Aug. 28, 2012 -- Hours before the biggest speech of her life, Ann Romney told ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer that she was "shaky" when she first came out to the stage to do a walkthrough this afternoon -- but she was bolstered by advice from her husband and the support of her five boys.
"I had all these boys," Ann Romney said in an exclusive interview. "But one thing I can say about boys is they've taught me much more than I think I would have learned by being a mother of girls. They taught me to be real, to have no baloney and to just say it straight and then get over it. And that was a great lesson."
Romney admits she wanted a daughter too.
She also told Sawyer that the best advice she received came from her father, Edward Davies, when he was on his death bed in 1992.
"He had honestly hours to live and he was in kidney failure and he said, 'Oh! I don't want to go. ... I've so much more living to live and so many more things I want to see, and so many more things I want to just experience in this life.' And he grabbed my hands and he said 'Ann, live your life. Enjoy every moment. Do everything you can. Dream every dream you want, don't be restricted by anything. Just go live your life,'" Ann Romney recalled.
"I was with him as he was passing to the other side. And it was like that was his last, really moment that he said, 'Oh, life is great. Go live it!' And it gave me courage. To just say anything's possible and I'm not going to be afraid."
Watch "World News with Diane Sawyer" tonight at 6:30 p.m ET for Diane Sawyer's full interview with Ann Romney
Ann Romney will make use of that encouragement tonight when she addresses the Republican convention and the nation, a thought that came to her when she rehearsed her speech this afternoon in the convention hall.
"I was a little shaky when I first came out," she said. "I'm like, 'Oh, this is a pretty big auditorium.' ... But as soon as I settled in I'm like felt good, felt really good."
Tonight will be the first time Ann Romney has given a speech off a teleprompter. She has practiced at a high school auditorium in New Hampshire twice over the last two days and told Sawyer her husband, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, offered a little advice.
"He said to just look as though someone's face is there as though you are talking to someone, and that helped a lot," she said.
Despite the energetic and celebratory tone of the convention, Mrs. Romney says she is not jubilant, but rather humbled.
"It's a settling in of the awesomeness of how many people are counting on us," she said. "What I'm feeling and what I think is what Mitt is feeling as well... sort of a humility that is millions of people have put their trust in us and we don't want to disappoint."
Romney, 63, said she could have never dreamed that she and her husband would be in this position when she married him at the age of 19.
She said she hopes her husband walks out and joins here on stage after she finishes speaking.
"I would love it if he would. You know he wasn't supposed to be here and now we flew down with him because of the changes in the schedule so we'll see. It will be a fun night," she said.
Sawyer jokingly asked Mrs. Romney if she will repeat the passionate kiss that Al Gore planted on his wife during the 2000 Democratic convention.
"I'm glad you've made me even more nervous by bringing that up," Mrs. Romney said. "I don't think we'll be doing that.