This was one of the most emotional things I ever witnessed. Even more so than Blake’s acceptance speech. And I think it was because it was so raw and so real. It was this moment of… shock, almost. You can see Blake is just kind of stunned and doesn’t even think to move. And then so slowly this smile just creeps on his face. And it isn’t really a happy smile but it’s a proud smile. A relieved smile. Like he just did right by everyone. Like he just did right by Richie and by his dad. And even though Blake is usually a class clown, tough guy type, this is the real him with his heart on his sleeve. And he’s experiencing the truest kind of joy. Meanwhile, rough and tumble Miranda Lambert is sitting next to the love of her life, knowing him better than she knows herself, knowing how he felt when they wrote the song and after Dick died, and she’s able to experience this with him. She’s able to share this moment with him and go on the journey with him. She sings that song every night on stage as a tribute to the brother-in-law she never got to meet. And you know she’s crying. Even before Kellie and Darius read the winner, she was crying. Win or lose, she was going to cry. Because as tough as she appears to the whole wide world, it’s safe to say that Blake Shelton is her soft spot. He is the love of her life and he’s been through hell and she was able to help him cope with Richie’s death, even all these years later. She gave him an outlet and she helped him come to terms with something horrible that happened to him long before their paths ever crossed. And now, in front of all their peers and all the people they worshiped and looked up to, all their heroes and their influences, all their friends and their Nashville family, they are being honored, together, for this beautiful song that means so much to them.