Wednesday, May 28, 2008

'The Man' Tales - That Summer

There are still a few days left for the voting on The Best of Blogs. BigBlueBarnWest is still holding its own in its category of Best Inspirational Blog. I thank all of you for your continued support and for taking the time to vote for me. As you know - I feel incredibly humbled by this sort of thing and I get all goofy and embarrassed by it. Despite the blush - I still thank you all and ask that you please keep up the voting for a couple more days.
Now - on with the story.


That summer Cid spent nearly every weekend hiking the Rocky Mountains. Some days he hiked 20 miles or more. He tried to talk me into going with him but I would have none of it. Not only would my asthma be a problem hiking at that altitude – but my fear of bears would drive me crazy - especially walking through their territory. So Cid went out alone and came back with amazing pictures and amazing stories. He told us about hiking on trails that were posted with bear warnings and how he sang and shook his bear bells the whole day. He talked about coming across other hikers in their Lederhosen and feathered caps; suspenders holding up their shorts. He told us about all the hawks and eagles he saw as he climbed up above the tree line. The big raptors were his favorite birds because they were the ones he could actually see with his poor eyesight. His face would go all soft and a look of contented loneliness would fill his eyes when he saw any of his favorites – the hawks. Luckily, here in Alberta they can be seen everywhere as they hover and soar over the plains in search of food.

We filled those summer weekends in many different ways. Sometimes it was just Cid and I who went out and explored, sometimes it was all three. Even on the weekends that he did hike in the mountains, he always made sure he dropped in to visit on his way home. Cid would often pick us up and we would drive west and then go upriver and watch my brother taking his guests on their white-water rafting adventures. Sometimes we drove into British Columbia so we could wander around Radium Hot Springs. We always took a picnic, and Cid always brought his camera.

As the summer progressed, Cid’s physique changed. His soft lawyer’s body was acquiring an athlete’s form and his face filled with joy when I pointed this out to him as he hiked along in front of me. Watching his tanned muscular calves as he strode along almost made me lose my breath. To me his legs were beautiful and I wanted him to know how I felt. Except for the huge scar that stitched its way up his stomach, you wouldn’t know he had had cancer. He was just happy to be alive and it was infectious.

Life for me still consisted of my Mom picking me up during the week and taking me into the store where I would sleep or watch the monitor. I was still so terrified of people that I couldn’t go out into the showroom and help anyone with a coat. Mom brought me into the store through the backdoor and I spent the day in the backroom – protected and safe. On weekends Cid and/or D protected me from everyday life as well. If people approached me, I would hide behind who I was with and start to shake and cry. I couldn’t get over this fear and the only thing that helped it was being distracted.

With the end of summer came the massive input of our winter stock and that helped distract me. I had always loved when the new coats came in for the winter or spring season. Day after day a knock would come to the backdoor and the delivery driver would be there with 6 or 7 huge boxes that he hauled in on his dolly and stacked in our backroom. It was like Christmas when we opened those boxes and brought out the coats we had ordered six months ago. Invariably we would forget what we had ordered and it was always such a surprise to pull out the different styles from those boxes. While I was sick, Mom and my brother handled the buying. Finding out what they had ordered was such a wonderful surprise for me and it made me take a bit of an interest in the business again. I started by steaming the coats before they went out on the racks. From there I found that I could go out to the front desk and put the stock into the computer. Somehow my brain retained information about the business while completely discarding other things. However, if a customer approached me – I fled.

On September 30th we celebrated Cid’s 48th birthday. We had spent enough time cooking with Cid in my kitchen to discover that he did not own a microwave. So that is what we gave him. We laughed when he stated that he just didn’t know what he would do with it. Like his little Italian mother, he was a hard-core pressure cooker type of guy.

On the Friday before my birthday in November, Cid asked me to go through my closet and find something special to wear. He wouldn’t tell me why –he just said he would see me the next day and that I wasn’t to get upset or worry about anything. He had purposely waited until the last minute so I wouldn’t have too much time to think or to back out of whatever he had in mind. On Saturday afternoon he picked me up and we drove up to Edmonton. I hadn’t a clue where we were going, but he took me into a large building full of people and I started to panic. Holding me close he took me to seats he had selected that were right on the aisle so I wouldn’t be hemmed in by strangers. He had also timed it so we sat down right as the performance began. Still not knowing what to expect, I held my breath as the curtains opened and Sarah Brightman came out onto the stage and began to sing.

I spent the next two hours enraptured by this gorgeous petite woman with the most incredible voice. Every song had tears streaming down my face with the beauty of it all. I had never heard of her before this night, but I was a fan. When the performance ended, Cid saw the panic instantly take over and he took us through that massive crowd like I was a football and he was a defensive end. With one hand stretched before him and the other wrapped tightly around me – he yelled ‘let this lady through please’ as he plowed through the crowd. In minutes he had me out of the building and into his car and we were on our way.

When Cid brought me back to the barn, he thanked D for letting me go with him for the evening. It was my special birthday present from him and I couldn’t thank him enough. After he had left to return to Edmonton once more, I raved on and on to D about the concert. I could only remember the name of the last song she had sung and I asked D if he had ever heard Time To Say Good-bye. In minutes he had looked it up on the computer and was playing it for me. As the sounds swept through the room and brought tears running down my face once more, I asked him who owned the incredible voice that was singing with Sarah Brightman. In a second the answer came back – Andrea Bocelli.

None of us knew how much this concert would affect our lives later on.

25 comments:

softinthehead said...

