2.20.2012

Music and life and death and the weekend.

I keep trying to write a post about the concert we saw on Saturday night. I can't figure out how to start it, how to paint the scene, how to get to what I want to get to.

So here's the elephant in the room: Sunday overshadowed much of Saturday night. For the second time in a few months, we made a trip down to Pennsylvania to say goodbye to a dying relative. This time it was for my Pop-pop, my last living grandparent. My parents drove south, my siblings drove north and we met them at his house around noon.

When I'm near someone who is close to dying, I want to ask so many questions. It's the rarest interview you can get. Unfortunately being close to death usually also means that you're not in the frame of mind (or physically even able) to discuss the journey you're about to take, so whether or not I can muster the will to ask what I want is often a moot point. That's how it felt yesterday. I know he was happy we had come to visit, but he wasn't in a state to talk about life stuff.

Instead we visited with him for a few minutes, held his hand and asked him if he wanted tea. We traded off, the rest of us gathering in the living room with my aunt and cousins and Pop-pop's wife. We told stories about Katy Perry and asked how the house used to be when my Dad and Aunt Betty were kids. My Dad led some prayers, as he often does when our family is together. There were a few tears but there were equally a bunch of laughs and if I had been Pop-pop, it would have calmed me enormously to hear a roomful of my descendants giggling and sharing stories in the next room.

*
Maybe this is how I get to the concert. There were three opening bands before the headliners on Saturday night and (surprisingly!) one was better than the next. While Lucius was playing, I looked around the room and saw all kinds of people. Kids who didn't even look 21. A girl there by herself. A couple of young, crazy dancers in the front. Some older groups of friends and then, along the wall, even a grandma there to support her grandkid's show.

Suddenly I got so happy. Because I was there with Chris and the love songs on stage were hitting us all differently. The single people were inspired (or possibly lonely) and the coupled people were warm and content (or possibly anxious) and the older people were just calm. I kind of wanted to jump on stage and say "we're all the same!" in that way music inspires you to think so. 

I knew that I'd be okay, no matter what happens in my life. Because there's a range of emotions we feel as humans and I've been through a bunch already in my 31 years. So if I can keep my head above water, the rest is muscle memory. Happy or sad or lonely or inspired, I've handled much of it before.

It was a good little moment and maybe it sounds a bit ego-maniacal writing it out here, but I suppose that's a choice people reading this will have to make. And maybe you feel the same? You've been through a bunch too. It doesn't mean you won't have any more adventures; it might just mean that you're already equipped to handle the ones that come next. 

And sometimes it feels really good to remember that.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I'm sorry about your grandfather, Jen. Those moments you described are so rare and impactful--I'm glad you could process it. Hang in there, lady.