Yesterday we went to see Les Miserables, the Broadway musical. Fantine’s tragedy, Marius’s rescue, and Jean Valjean’s ultimate triumph made me cry again… copious amounts of tears… a waterfall of emotional floodwaters. There is beauty in living through challenges. Especially life-threatening ones.
We went to the musical in Fair Park as a celebration of the fact that a family member is now out of the hospital and on proper medication to be well again. We are liberated from fear again for a time. Of course, I can’t afford to go to a show like that, being newly bankrupted and swamped with medical bills. But a family member provided the funds, victory over severe depression being a thing that needs celebration.
And Eponine’s song “On My Own” is such a powerful statement of the self-sacrificing nature of love that it makes me weep just thinking of it. She loves a man who loves another and yet, loves him so well that she secures his happiness… with that other woman. And she dies in the arms of the man she loves. Valjean’s signature song, “Bring Him Home”, also makes me weep. It is the main theme of the entire show, that the thing to do when life buries you beneath a blizzard of misfortune, cruelty, and unfairness is to turn that into self-sacrificing, generous love for others even if they are not your flesh-and-blood kin. Love gives back more than you have given. It is the notion that makes me cry with the beauty of it.
The point is, I have had a hard week. I had to put a family member in the hospital for severe depression. And other family members couldn’t help me because depression can be as infectious as a cold, taking one person after another through exposure to the harsh realities of the disease. And though it is hard being the only one available to help someone through the dangerous darkness of the soul, I managed not to lose anybody again this time, the fifth time I have fought such a battle in a terrible, long war.
And now I have “One Day More” to enter into the new world I have made through sacrifice and suffering. I am devastated, but still whole. I am exhausted, but still standing. I needed yesterday to happen.