I waited to write, then I waited to share. Waited til I was ready to share one of the most personal experiences I have had since she died. Sometimes things happen and I know I won’t share.. sometimes things happen and I know I will.. This was one. But I had to just absorb it.. and cherish it all by myself for a little while….
I go the opportunity to go to 2 Sara Bareilles concerts this past week. I am so lucky! The 2nd night was the original one that had been planned for quite awhile, my sister in law got us both tickets. Another sister in law and my niece ended up coming as well, but sat in a different area.
It was quite the journey to get there. . for the 3 of us. I had decided earlier in the week that this would be Jennifer’s first concert. So I had her keepsake remains with me.
It wasn’t supposed to be her first concert. .. that was supposed to be fresh beat band with one of her best friends. I got the tickets just a few weeks before she died. It all happened so fast. She went downhill so rapidly. Incredible to think I bought tickets for a concert so sure we would go … just 5 weeks before she died.
We had crazy traffic and parking problems but in someways it was nice. It was such a gift to just talk with my sister in law. She is the one who was there on Jennifer’s birthday when we learned what kind of cancer she had.. when we heard that she would likely not make it to see her 7th birthday.
A little more than 2 months before we have to cross that bridge.. a birthday without the girl.
We talked about the day she was diagnosed. . we talked about the last minute party that was thrown together. . we talked about what to do this year. We just talked. Horrible scary times.. happy joy filled times.
The concert was amazing.. I didn’t cry at all. Until Brave. Then I felt compelled to stand .. to cry .. and to dance. My 6yr old in my purse, I clung to the heart shape .. I just needed to have some contact with her. And I looked up to the sky and sang to her.. I remembered how it felt when she was slowly dying in front of me.. I remember how the tears seamlessly fell as I whispered these words to her along with our pandora station..
“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is”
I knew then that her body was simply a cage keeping her captive.. I knew the only way for her to truly feel the light again was to leave me. I knew she was scared to do it… I was scared to let her.. but I tried my best to ease her way..
As I looked at the dark sky.. filled with dark clouds yet lights popping up all around…I remembered …
Her struggle and her pain. But also her stubbornness and 6 yr old attitude. I had planned for this to be her first concert.. but she has plans of her own.
My 6 yr old slightly ornery girl that always wanted things to go her way.. she decided that the night before would be her first concert. The surprise one that was a small intimate venue that a brand new friend invited me to go to with her.
When my kids are near me I can somehow sense it. I instinctively reach for them before I hear them or see them. .
I often touch before being touched.
I felt that at the first show. I felt what I knew was Jennifer .. my Jennifer next to me. I had to physically fight the urge to wrap my arm around the child that physically was absent..
but her beautiful presence was there.
To my right. She was there. I felt her swaying next to me. I looked down a few times just to be sure .. I dropped my arm at one point just for a moment to reach for her..
swiping into air was too much for me.
So I hugged myself tightly. Sang out loud and absorbed her to the best of my ability. And cried.
My new friend that had taken me for this opportunity to hear “our singer” and even more incredible… to actually meet her. She sent me a video. .. of Brave being sung just a few feet away from us. This time.. at her first concert this song didn’t move me .. one of the few songs that didn’t that night, I had cried through most of the songs.
Perhaps its because a piece of me felt what I couldn’t see.
her joy. her dance. bouncing all around me.
… Until there is a cure..