Friday, July 8, 2011

My heart just couldn't take it...

One more Camp Rainbow story, then I am going to attempt to move on with my life, though I can't make promises.

So Ms. J, aka the sweetest little lady on Earth, would tell me there were two things she wanted to be when she grew up: (1) a counselor just like me, which she probably said just to make me feel ridiculously good about myself (it worked every time), and (2) a singing sensation! She wants to be a pop star! What a precious goal for a precious lady!

And every year, on the last night of Camp, we have a camper talent show! Campers get up there and dance or sing or play guitar or impersonate Elvis or tell jokes. We even have one camper who hosts a The Price is Right show every year, and he'd actually take contestants from the audience and tell them to "Come on down!!".

But Ms. J's talent was to sing every year! It was the absolute highlight of her week. I remember our first year together, she told me she wanted to sing. And I can't lie, I was a little selfishly nervous that we would get up there and that she might get nervous and need me to help sing. And we all know that that would be slightly traumatic for me, and very traumatic for everyone who had to hear me. But up on stage we go, she takes the mic and belts out "God Bless America!" Let me tell you, she sure did not need me up there! I'll never forget her beautiful voice and how she raised her arms up for emphasis at the end -- so adorable! And she was hit, the crowd went crazy and she was just beaming!

Here's our Talent Show shot from our second year together!
Our second year together, she got up there and belted out "Amazing Grace." And the performance was just as beautiful and as much of a hit as the first year.

This was our last year together. I know, I was looking a little redneck. Don't tell me you don't like it.
I expected Talent Show number three to go just as well. We went up, and she sang "Amazing Grace" again. Applause! Cheers! Ms. J was satisfied with another stellar performance! We then sat down to enjoy the rest of the show.

However, a few performances later, another camper gets up there and sings a different version of "Amazing Grace." I was enjoying the song, when all of a sudden Ms. J looks up at me with the most devastated eyes.

"That's my song... She stole my song!"

I quickly jump into hyper-positive counselor mode.

"No, it's a way different version." ... "It doesn't sound like your song!"... "Your song was so beautiful." ... "Everybody love your song the best!" ... "Remember how loud everyone cheered for your song!"

But my attempts failed, and sweet, sad tears welled up in her eyes. In our three years, I had never seen Ms. J cry, and my heart was definitely not ready.

It was no noisy sob, but as I put my arm around her, she rested her head on my shoulder, and the tears just poured!

I begged her to stop. "You're killing my heart, Ms. J. Please let me see your beautiful smile!" She'd look up at me and smile, but the sad, silent, drippy tears would still come, and the smile would fade as she repeated her disappointment. "I can't believe she stole my song..."

Now, I have to tell you, I have not an in-the-moment crier. Weddings, graduations, or other emotional events where people cry, I don't. People told me they saw me crying during Kelsey's wedding. I didn't. But I will let them believe that if they want because it makes me seem like a more heartfelt person. In these moments, like a wedding or a friend crying in front of you, it would be nice to cry with them. I wish my tear ducts would follow my heart, but they don't.

I'm an after-the-moment crier in these events. I don't think its possible to experience such a powerfully emotional event like your cuz and your best friend getting married and not cry. So I have. Twice. You know, its how we girls process these things, which is all well and good. But it sure would be much more convenient to be a normal person and cry along with everyone else during these events, but normalcy has never been my style.

But anyways, the point of all that was this: With Ms. J in my arms, eyes full of tears, heartbroken over disappointment that her big moment had been stolen, my tear duct's heart finally synced with my own. And I cried.

So there we sat. Holding each other, crying.

For a solid little while.

But finally, I regained control of our sad state. And I took her into the bathroom so we could clean ourselves up. I told her we had one last night to enjoy each other's company, and that we couldn't spend it crying, and that I was in desperate need of her beautiful smile! So she brought her smile back--for good, and we dried our eyes with tissues, and went out there and enjoyed our last talent show together!


  1. I love this story. I have heard it many times and I could hear you say it in my head and I LIKE IT!!! I love ms J! Maybe I can meet her one day and we can go canoeing and be a trio - the most fabulous trio you've ever heard!! :)
    I love you and I love your heart.
    I like that you don't cry normal. you aren't normal. love you.

  2. Oh my goodness...well thanks a lot! Now my tear ducts are running like crazy. Good grief,'re killing me here! =)
    Thank you for sharing this sweet story about precious Ms. J. Your open heart for loving others has touched so many people.
    Love you!