Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Concert, A Dog and a Funeral

Today just seemed like a REALLY good blog day. So much to say that I really don't know where to begin. Perhaps I will start with.....I am one of those facebook people that my mother in law and many others "hate"! Why???? Because I actually use fb to it's fullest. Between fb and my blog....there is really very little that people who read me don't know about me. That is not to say there isn't more to know or that I tell all the family secrets....but I am pretty forthcoming with everything from the kind of day I am having, to prayer requests to desperate pleas of "please help me find my dog"! Just to be clear though...I post only about myself and only that which I am comfortable with. I never post gossip and I try very hard to stay out of others business. Other than that though.....fb and blogging are my basis for free expression and you simply never know what I will post. that that is out of the way....and really has little if anything to do with today's blog (except for maybe the dog posting part) let us continue.

Today is the first day of summer. Hmmm....funny as it has felt like various stages of summer around here since March and my electric bill has certainly been reading like summer for several months. Again though...I digress. Today is the first day of summer and what a day it has been. I guess though it started a few days before. This has just been a stressful week. I knew there was a funeral in my future and I don't do funerals well. However...there are just some people in this life that deserve to know you cared enough to attend...not so much for the departed but more for those who have to go on and deal with the days, weeks, months and years that almost seem insurmountable at that particular moment.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum...I also knew there was a concert in my future. It was my first one in about 13 years and was also to be Z's first. There is a little bit of pressure on a parent when you are responsible for your kids first concert and the fact that you are driver and escort too.....means it all better be really good.

Along with this....friends made sure this last weekend that when they came and picked up David's hospital bed that I too would have a bed to return to upstairs (my old one is no longer). The mile stone came and the hospital bed is gone and last night was David's first night since early April that he slept in his own bed and I in mine. The only thing that could have made it any better would have been if I had actually slept!!!!

So as you can see there has been a lot going on. As usual though....things slip in and out of sync (like naughty little dogs running off) causing what I like to call speed bumps throwing things out of whack and throwing everything off track and that leads me to this blog!

Last night was the night! Z and I had tickets to see Ted Nugent, STYX and REO Speedwagon. We even had really great seats and this was to be Z's first concert. His real first concert would have been Avenged Sevenfold but he had to choose between that and theater. He chose theater and has had regret ever since. So I figured some old school rock would be a great way to get him started on his concert going years. And lucky a bonus....he got to go with me! As I said....I felt the pressure of making this a great experience for him and all seemed to be on track. It was actually a great concert and I even felt my heart skip a beat or two as Ted took the stage. It made me realize that this really was a memory that Z and I were making together and no matter how many concerts he sees in his life.....he will always remember his first one and going with his mom. Little did we know that there would be more reasons to remember this night later on.

Ted Nugent rocked like no 60 year old man I have ever seen. While growing up I knew some of Nugents music however I was never a hard core fan but the man can put on a concert. As I looked around at the audience there was a mixture of people my age and a lot of kids Z's age. Obviously there were many parents and kids sharing the concert experience. It was also kind of cool to note that these bands had withstood the test of time and they had a fan base not only in my generation but also in my sons. Just wondering when Z prepares to take his kids to their first concert if bands like Avenged Sevenfold will have weathered the years as well as these guys have?

After Nugent left the stage.....then STYX made their appearance. Okay...I must admit that my heart did the teenage girl flip when Tommy Shaw took the stage. How is it that this man looks just like he did in the 1980's? With only two original members remaining....I have to say that they rocked the house. The replacements were phenomenal and Lawrence Gowan really did not leave me missing Dennis DeYoung at all. During Grand Illusion and Come Sail Away I was transported back to a time when STYX was new and I fell in love with their music all over again. I looked in Z's eyes as they played and I realized that the love of STYX was being carried on to the next generation.

After an encore performance STYX finally left the stage and then it was REO time. I don't know whether my ears were just ringing or what, but I really couldn't hear the music at this point. Perhaps after two high volume bands and being just a few rows from the ears were starting to remind me that I no longer had the hearing of a twenty year old and these middle aged ears could only take so much. At any rate....just a few songs into the REO set we received a text that David's dog Spud had escaped the back yard and was no where to be found. It took Z and I about two seconds to decide that REO would have to wait until another time.....we had to find Spud.

Once home Z and I and some really awesome friends....took turns driving the streets and calling for him. Of course my mind went to the worst possible place as we live just a couple of blocks from the railroad tracks. We did find someone who had seen him running about 5:30 p.m. so he obviously made his escape just minutes after we took off for the concert. Finally at 2 a.m. we gave up the foot/car search and I took to fb posting pictures and asking anyone who might have seen him to contact me. I then tried to sleep in my new bed. David slept quite comfortably in his bed but sleep was not about to come to me. Each time I closed my eyes I was sure I heard Spuds collar or felt him nuzzle up against my leg. This would bring me straight out of bed and I would head for the front porch and call for my wayward four legged child. Then I would head for the backyard hoping that maybe he had found his way back in. Only the wind greeted my calls and still no Spud! Finally about 4 or 4:30 exhaustion over rode worry and my eyes shut, but not without dreams of waking to find Spud waiting on the front porch. At 7 a.m. my eyes bolted open and I rushed for the porch. No Spud. So this was what this day was going to be like. Great!

I tried not to think about Spud while I dressed for the funeral but that was difficult as David kept looking for him, his counter parts Izzy and Shane kept crying at the gate where he had made his escape and Z looked like he had lost his best friend. Yeah...I was having an awesome morning.

I left and picked up Berty and then we headed to the funeral. It dawned me as we were ushered in and sat down that this was the first non-Catholic funeral I had ever been to. I was pretty sure though that aesthetically.....most funerals were basically the same. I was right. The wife had picked out wonderful music and it played as pictures of his life appeared on two large screens. I had not really known him and had only talked to him a few times but through the pictures you saw a life well loved and well spent even when cancer came, stayed and often tried to take center stage. After the family filed in and the minister began....he assured us that this was not about sadness but about celebrating a life and that this man was celebrating in heaven. I liked what was said and was sure that the wife had helped to form many of the ministers words as I knew these were many of her sentiments about his life and his death. I did well during the funeral....partly because I liked hearing that this was a celebration and partly because Spud was heavily on my mind. It got dicey for me though when the song "What a Difference You Made in My Life" by Ronnie Milsap began to play. The room was silent except for the song and you had no choice but to hear the words. I could feel the tears trying to surface as I heard others sniffling around me. I don't know whether it was because I kept having flashes of Spud, or whether it was because thoughts of my own husband were hitting me or because I truly knew the loss this young woman was facing and I knew the mark this man had left on her life. Whatever the case....I didn't dare look at Berty because I knew if I saw one tear....I was done for. Luckily the funeral ended soon after and other than a single rogue tear....I survived without the dam breaking. I later learned Berty was not looking at me for the very same reasons.

As much as I hate funerals...I dreaded going home worse. Walking back through that door meant I had to face that a family member was missing and honestly....he might not ever return. I also had to see the faces of my children and deal once again with the "what ifs" of finding him or not finding him. I drove home feeling the double whammy of funeral and lost dog. It is not a pretty combination. As I walked in the door....I was greeted by.......Spud! Someone had found him the night before, taken him home, cared for him and then called the vet this morning to find his owner. On seeing that silly puppy face and knowing he was safe at was then that I cried. All the firsts, the mile stones, the lost family member and the funeral finally hit me like a brick......and I cried like a baby.

So today it starts. Z has moved onto the older teen portion of our program...where concerts will be a part of his world. He was started out well thanks to Uncle Teddy, STYX and REO. Spud is home safe and hopefully his roaming days will be halted as my trusty hammer and nails will be fixing any bad fence boards. The funeral/celebration is over and now a new and different life await my young friend whose husband now walks on golden streets among the mansions of heaven. What a day! And so this is what you get when you have a concert, a dog and funeral all in a 24 hour period! The End.


Anonymous said...

I love this blog. I am so glad you found your dog. I am also sorry for your friends loss. Great story!!!!

Anonymous said...

How great that you got to go with your son to his first concert. You are right, that is a memory the two of you will always have and it sounds like it was a great concert. Too bad it was cut short but so glad you found your dog.

Janis J said...

I have to say that I really love the way you always name your blog posts. Todays was exceptionally great. Loved the blog too!

Anonymous said...

Girl your life is something else.I can't tell you how many times I have laughed to the point of tears reading about your "speed bumps". Call me sick, weird or whatever but I found a little humor today also. This is a great piece and I am so glad your Spud came home.