It is Saturday morning. My house is quiet - the kids are at my parents' house. Baseball and softball are both rained out (we think). Cooper is laying melancholy on the floor in front of Steve, probably missing Harrison.
Steve and I went to the opera last night, La Boehme. I knew it would be a stretch for me to go out at night, four days post-chemo, but as all the operas this season fall at inconvenient times in my treatment, this one was as good as any. (Actually better, than our other two options for a number of reasons.) I spent the day convincing myself that yes, I can do this. Yes, I can get dressed up. Yes, I can stay awake through the performance. Yes, I will wear a mask if necessary. But, as always, during my cancer journey, lingering doubts bang at the door.
Yesterday, I was blessed by visitors and more help. Laurie came and brought a few groceries; Lisa came to visit and brought me lunch; Elena was here cleaning our house; Evone came by with banana bread; the Hays Family (SD United Soccer League) brought us a tasty dinner; and my parents came by with the kids' clean laundry and to pick them up for the night. I am beginning to get used to this. I feel guilty. Then again, I do not know how I would make it through this journey without compassion from others. I also learned this week that parents at Green Elementary have set up a "card tree" for me. So, for the last three days, I have received funny notes and cards in the mail. Awesome. I love it.
Eventually, it was crunch hour. I sauntered to the shower, aiming to dress for the show. Thanks to Steve's family's years of patronage, we have excellent seats for the opera. So much so that "dressing" for the opera is an ordeal, i.e. Steve has to wear at least a sport coat (last night, we wore a tie and jacket!). I think this is the first time I really dressed up for anything, sans cancer. I settled on my black pantsuit, appropriately accessorized with jewelry and a beautiful flower in my "hair". Despite the rain, as we walked out the door, I felt great.
Getting parked and into our seats was an ordeal. Not anything that we could have helped, just the result the rain and a packed house. As we approached our seats, row G, seats two and four, the lights dimmed and the curtain went up. No one was seemed to be sick around me - so my mask could stay tucked away in my purse. The opera goers to our left warned us that the music was so beautiful that they might just hum along.
As the show began and the beautiful music that is La Boehme ensued, I knew I was meant to be right there in that moment, witnessing the great story of friendship and love that I am lucky enough to experience in my life first hand. I felt joy. Even as the lead opera diva succumbs to her illness (someone always dies in every opera), I felt strength. I held Steve's hand. We went for malted milkshakes afterwards and just talked. We needed that. It was a magical night and the perfect culmination of the love and support dawned on me all week long.
Thank you does not seem to say enough to all of you who have helped us in some way....or even simply sent emails of support. I feel like a diva....but this diva will not succumb!