Tori Amos Concert – Another Bucket List Item Completed

Tonight I attended the Tori Amos concert. I was so very ill yesterday and at around 2am, when I was throwing up at Sam’s house, I seriously didn’t think it was going to happen. Fortunately, I came home and finally fell asleep around 4am. I woke up feeling okay and decided to go for it. I only ate snacks and made sure to re-hydrate after the previous day’s bout with illness. I consumed a smoothie and all of my supplements. I took all of my meds, including anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea pills. I was taking no chances.

My mother-in-law, who volunteers at the Oregon Zoo where the concert was being held, stopped by to pick me up. I was going to get in line early in order to save seats for everyone who couldn’t get there before the gates opened. General admission shows are a pain in the rear, but if you know how to work the system and when to arrive in order to be able to get decent seats, it can be an okay experience. I arrived with sand chairs, a quilt to sit on, and plenty of snacks and beverages. My mother-in-law loaned me her straw hat in order to prevent my bald head from getting sunburned. I was ready.

My fancy straw hat aka baldy protection.

 I stopped at the box office long enough to buy my ticket for the Lucinda Williams concert that’s coming up quickly. My pal Lisa, who went to chemo with me yesterday had bought a ticket and it made my decision easier. Yep, I’m going to see Lucinda and cross another things off of the bucket list. Exciting! After purchasing my ticket, I caught the shuttle down the hill and got my place in line. While waiting I realized I was next to Tori super fans who follow her all over. These ladies had just come from Vancouver, BC and Seattle shows and now were in Portland. I think it’s great if someone can pursue that dream, but personally, I couldn’t afford it and can’t think of a band that I’d do that for. When I was in high school, it probably would have been the Thompson Twins, but my passion for repeatedly seeing bands has waned. And of course, right now, I’m happy to feel good enough to make it to one.

The gates opened and I immediately headed for my favorite spot on the lawn. The people on both sides of me were very kind and helped me spread out my stuff in order to save room for 4 of us. Right before that, I started getting the shakes and knew I needed to eat something. Once I was settled I could breathe a sigh of relief and bust into my snacks. I also opened up a ginger ale that I had to sneak in. I figured the staff wouldn’t really want a sick cancer lady to not have her ginger ale, so I didn’t disclose that I had it when they looked in my bag. Whatever. It came in handy for sharing purposes too and my friend Anni helped me finish it off after she arrived.

Anna, Anni, Tara, and myself

Tara appeared and then Anna and Anni showed up. We had all made it! While waiting for the show to begin, I decided that I wanted to lay out on the quilt and rest across Anni and Anna’s legs. As I lay there, looking up at the beautiful blue sky and feeling the pleasant breeze, I realized how happy I was to be there, in that place, with those people. I felt supported and loved. To have friends who let you invade their personal space like that and then sweetly touch your bald head, well, it’s a gift from where I’m sitting. It was the highlight of my day.

This photo Anni took captured my joy.

The concert started and it was perfect. I can’t get over how beautiful the sound was and I am so glad I didn’t have to miss out on that experience. I found myself getting a little bit weepy when Tori sang “Silent All These Years”. It made me think about how far I’ve come over the past 5+ years. I left behind an abusive relationship, unhappiness, and self-loathing. I embraced happiness, light, self-love/care, and found a completely different life for myself. I found the love of my life and the best friends and community I could ever hope for. I am proof that you can change your reality, even if you are over 40 and feel like completely giving up. In case you haven’t heard it – Silent All These Years.

Tori performing. Photo by Anna.
Photo courtesy of Tori’s people. The view looking out at us.

The set list.

This is why I embrace the little things. Yes, cancer is a jerk and it may even end my life sooner than I’d like, but I am owning every moment that I can and appreciate certain feelings and situations, which I never did before. After yesterday, I can’t even describe how it felt to be able to be out, experiencing such a perfect day with people I love. The feeling of resting against people who get you and support you no matter what, well, it is a gift. Being able to feel those emotions and then laugh and smile and hug those people, it’s truly priceless. On the way home, Anna drove with the windows down and the stereo blaring Tori songs. As we drove along, we felt happy and free, watching the Portland skyline pass by. I decided I needed to snap a few photos. Once again, special thanks to the ladies who shared in this magical evening with me. xo!

Anna driving, and singing.

Anni singing her heart out and making rabbit ears. ❤

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