Saturday, January 8, 2011

STYX, Live! ...The Universe always has a plan.

 In 1999 I began noticing my oldest daughter, Cheyenne, our rainbow, was not looking so well. She was lethargic, had red circles under her eyes, an ear infection (first & only of her life) and her belly began looking like one of those children in a 3rd world country who has not eaten in days...bloated. Cheyenne loved watching two bands' live dvd concerts: Fleetwood Mac & Styx. She knew all the words to all the songs but would only sing if she thought we were not around. She begged us daily to take her to a Styx concert & we promised we would the next time they came to town.
 What I didn't notice was that she was dying. She was suffering from congestive heart failure due to a genetic defect. She was only 3 years old. The doctors kept saying she just had a virus. Finally I told her that if she didn't get better she would have to go back to the doctor & she said "No mommy, I need to go to the hospital".  Then she got up on the couch next to me, told me to get Daddy, and said I needed to listen to the words to the next song. I waited for it to begin & it was Lady, by STYX. When her daddy came downstairs she said "Sit down daddy, listen to the words, sing the words and listen daddy". It was Come Sail Away, another STYX song. We were oblivious. We didn't understand what she was getting at but we listened.
 The next day we took her to the hospital. Two days later she was gone, climbing aboard that starship with a gathering of angels who invited her to come sail away. Somehow we missed out on our pot of gold, but we try, oh Lord we try, to carry on.
 Last night we went to see them in concert, how many times we've gone I have no idea. We enjoyed the show, rocked like everyone else in the Arena Theater, but unlike anyone else we cried. I made it through Lady OK, but when they did Come Sail Away I was desperately clinging to my camera & photo of Cheyenne, our Rainbow, but eventually gave in & totally broke down.
 I miss her and her sister, Emily so much I can't stand it some days. What gets me through, both of us, is that a tiny 3 year old, who was just developing the ability to communicate, found a way to prepare us for her departure. We are so blessed to have had both our girls in our lives, been chosen as their parents, seen the light of God in their eyes, and observed Cheyenne's total fearlessness and comfort with the knowledge that she was going away from us. She was an old soul with a deep understanding of the ways of God & the universe. She was our teacher & through her we learned to be strong, have faith, and count our blessings.
 So every time the band comes to Houston we go, we sing, we grieve. We also act like silly groupies desperately trying to get notes to the band to let them know our story. Last night we waited outside, met a few of their team, though not them, & we got our note on the tour bus. Now it is in God's hands...and a certain little rainbow's. If they actually read our note and check this blog (as requested in the note) we will know we had some help getting it to them.
 Speaking of help, cameras with detachable lenses (such as mine) were not allowed in. My husband had my bigger lens tucked away in his coat pocket & my smaller lens & camera body were in my purse. We made it through two metal detectors & a purse search. The cop handled the camera but never took it out of the small purse nor questioned me about it. Nick's coat is covered in metal snaps & should have set off the detectors but it didn't. I guess a certain little rainbow wanted to be sure we got our pictures!
I got nearly 300, not all so great, but deciding which ones to use was difficult! These were my choices today, I'm sure they would be different tomorrow. Oh well, you get the idea. It was a great night, ending with the sudden realization as we were driving home that that big black bus next to us was them leaving town after the show! Yes, we acted like idiots, two middle-aged people honking & waving as we road along side them until our exit off the freeway came & we had to say goodbye...again.

Perhaps we didn't miss out on our pot of gold after all!

One final note: as a student in England back in '85 I met Tommy Shaw on a street corner, visited, and went on with no idea what lay ahead. Then 10 years later my husband & I met him again after seeing a show in Houston & he remembered the meeting in London, but still I had no idea what lay ahead. I would love to sit down and visit with him about the deeper meaning of life in all this!

12 comments:

Jan said...

I have goosebumps.
I'm so sorry for your loss, and so touched by your little girl.

Beth Crocker said...

Thanks Jan! And thanks, too, for leaving a comment!

Angela B. said...

Wow, what a touching story! I held it together somehow but am on the verge of breaking down reading this. I was just telling my husband yesterday how upset it is not having my mother around and I don't think I could be as strong as I am if it were one of my children and today I read your story and yes goosebumps to say the least!

Beth Crocker said...

Angela, loosing anyone we love is hard. I am sorry you lost your mom. Thanks for the comments of support!

Crystal_235 said...

I seen your post on a cafemom board, with pictures of your craft room. And came to check out your blog. I had tears in my eyes reading this. I couldn't imagine losing a child!

Lisa said...

My eyes welled with tears, goosebumps rose on my arms.....EVERY time I hear Sail Away, I think of your little angel. (I'm most in awe when I "hear" it, yet there is not a radio playing. So hard to believe that she is a teenager.) I can still hear her sweet little giggle, and the sound of her voice as my name came out "Nina."

Beth Crocker said...

Thank you Lisa! I forgot how she used to call you Nina. Thanks for that memory.

Cookie said...

I know Tommy reads stuff on the Styx Facebook Page and he often replys to post people leave...You should really post the link to this story just in case the note didnt make it to them...Its a touching story...I am sure your angel was with you at that concert looking over you all...

Cookie said...

Hey heres the link to where they often reply on this Facebook for Styx...
http://www.facebook.com/styxtheband#!/styxtheband?v=wall

Beth Crocker said...

OMG! Thanks so much Cookie!

Anonymous said...

Hi Beth, I am so touched my your story. I have also known loss of a Husband and my best friend. But to lose 2 beautiful daughters I just can't imagine. I love Rainbows and Frogs too but now when I see either one I will remember your girls.
I will hold you and yours in my Prayers.
I am not a TEXAN but I got here as soon as I could. Live in Odessa.
Gail

Val Wernert said...

Beth, that is so sweet. I have tears rolling down my face like a big baby...but I think it's because I couldn't even begin to imagine what pain you and Nick have endured through the years and it amazes me that you are so strong about it. I am thinking about the family a lot today. Thank you for being a great Aunt of a great family that I married into and thank you for sharing David with Jalisa, she adores him...and she adores you also.