I got out of the hospital on Wednesday (the day after the aforementioned medical procedure) just in time to get to the dress rehearsal for my choir’s annual “pops” concert. Essentially, there are far too many acts / performances of various choral and instrumental numbers in an overpopulated room with no air conditioning in late May or early June. It’s gotten so crowded that, in recent years, they charge admission to the whole event.
I was scheduled to be in approximately half the show, playing the piano in some original works written by friends, performing a jazz standard as the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and singing and MCing a medley or two. By the end of the night, it was painfully obvious that I would have to severely limit myself. I chose to participate in the Brubeck Quartet piece and another one that a friend had written and later recorded professionally. I was limited to a chair for these and we staged them near the windows, the only source of fresh air.
Looking back on this, I am touched by the concern my friends and acquaintances had for me. They (and the administration) went out of their way to work with me in whatever way I needed. Grace. Accommodation. One of my favorite photos from that time was after the show with a few friends gathered around me.
I would graduate from high school a few weeks later and leave most of those people behind several weeks after that. I look back on that year thankful for the friends I made, even for a season, through shared activity. But I miss what that felt like.