Life is timing, I’d say. Months ago, after Jody died, I decided to buy a ticket to see Celtic Woman on March 25, 2015. Jody and I loved to watch their DVDs. Some truly enchanting songs.
Nearly four weeks ago, I started coughing. Bronchitis, the doctor said. It subsided for awhile but came back with a vengeance maybe four days ago – deep coughs, lots of mucus, stuffed nose, and intermittent nausea.
So, what to do? Well, go to the concert. I sat down next to my unsuspecting neighbours and tried my darndest not to cough. The first song (three sublime female voices and a brilliant violinist) wasn’t bad, but halfway through the second one I was rocked with eruptions. Totally unfair to the audience members. I told the woman to my left that I’d be leaving at the end of the song, and to be ready. She was feeling for me.
I made my stumble along the row, apologizing mightily. Then down the tunnel to the concourse, where I just about fell onto a bench. Down went my head and up came the mucus. Later, I wondered how my noises echoed in the empty space, empty except for several employees getting ready to serve drinks and snacks. One woman brought me over a paper cup for water. Thank you. A supervisor said she’d search for an empty area in the arena where I could enjoy the show and not disturb other patrons. Thank you. A third woman suggested I stand beside her in the tunnel and catch a glimpse of things that way. Thank you.
But I wasn’t ready for any of that. My ample supply of Kleenexes was dwindling and the mucus wasn’t. And I was dizzy. Somewhere far, far away I could hear the sweet strains of “Danny Boy”, one of Jody’s and my favourites. Beauty and spasms with their arms around each other.
Later, I felt strong enough to stand in the tunnel, leaning on the handrail. Such a unique view of the music. Then, from behind a blackout curtain, came the supervisor. She had found a spot for me. Up the escalator we went, and then past a balcony filled with folks enjoying their meals at tables. Through a secret door, and then another secret door. And there I was – in a private box, which normally would seat twenty, but tonight was dark. Thank you again.
Coughing continued, but at least people were far away. And down below me, I listened to the magic of melody and harmony: “Amazing Grace”, “Caledonia”, “You Raise Me Up” and “The Parting Glass”. Jody and I held hands and sang along. I cried when she raised me up. She thanked me for bringing her. “The pleasure was all mine, my dear.”
Just your basic date night.