This Was a Moment.
I’m still playing catch up, so this happened back in December.
First, some background. I love Bruce Springsteen. I mean, I really love him, and have for many years. Also, my beloved late brother loved Springsteen, so when I listen to the Boss, I feel my brother, which makes anything Springsteen-related doubly meaningful for me.
Last November, Bruce started a limited engagement on Broadway. It’s a one man show (save two songs with his wife) that cannot be categorized. It’s not a play. It’s not a musical. It’s not a concert per se. It’s an intimate evening with Bruce. Just him, his guitar, his harmonica and his piano in a 900 person seat theater. It’s a mixture of autobiography and song. I read all about the show and desperately wanted to attend, but it was sold out by the time I looked into it.
Now, flash back to a November evening at our home. My husband, daughter and I were casually chatting at the table after dinner. Somehow, the discussion turned to Broadway, which made me think of Bruce, and here is a near verbatim recounting.
Me: I would DIE (major emphasis on that word) to go to that Springsteen show, but it’s sold out.
My husband: No, it’s not.
Me: Yes it is. I checked.
My husband: No, it’s not.
Me: Yes it is. I know for sure.
My husband: Well……. there’s one ticket……. and it’s yours.
Me: (stunned, heart stopping) What?
My husband: You have a ticket.
Me: (still stunned) No. Wait. No. Seriously. No way. No way. NO WAY.
My husband: It’s all set up. I’ve booked your hotel. You’re having dinner with the Dwecks (good friends in NYC) the night before, and then you have the concert the next day. Cecilia already talked to the restaurant to make sure they can accommodate you. Everything is taken care of.
We went through a few more rounds of this before I truly believed it. This is the most thoughtful, wonderful, extravagant surprise of my life. And so well timed.
Before I got sick I had a big, interesting life that involved frequent travel and embracing of new experiences. Then I got sick, and my life slowly shrank into a pinhole. Now, I am on the long road to recovery, and am working to expand my world again.
The complication is I’m not the same person I was before Lyme manhandled my body and mind. Struggle forces you to grow, so I have evolved in many ways that I like and enjoy. But certain things that used to be easy are now hard. Or at the very least, less easy.
I used to travel to New York frequently for work and pleasure. I love the city, know it well, and it’s never been a problem for me to navigate it. But this would be my fist time traveling to the city on my own in my new reality.
Let’s go back to the night my husband told me about the trip. I was incredibly excited. Excited to see Bruce, but also excited for the above. I felt ready for this new challenge, and saw it as an opportunity to re-connect to a part of myself I’ve been missing. I told myself I was going to get on that plane, go to that city, and reclaim a piece of myself.
And that’s exactly what I did.
The trip could not have gone better. I felt capable, competent, strong, brave and independent. All adjectives that have been missing from my life for quite some time. I navigated the city with ease, met my friends downtown for dinner, and I never felt afraid. Was I anxious at times? You bet. But no more so than when I’m sitting at home. So, nothing to worry about there. (Remember, I get anxious every day. It’s just less loud now, and therefore less limiting).
And the concert. I don’t have the words to describe it, so I won’t even try. It was a spiritual experience for me (and for just about everybody there, as far as I could tell). Gripping, emotional, beautiful. The story of a man who spent his life using word and song to wrestle and overcome demons. At times you could hear a pin drop. At times, the roof felt like it would come off. The whole experience was just stunning.
And the best part of all? I took my brother to that concert with me in the form of a button with his photo on it. AND, I found a way to hide that button in the theater. It brings me so much joy to think about my brother being serenaded by Bruce, night after night. You have no idea.
I’m so grateful to my husband for doing this for me. Even though he is my rock and number one supporter, I know he feels helpless sometimes and wishes he could do more. When he planned this trip, he knew it would be about more than the concert. He knew he was handing me the keys to a piece of my former life, and he knew how much I needed and wanted that.
I love him beyond words, and I’m so blessed for the abundant ways he has made this hellacious journey just a little less so by his deeply thoughtful words and actions.