Aims what a lovely post. I loved the music - so uplifting, it gives me goosebumps. Thanks - however I sense more sadness is around the corner?

I Beatrice said...

A happy post at last - and oh, it delighted me!

What a truly wonderful person Cid is/was ... I feel I have to watch my words here though.

Leatherdykeuk said...

You conjure my tears at the joy of your music recollections.

Lane said...

What a post and what a man Cid is. I hope I can say 'is'. I really do.

Anonymous said...

I, too, sense sadness around the corner. Oh, how I hope Cid is ok. Margie

Valleys Mam said...

Popped by for a daily read, you make the page live. My daughter had panic attacks two years ago and just couldn't go out. It lasted for six months and was hell for us all, she was so out going normally.
I gradually persuaded her out, step by step by step and her healing from this do disabling condition, went as quickly as it came. She is fine now and working and living again, but so aware that it may return.

Daryl said...

Baby steps!

:-Daryl

Stinking Billy said...

aims, baby, I clearly recall the first time I heard those two sing 'Time to say Goodbye'. It was an Italian TV recording (I think) of them singing it publicly for the first time to a live audience, and it was mind-numbing. I felt that she overdid the leading of him to the microphone with a full grip on his arm, but the singing - that voice of his -mama mia!

Living the Dream said...

Oh aims, I have that recording and I play it often, just wonderful. Cid, he certainly is very special isn't he???????

aims said...

SITH - The music - Sigh. I love the sounds that flow and seep through the spaces inbetween. So beautiful!

Dearest B - I'm so glad you got enjoyment out of this. I won't reveal anymore than that about Cid though. You know me.

Leatherdykeuk - Oh my friend....

Lane - Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the music and as for Cid...I agree!

Margie - I - think - the next post will reveal so much more, but I haven't written it yet so I don't know what will come out of my fingers.

Valleys Mam - Your daughter made my heart ache. I know how hard and frightening the whole experience is. And yes - at any time you can be hit with it - and then what? You are so incredibly kind to take the time to bring her through it. I'm sure she knows that now.

Daryl - :0)

Billy - I agree totally. His voice defies description. I've seen many people leading him in the way that Sarah does....but I think they truly have something special between them. A wonderful friendship and you can see how much she likes him in the video. I don't think it is all an act.

Hazel - Everyone needs to listen to this man. His voice takes you to places you've never been and want to stay in. Playing his music is like going on a journey through your emotions - and it is always cathartic!

dulwichmum said...

OHMYGOD! You have taken my breath away with your description of Cids legs. I must lie down...

I placed my vote for you and I know that you will win.

Mima said...

I have this awful sinking feeling that something is going to go horribly wrong again, just as things are starting to improve, so I really hope that I am wrong. I am glad that you were managing to do a little more, and hearing that you were still struggling at the store makes it even more amazing that you were able to go to Cid when he needed you at the hospital.

Melanie said...

Hia Aims, would you believe I got so carried away YouTubing Andrea that I forgot to post a thanks for reminding me about his music. What a talent!

Glad to hear that Cid got through the op and fighting fit.

Maggie May said...

Enjoyed this post & glad the music was so inspirational. Had to go through the back numbers as I've been away. can't miss anything!

Jules said...

Just over to let you know I voted. You're in the lead at 59% right now! Woo hoo.

(((Hugs))) to you and Cid. :)

Joy T. said...

I took my girls to see Sarah Brightman the last time she came to Edmonton. She gives such a lovely concert and her voice literally sends chills up my spine. Her CD was in the truck when you and I went on that picnic. Normally people make fun of me for listening to such music so who knew I could have brought her out and someone else would have enjoyed her too!!! Next time :o)

bichonpawz said...

Aims....what a moving post! And a happy post! I am thrilled to hear you were becoming more alive again! I hope this happiness continues!!

The Lehners in France said...

aims, you lucky girl, what a concert that must have been. I suspect a twist and turn around the corner very soon though.
Aims, you picked up very quickly on Anita Bush, but Betty Swollocks seems to have illuded you and everyone else. How funny. Debs x

Frances said...

Came over here from Nora - fascinating story.
Will have to go back to the beginning to find out how you got here. I can tell it's exciting from the responses of your reading circle!
I seem to be arriving just at a turning point.

John-Michael said...

And You, My Darling Aims are a gentle breeze that calms and brings a tranquil delight and joy to my Soul. "Is is well," indeed! (You will note a rather "complete" response to your "comment.")

(No! I can not comment on this or any of the preceding two posts. I am at far too intense an emotional level ... and have to reserve "comment" 'til later.)

I can tell You, though, that You are a treasure to me ... and I love you without reservation!

blogthatmama said...

Hello aims, just came by via various lovely and full of good sense comments left on other blogs. I'm looking forward to spending some time reading yours in full. Best of luck with the Best of Blogs, x

Nora said...

What a beautiful post, Aims. It makes me sigh with the beauty of it. I so want Cid to be okay. I wonder where all of this is leading us to? I worry about you being alright and about D. Somehow you all have to come out of this happy.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Time to say goodbye - my friends mother died a few years ago and this song was played at the funeral. It damn near slayed me as my parents died a month apart and this funeral brought it all back. I love Andrea but my all time favourite is Pavarotti. Wonderful post yet again dear winner!

Eileen said...

Such a powerful post, full of good things. The music was beautiful and seems to make your writing ever more magical.
Having panic/anxiety issues, myself, I can so relate to what you felt. So close to home.

Thanks for such a wonderful post.

XOXOX

CrazyCath said...

Two of the most wonderful voices ever to be brought together. :0)