So for my last week stateside, I wanted to do the most quintessential things possible. Enter crab-picking extravaganzas, diners, extended days at the farm, a lot of American football and–of course–a Bruce Springsteen concert.
It’s pretty obvious why we love him (he’s epic/awesome/genius/fill in your favorite adjective here), and it’s fairly accepted that our love for him began at least one generation before my own (apparently if you missed one of those small shows in the 70s, or those early sell-outs in the 80s…tough luck). What’s not so easy to justify is just how strongly my family feels about him. I sometimes joke that while my own views on God are still being considered by an ever-growing jury, one thing my family doesn’t mess around with is Bruce.
Last Friday, about 3 hours into the show, standing in the very last row with the Anacostia behind me, I looked over the crowd of more than 20K adoring fans, hands in the air, swaying to the actual music as much as their own internal rhythm, and realized it looked exactly like a Bible camp I attended early on in life. Guitars, amps, mics, … you get the picture.
Then I looked at mama.L on my left, and favecuz (yes, my “favorite cousin,” which generally I use to refer to many more than one incredible family members) on my right, and realized that this quintessential American thing was only made more powerful because of the people I was sharing it with. My sister (we’ll call her Dice from here on out) was there. Favecuz’s brother and his fiance were there. My aunt.B and unka were there.
When I reflected, some combination of these people (and others) were at every one of my quintessential events. (Watch out, ’cause it’s about to get way cheesy.) Turns out, doesn’t matter so much what you do on any “final” week. It matters pretty much entirely who you do it with. My last day in ‘Mer-ka, we spent the day laughing, moving furniture and taking photos of my mom’s soon-to-be-rented condo.
And spending the day with the silly people I call my family? That’s what I’m afraid of missing the most.