that I’m the cool guy that loves to make sand castles with him on the beach.”
Tears welled up in Jon’s eyes.
“Jonny, trust me, you know I understand. Give this time. This is your 1st time you’ve been gone this long since Dot’s been gone. This is a big transition for everyone. When Heather and I got divorced, you know all I wanted to do was to be with Ava. But bless that little one. She said. “Daddy, it’s okay. I love both you and mommy. Everything will be okay.”
“I need a break that’s all. I don’t want to give our fans that have worked hard to see us a half-assed show. I want to sing and mean it. I can’t do that do them.”
“When are you going to tell Paul and everyone else?” Richie asked
”I spoke w/Paul and the guys at Vector and AEG earlier this afternoon.”
“How did they take it?” Richie asked.
“They were fine with it. Paul said it was the best thing that I’ve done in a long time. They’ll be an announcement officially tomorrow afternoon. I’m just postponing the remaining dates for 3 months. If people want to refund their tickets they can, but they also have the option of going to those others shows if they wish.”
Richie was still in shock.
“What’s wrong?” Jon said.
“We’ve never done this before. I’m just in shock. That’s all. “
“Maybe you and Dave would still have marriages if we had done this sooner.” Jon shrugged.
“I doubt it.” Richie smiled.
“That bad huh?” Jon asked.
”You don’t even want to know.” Richie snickered. “Things are so much better now than they’ve ever been. She and I are at a good place. And if you need to do this to get yourself back to that healthy place then do it. We’ll be here when you get back.” Richie told him getting up from the bed.
“Thank you.” Jon said.
Richie walked to the door.
“What’s your plan?” he asked him.
“I think I’ll get my bike out of storage and take a trip, then come home set things right between me and my kids and get my head on straight.” Jon told him.
”Whoa, you’re taking the Harley out.”
”Obie was checking it out when I called him earlier.
“Oh hell I’m going with you. “ Richie told him.
Jon smiled. “I thought you’d want to spend time with Ava.’
”Oh I do, but the kids can join us later. And Ava loves spending time with her grandmother. To be honest, right now, my mother needs Ava more than Ava needs to be spending time with me.”
“Um, okay.” Jon said looking surprised.
“Where do you want to go?” Richie asked.
“I’m thinking Southwest and then to Nashville.” Richie nodded.
”Sweet deal. Let me know when you want to go. “ Richie said opening up the door.
“I will. Rich, thanks.” Jon smiled.
“We’re brothers. Never forget that. “ Richie told him as he left.
Jon got up off the bed. He felt relieved that everyone understood how he felt. Earlier, he had spoken to Dave, Tico and Hugh. They were behind him also. Now, it was just his children.
He had this sinking feeling that Steph would be angry this time out. To her, it would be appear that he was taking off and not want to deal with anyone and let someone else deal with things as usual. He hoped that she would eventually understand that sometimes you have to leave in order for you to come back. The boys he thought would be find and would love it and grandma and grandpa’s home in Florida.