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The woman behind the sign at the Garth Brooks show that moved the crowd to tears

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KEMMERER, Wyo. — Bobbee Rudy’s sign was seen on large screens by over 40,000 people in Albertsons Stadium on Friday night after Garth Brooks noticed it.

What happened next was one of the most poignant moments of the concert that left Bobbee in tears.

“As he was walking off stage, I held the sign up, and Garth glanced over,” Bobbee tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Then when he came back on, he stood right there in front of us and read my sign.”

The sign said, “My mom passed away two weeks ago. Can you sing ‘Mom'”

Garth asked Bobbee for her name and her mother’s name, then said, “OK, I know you still talk to Shirley. You tell her I said, ‘Hey.’ I’m so sorry about that, babe. I’m a mama’s boy. I miss my mom so much. My mom’s been gone for 20 years, and she’s right here with me. What you’re gonna love is every day you’re gonna notice she’s standing right here with you the rest of your life.”

He proceeded to sing “Mom,” a touching song about a conversation between God and a baby about to be born. As the child expresses his fear about entering the world, God reassures him by saying there is a special person waiting for him who will always keep him safe. That person is his mother.

“For Garth to take the time to ask my name and mom’s name, that was something else,” Bobbee says. “I’ve never cried like that at a concert before.”

Bobbee Rudy’s mother, Shirley Mower, died July 7 – two weeks before the Garth Brooks concert in Boise. | Courtesy Bobbee Rudy

Bobbee’s mother, Shirley Mower, died July 7 at the age of 91 in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Bobbee and her daughters, Aarika Walker and Abby Housley, had seen Garth perform in Denver weeks before and decided they were going to drive from Wyoming to attend his Boise concert too.

Bobbee Rudy with her daughters, Aarika Walker and Abby Housley, at the Denver Garth Brooks concert in June. | Courtesy Bobbee Rudy

“This was our fifth time seeing Garth. Our first show was in Pocatello in the early ’90s. We actually saw him in Salt Lake a few years ago and had made a sign, but we were clear up in the nose bleeds,” Bobbee tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We asked him to sing ‘Mom’ that time, and he actually saw it and sang it.”

Bobbee Rudy with her daughter at a Garth Brooks concert in Salt Lake City. | Courtesy Bobbee Rudy

Bobbee’s daughter made the sign for the Boise concert, and when the group arrived at the stadium, it almost didn’t make it into the show. A security guard told them posters were not allowed so they left it at the gate.

“We got inside, and we saw a girl in there with a poster. We asked her how she got it in, and she pulled up the rules on her phone,” Bobbee says. “My daughter went back to the gate and got our sign back.”

Bobbee knew after the first half of the show, Brooks lets his band take a break. He then takes song requests by reading signs in the crowd and performs the tunes with his acoustic guitar.

The first poster he spotted was Bobbee’s and she, along with her family members and others around her, were touched by Garth’s response.

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“He’s just such a great guy to take the time to do that,” Bobbee says. “It truly was so touching. It really was.”

After the show, several people came up to Bobbee and expressed their sympathies for her mother’s death. As she walked back to her hotel, concert-goers stopped to tell her how sorry they were.

“When we got back to the hotel, there was a lady that got in the elevator with us. She recognized me and said her mom died on July 8. We had a big hug, cry-fest in the elevator,” Bobbee says, choking up as she recalls the moment.

The kind gestures didn’t end there. The day after the concert, Bobbee and her daughters visited the Harley Davidson shop in Meridian. As they were leaving, an employee walked up to her.

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“This great big burly looking guy that worked there named Jeff says, ‘I need to give you a hug,” she recalls. “He had been at the concert and saw me on the big screen too. It was just incredible.”

Bobbee says these small encounters “show the good in people” and “what happened afterwards was just as cool as Garth singing the song.”

She and her daughters don’t know when they’ll see Garth Brooks again, but Bobbee will forever be grateful for the time he took to acknowledge her sign, her song and her mom.

“There’s just something about Garth where you just feel – he’s just so personable. He makes you feel like you know him. We don’t know him, really, but he makes you feel that way,” she says. “He’s a great human being. We need more people like him.”

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