Silver Lining

I live my life on “shuffle.”

It’s a golden rule. My music is always on “shuffle.” I guess it’s some superstitious belief. Not sure what its about, but I believe songs are meant to play when they are “supposed” to be played. Leave it to chance. Songs can set moods and can send your day on unexpected paths. I guess I’m a believer in the iTunes algorithm of life.  My secret religion.

Today I listened to music for the first time since moving into the hospital. I was on my daily private cry walk and pressed shuffle. I wanted to crowd out my thoughts. I pressed shuffle and it came on, my theme song, my private theme song.

But first I must mention my PUBLIC theme song. As it does play a unique role in this journey too. I often watch the video where my public theme song began for strength. I watch it often. 

The public theme song was gifted to me by 700 clapping little hands and dancing feet. On my last day at Avenues, the lower division students surprised me with a flash mob.

Here’s a strange factoid about me (there are more coming!), I’m obsessed with flash mobs. I love the whole idea of them, the purpose of them. Or rather the lack of purpose of them. I relish the idea of people coming together in unison for no purpose, but joy. And of course, I LOVE anything that involves dancing. I’ve always been happiest dancing. But flash mobs are the highest level of dancing for me. The ultimate human dance chain.

The faculty at Avenues (especially Raina Crawford and Eric Ogden) know this odd obsession of mine and when I left Avenues they sent me off with 700 children doing a flashmob to “Don’t stop believing” by Journeys. 

It was the best thing EVER. I remember turning to Steve and saying “That’s it. That’s the best moment of my life. How can that be beat?!” How can you beat touching all of those lives and then add a FLASH MOB on top. My two favorite things in one! It was awesome. Beyond awesome. Better live, but this will do.

Since that day, I’ve promised that every time I hear that song, I dance like a crazy person. I dance for each of them. All 700. I’ve held up this bargain. Sometimes in some embarrassing places. Even alone when it randomly plays in Duane Reade. That got a few stares. But a promise is a promise. You don’t break promises to elementary school students. They remember this stuff. Promises are serious, especially those that involve a pinky. 

I would be remiss to not mention my mother’s favorite time this dance ritual happened.

This Journey (pun intended) has been hard on everyone. Two life threatening cancers in 7 months. This isn’t easy on anyone. Watching your child suffer is hard and I can imagine watching your child and grandchild suffer must be extra hard. So I share this story for her.

Mom, hope this helps.

 STORY: Steve and I rented a scooter in Menorca and traveled to the middle of nowhere. We had no idea where we were going. That’s our thing. Go off the beaten path. He drives and I point. We have found such beauty in this way of travel. No plans. No reservations. Just go.

Well on this adventure, we ran out of gas…in the middle of nowhere.

We were stranded. It was 90 degrees and not a car in sight. We called the scooter company and they were coming with gas, but they were a good 2 hours away. So we had 2 hours stranded in the middle of no where with one bottle of water. We put on music to pass the time. We SHUFFLED and there it was: “Don’t stop believing.” And I danced. In that heat. In that situation. I danced and danced. Evidence here. I truly have no shame and I secretly (maybe not so secret) love it.

There is a message here. And it isn’t subtle. 700 children sang it at the top of their lungs. They were clear. “Don’t Stop Believing.” I believe. I believe. Thank you for reminding me.

I believe Jacob will be okay, because you told me so.

But I have a second theme song, one that’s just mine. Well…now its just ours and I promise you have never heard it.

It is just my type of music. I grew up on Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, etc. The music with females voices taking their power. My inner theme song has played at unique times in my shuffled life. It played the day I decided to leave Avenues where I could have stayed forever. I could have stayed, but that’s not my path. I’ve never done “easy.”

Well that is for sure a given now.

“I won’t take the easy road.”

The song is called “My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit. The album cover has 2 hippie women on it. Just how I like it:)

Download it. Play it when things are hard. I promise it works. It’s working for me.

“Take me to someplace where there is music and dancing.”

“Show me my silver lining.”

Got to keep on keeping on.

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  1. Your blog is incredible and inspiring. We are sending your family positive thoughts constantly. With love, the Seigel Family

  2. Oh- Abby- DON’t STOP BELIEVING INDEED! You are in every thought and prayer- im every rosary bead and other far away fromVenezuela are also praying for you. And Jacob and Steve and Benno. I ma sending you THE. BIGGEST. ABRAZOS of all and 💪🏼

  3. The songs I associate with you are Toy Soldiers, Uptown Girl, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and We Built this City. Those are the songs that defined our childhood & friendship for me. Thinking of you all. Don’t Stop Believing. This journey may suck but you got this.

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