Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunglasses at Night and Raincoats on Tuesday

The last time I cried at a concert was at a Corey Hart concert on his "Sunglasses at Night" tour.

(Don't laugh. You know you were rocking your sunglasses at night right along with me. I loved me some Corey Hart ... right up there with Rick Springfield back in the day.)

It was May of 1985. I was there with my now-sister in law, who was my best friend all through high school. It was at a venue called the Shrine Mosque back in my hometown. It was hotter than snot. The air conditioning decided it no longer wanted to participate. It was HOT outside, but it was a freakin' oven inside the venue when the air went off. Imagine a concert venue filled to capacity with about 2,500 people ('cause back in the day Corey Hart could sell out a smallish concert) and no air circulating. No AIR AT ALL.

To say it was "hot" is kind of like saying Niagara Falls is a pretty little waterfall. It was like being stuck in the Sahara with only an extra-hot mocha and a space heater to keep you company. Oh, and? Just for fun, they quickly, veryveryvery quickly ran out of water. People were passing out. People were getting sick -- and not in that "Ohhhhhhh, someone had themselves a little too much fun at the concert" kind of way. My now sister in law was one of them. We were 14. People were starting to kind of freak out and it was a rather overwhelming situation. I was scared and worried about my friend. I was all overwhelmed and having visions of the Who concert. And, I was a kid who tended to get somewhat emotional about things.

So, behind my sunglasses, I shed a few stress tears while we were trying to get out of there. Ultimately, we were all fine and I still listened my my Sunglasses at Night cassette tape for several more months until I moved on to Bon Jovi. (Since we're now on the subject of Jon Bon Jovi, by the way: Jon Bon Jovi sooooooooooooo still has it.)

Last night my very good buddy, Anissa, scored us some free Rascal Flatts tickets. I love me some Rascal Flatts!!!!!!!! I was way excited!! I love anybody who can put together three-part harmonies like that. They put on a heckuva show!! Their opening act was the very cute Taylor Swift. She is adorable; I just wanted to pinch her cheeks. We called Rachael, Anissa's daughter, during her favorite Taylor Swift song, "Picture to Burn," and called Mandy during her fave Flatts song, "Life is a Highway." Loved it!!

Now, a few years ago, Rascal Flatts put out a beautiful song. A beautiful song that I never ever listened to. I avoided it like the plague. Love me some Flatts, but this song was an instant channel change for me. I never got past the line that said, "Sarah Beth is scared to death ..." I got out of there in a hurry and switched to a good screaming car dealership commercial fast.

That song was getting airplay in the late summer of 2005, right around the time Mandy was having the neuro episodes that no one could figure out. It was the time when I was coming to realize that she was not going to be one of the NF patients who lived a rather asymptomatic life. It was going to be rough and complicated. The chances were increasing that at some point we would be facing exactly what we are facing now.

Six chances in ten it won't come back again
With the therapy were gonna try
It's just been approved
It's the strongest there is
I think we caught it in time

It was not a song I could stand to hear. And I never did.

I made myself listen to it ... for the first time ... the night before the concert. I didn't want to hear it for the first time with 20,000 of my closest friends at a sold-out show. Because really? Apparently, I am not all that much better at holding in the tears now than I was 23 years ago.

Sarah Beth is scared to death
To hear what the doctor will say
She hasn't been well
Since the day that she fell
And the bruise, it just won't go away
So she sits and see waits with her mother and dad
and Flips through an old magazine
Til the nurse with the smile
Stands at the door
And says will you please come with me ...

They only played one verse of it, during a medley of their depressing songs. It is a beautiful and terrifying song. They have done a lot of good work for pediatric cancer and donate a lot of money and time to St Jude's. Obviously, they have a soft spot for kids waging this battle; for that I am grateful.

Anissa and I had to pause from our rocking good time to shed the tears this song deserves. Too close. Too real. Too scary. Too in our faces.

So, among 20,000 of our closest friends, the mom of the 4-year-old with leukemia and the mom of the 7-year old with a brain tumor stopped and cried.

It took a minute to get back into the swing of things, but we did, and the good time continued. It was a ball and thanks so much to Anissa for picking my number out of the hat to take with you!!! Love you!!

In other news, school starts tomorrow. We have all the usual school supplies prepared ... crayons, markers, scissors, plywood, bottled water, canned food. What? Those weren't on your shopping list? Well, you obviously don't live in Florida. Here? Here, there is a very real chance the second day of school will be called on account of rain. And wind. And storm bands. And some cranky old bitty named Fay.

Stay tuned.

Love to all~

No comments: