Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Solo

Lyme is Real, Spirochicks contributor

Imagine you are thirteen. Lyme spirochetes have invaded your spine and you are living each day with severe pain. They've also invaded your brain making it difficult to remember. You're wrestling with horrible headaches. The new medications are working, but your body is experiencing deep fatigue as it works to handle the infection and dying bacteria. You are herxing, causing symptoms to flare. You want to stay in bed.

But remember! You are thirteen. You're in the eighth grade. Singing, dancing, band, musicals, family, friends, school and teachers are your loves. They're the reason you pull yourself from bed each day, even the days that are the hardest you've yet to face. And then, of course there's the solo.

A solo in a band that has received straight ones for the past thirty-five years. Festival is fast approaching and your solo continues to be a challenge. You play the oboe. You're wrestling with reeds. Your best one gives out one day in rehearsal, right in the middle of your solo, shaking your confidence. Your parents send for more, but they're held up in a snowstorm for several days. They arrive just before the pre-festival concert. The bands combine and you're now playing with even more peers. Stress builds even more. We all know how stress affects Lyme. It becomes even harder for you to function. Your mother is questioning her own decision years ago, to encourage you to play the oboe.

You are strong. You don't give up. Your directors continue to inspire and help you. A dear friend comes over before school for more lessons. A wise director tells you the band's rating will not be affected by your solo. The new medication starts working its magic. The cranial-sacral massages are lifting you out of the pain cycle you are in. You play well at the pre-festival concert in front of the parents and your confidence grows. For the next two weeks, you continue to work. You add vibrato and on the day of the concert, the notes bring tears to the eyes of those who love you as they think of all you've accomplished. What you've overcome.

Then the judge steps in front of the audience to talk with your band. He asks you all to look at measure 19 in the second piece. "Where is the oboe player?" he asks.

Hearts skip a beat. You raise your hand. He asks the others to musically step out of your way. He wants your notes to carry through the auditorium, at the same time reassuring you that he could hear you the first time. He wants the piece to be even more beautiful. You play it through again.

Today you learned the joy that can be gained when you face your demons. By daring to dream, you had the courage to soar. You are such an inspiration!!!


Renee said...

Oh, my goodness. This has me crying such tears of joy and hope for all of us. You are a mighty and courageous young woman with years of wisdom way past your age. Bless you in all you meeting your challenges, in facing your fears and in tasting success!! Good for you..Good for you.

Kim said...

Sending you a quiet thank you and the most beautiful smile in the world. : )

loshakova said...

What a lovely post. Congratulations to your daughter! I'm glad she had the strength and tenacity to continue, and so much support. My sister played the oboe when we were growing up. It has such a beautiful sound.

Alix said...

I got shivers reading this. What an amazing young woman your daughter is. I'm glad that no one put too, too much pressure on her to perform and that she did her performance with so much grace and skill despite everything she was feeling inside.

Kim said...

Thanks all! Your comments brought wonderful smiles to a special thirteen year old. So true about the stress, Alix! Balancing activities you love is like walking a tight rope when you have Lyme. She was in the musical "Oliver" last week and got hit hard by the virus that is going around as soon as it ended. It took a solid week to start to bounce back. Glad it is spring break and we can all really rest!!

Ozone Amanda said...

Congratulations to your daughter for her accomplishment!! Thank you very much for sharing. Continue onwards! :)

michele d said...

Exactly the kind of girl we need on our side!

Kim said...

Thank you for the smiles. Her strength continues to amaze me. It has been a very difficult marking period, taking any weeks to bounce back from the virus I wrote about earlier. She has missed a lot of school and when she has gone, she hasn't felt well. So looking forward to summer, when she can truly focus all her efforts on healing.