Sunday, November 15, 2015

Unexpected Hope

"How is your heart lately?"

It was a tweet. Innocent enough. Just floated across my timeline, but - wow - did it get the wheels turning in my brain.

I knew my response because shit has been building.

Building for quite a long time.

Honestly, at this point I'm afraid to check in on it. My heart that is.

Not everything in life these days has been bad, but it has been heavy.

And then last night while I was on the way to band practice at church I saw the news about the terrorist attacks in France and how one of the targets was the Eagles of Death Metal concert that was happening at a Paris venue.

The feeling for me was much like that moment in 2013 when I first saw news of the Boston Marathon bombing coming across my Twitter feed. A million thoughts flashing, twists in the pit of my stomach, not knowing whether someone I knew was in harm's way. The endless loop of my own memories. In 2013, it was the community of runners to which I belong at the center of the violent attack. This time it was my family of music lovers - those of us for whom a concert hall is a form of church and live music is a salve for our world weary souls.

The band involved was familiar, one that I had been introduced to for the first time in 2012 at a live show in NYC. Like many of my friends, my mind immediately went to that show upon hearing the news. I thought about all of us who were there and what the night was like. And what the night must have been like for the music lovers just like us at the Bataclan. I couldn't turn it off. So many people I know travel for shows. Yes, even around the world. Our fan groups span the globe. It's one of the things I love most.

EODM at Terminal 5 - October 5, 2012
I felt glimpses of hope that had found their way into my world from earlier in the week fading away. I just couldn't wrap my head around any good here. Just heaviness and horror. Close to home even while far away.

But one thing about being a single mom to a 5 year old is that action is almost always demanded. So, on Saturday morning we were up at the same time as every other day and I forced myself out of the house for a run once the babysitter arrived. It's amazing what some sunshine and exercise can do for a brain that won't shut off.

On the way home I allowed myself to listen to some EODM music and it felt right. When I got back home I still had it on as I was doing some things in my bedroom and Little Guy came in to hear what was going on. He started dancing. REALLY DANCING. So I did too. We worked out a lot of "ugh" dancing around to "Cherry Cola" and "Speaking In Tongues".
Sometimes hope comes in the most unexpected places.

Tonight I was once again flipping through my social media and saw a news article confirming the death of a crew member with EODM. I had just gotten into the car with my little guy and as soon as I saw the article I said "Oh no." He, of course asked me what was wrong. As I have grown accustomed to doing, I gave him the 5 year old version of death and grief.

Then, we started driving.

We were only a few minutes into the trip when he somehow started the exact conversation I needed:

Little Guy: Mommy, you know what 3 things I'm thankful for?
Me: What, buddy? What 3 things are you thankful for?
Little Guy: Love
Me: That's a very good thing.
Little Guy: Mommy & Daddy
Me: (tearing up) Yes, definitely...what's #3?
Little Guy: Lollipops!
Me: (Laughing) That's awesome buddy, those are all really great things. Do you know what 3 things I'm thankful for? You, being able to run really fast, and having a cool job doing organizing.
Little Guy: And the 4th thing for me is PRESENTS!
Me: Of course... you should always be thankful for presents.

Sometimes hope comes in the most unexpected places.

I'm still afraid to fully check in on my heart. In fact, that tweet exchange happened tonight after all of the other stuff. But I do know that I got the doses of hope I needed today to push me onward.
Perhaps that is the thing for which I am MOST thankful.

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