Sunday, November 27, 2011

Me and Bobby and Bruce and Clarence

NOTE: For those of you who are not aware, I am a huge Springsteen fan. So if you know who Springsteen is, then most likely you also know who Clarence Clemons is. Not only was Clarence Springsteen’s sax player in his E Street Band for about 30 years, he was also Bruce’s best friend. Clarence died in June of this year.

I took my son to band practice last Wednesday night, and I was talking to the other moms while we were waiting for our kids to be done. During our conversation, one of the moms asked, “Did you hear? Springsteen announced a 2012 tour?” and one of the other moms looked horrified and said, “Really? So soon after Clarence’s death?”

That sentence struck me – being a widow, you would not believe how many people think that once you’re a widow, moving forward is equated with disrespecting your spouse.

Well, here is a newsflash for those of you who think so – we already feel guilty enough for just being alive when the person we love most in the world is not. You don’t have to make us feel even more guilty. And by “moving forward”, I'm not necessarily talking about dating and/or remarriage.

This past summer I took a trip to Paris with my friend Toni. She and I signed up for a writing course (in English) in the morning, toured the city in the afternoon, and ate A LOT of great food in between. I had a really great time and I'm glad I went. However, before I went on the trip, I was almost afraid to tell anyone, for fear of being accused of disrespecting Bobby. I told very few of my friends and family that I was even going. While Toni posted on her Facebook page all about the trip before, during and after, I never posted one word. I was actually afraid of what people might say! What most people don’t know is that I brought with me a framed picture of Bobby which sat on my nightstand in my hotel room. And every time I saw something, heard something or tasted something that I know he would have liked, I thought of him. (I also liked that Toni considered him to be "watching over us".)

People are quick to judge those of us who’ve lost someone, and then subsequently do things for ourselves to try to move forward with our lives. Well, they certainly don’t need to. We do a great job judging ourselves, thank you.

So just as I thought of Bobby multiple times every single day on that trip to Paris, Bruce will think of Clarence with every song that he plays. And when I get my tickets and go to the concert, I will be remembering both Bobby and Clarence, too.

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