Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Presenting "...a time to dance"

A guest post by JustMug

I'm going to change it up by featuring some fellow authors from the Twittersphere for the next few posts. 

The following is a guest piece submitted by the talented, lovely and charismatic @JustMug. Enjoy!

...a time to dance

Mom passed away in September that year. She ultimately lost a long, painful battle against cancer. The mind was willing, but the body was not.

In the weeks leading up to her death, she continued to remind our family and friends to have faith, and not be sad. She believed in something greater. Like the caterpillar that transforms into butterfly, she was ready for the next stage of her journey.

As a woman of faith, my mom was brave for us when we were most afraid. She accepted death gracefully and even planned her entire memorial service down to the last detail. She refused to call it a funeral, because she wanted us to celebrate her life, not her death.

Mom chose one of her favorite bible passages from Ecclesiastes III to be read at the service:
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die: a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

She also requested we play the song “Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is A Season)” by the Byrds at the service, because it was adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes. We promised to follow her instructions. Once everything was in order, she requested to stop treatment on a Friday afternoon. She passed away the following Monday evening.

So many people showed up at the church the day of the service that there wasn’t enough room for everyone to sit. It was a beautiful memorial. A lot of people spoke, sharing their memories of my mother, including myself. We laughed, we cried, we honored her life. And then it was over.
I remember that song by the Byrds playing over and over in my head for the following weeks. I hardly ate and barely slept. I was so numb and everything was surreal. I had lost my confidant, my protector, my best friend.

Still in shock weeks later, my friend John called me. He said we were going to see Madonna in concert at Madison Square Gardens in NYC. He had bought the tickets to try and cheer me up. I’ve loved Madonna since I was a little girl and John knew this. Admittedly, it was the first time since before my mom died that I felt a little bit of happiness.

The night of the concert arrived and John was running late as usual. I recall he sped almost the entire way there, but most of the ride was a blur. When we arrived John suggested I eat something. I had no appetite, hadn’t for weeks. He finally convinced me to have a quick bite to eat before we went to the concert. I remember trying to hurry & finish my slice of pizza so that we might make it on time.
After running late and our dinner detour, we finally made it into Madison Square Garden. Our seats were “nosebleeds” up on the 4th tier. It didn’t matter though, I was about to see Madonna and was happy to be there.

John led me to an elevator and we got on along with a man and a woman. While on the elevator John asked the woman if she could upgrade our seats. I didn’t understand at first. John then went on to say he knew they worked for Madonna’s road crew. The man asked him how he knew this to which John explained he goes to all her shows and recognized the badges. The man laughed and the woman said we’d enjoy the show no matter where we were sitting. So we said goodbye to them as we all exited the elevator.

We finally found our seats after a few minutes and sat down.

While waiting for the concert to start we saw the same two people from the elevator again. The woman smiled and said it looked like we found our seats okay. John told her the view was much better on the floor 3 days prior. She seemed surprised and asked him why he had returned a second time in one week. He explained that I recently lost my mother and he knew seeing Madonna would cheer me up. I felt a little uncomfortable that John had just told two strangers my heartache. Their reactions were sincere and both gave their condolences on my loss. They walked away and we took our seats once again.

After about 10 minutes the man and woman returned. She came directly up to me and said “I truly am sorry for your loss. We’ve upgraded you both to front row.” I was speechless. I couldn’t believe what was happening. John thanked them for us, as I was too choked up to respond. The man then came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said “You have to promise me something. You have to promise you’re going to dance.” It was all too coincidental. Ecclesiastes III rushed into my mind immediately. “…a time to dance.”

My eyes teared up and I promised the man that I would. John hugged me close. The man and woman told us to enjoy the show and handed us our tickets.

At that moment I felt a powerful connection to my mother that I hadn’t felt since before she died. Something bigger than myself was at work and suddenly I found the faith she spoke of so often. I knew she was still with me and that she would always be with me. As the music began to play, I cried tears of joy. And I danced.