I loved every minute of our dance. The evening was magical and sparkling, from the music singing out of the violin to the white lights shining in the trees. Warm and inviting, the weather was perfect and the smoke hovering over Fort Collins and Loveland stayed north of our house so we weren’t wheezing and coughing as we danced. I saw friends whom I haven’t seen in years along with dear friends and family whom I see nearly every day. The ice-cold beer and lemonade hit the spot after working up a sweat and the joy on everyone’s faces thrilled my soul. Beauty, beauty everywhere.
The evening started with my family gathering. There are enough of us that it seemed like the party had already begun. That is a nice benefit of a big family; you are a party whenever you all get together without inviting anyone else 🙂 We had so much help from my siblings and their children and the party wouldn’t have even happened without the help of Mark’s aunt and uncle, Mary and Joe 🙂 They made it possible for us to enjoy our time without worrying over details. Friends arrived and the dancing began. We started with a big circle dance, all of us joining hands, filling our grass with stomping feet. What a joy to see so many people we love all together, young and old, friends and family all gathered and rejoicing. One thing I love about group dances is the way they incorporate all ages. So sweet to see dads and daughters, big sisters and little brothers, friends, moms and daughters, any combination all dancing together. Soon we were reeling and square dancing, waltzing and tea-cup twirling, clapping our hands and shouting.
Mark, Thomas and I all wanted to thank our guests for coming. Mark thanked everyone for their generosity in supporting us not only with gifts and cards but with prayers prayed on Thomas’ behalf. I thanked everyone for joining us in dancing. I have spent the week wondering why we were doing this, not because I didn’t want to do it but wondering why it was so important to us to make it happen in the midst of everything else. I decided that not only is dancing fun and rewarding just because of its physicality and energy but it is a symbol to me of more. It symbolizes the ultimate triumph of love over hate and life over death. I sang to our friends the refrain to a song – “Lord of The Dance”- that I had sung as a child. (My friend, Deirdre, put all the lyrics in the comments from my last post.) We want to dance, and then dance again. So many of these cancer days it feels like we are barely making it through, holding on to hope in the chaos. I know the slow and steady walking out of our lives in faith is what we are called to, not always seeking the transcendence of super-spiritual moments but in the end, we want to dance, to be filled with the interior knowledge that the right will always triumph, that joy in every fiber of our being will be expressed and felt. Dancing is how I want to live my life. Don’t you think I could find a cheesy wall-hanging with those sentiments expressed?
Thomas finished our thanks, being brave to speak into a microphone and thank everyone for their support. As he started thanking everyone he was overcome by tears. I am grateful he has the gift of tears and that they overflow from the love in his heart. I can’t remember everything he said but the main thing that stuck in my mind was him saying that cancer was the best thing that happened in his life. Quite a statement. He was grateful for cancer because without it he wouldn’t have known everyone’s love. I think that was what he said… Anyway, it was beautiful and full of love.
We danced some more and then danced some more, ending the evening with some hip-hop and jump around music. Today our feet and calves are sore and our grass is a mess but our hearts are full of all the fun and all the memories. Summer evenings should be filled with music and dance, shouldn’t they? I can’t think of a better way to savor the moment and I am thankful for all of you with whom we shared the time. I am going to keep dancing, metaphorically if nothing else but don’t be surprised if you find us kicking up our heels. It is kind of addicting.