On January 24th my sister sent me this text: Philly...March 28,29!@!!!!!!!!@! On Saturday January 28th at 8:44 AM she sent me this text: Im setting up the puter...made sure temp files are deleted printer ready...on site but in a cue already.
There was no need for explanation. Springsteen was coming to town. My sister, a die-hard fan, was gearing up for the online battle to grab a pack of four coveted tickets.
For the past 27 years or so, my sister and nieces and I have faithfully found a way to see the Boss every time he comes to Philly. While my sister sat at her computer waiting, biting her lip, fidgeting for her turn in line to nab the tickets, she would send me periodic texts. One being this: I can measure my life by his concerts.
There is a lot of truth to that. I thought back to the first time we saw the Boss; We, still young, our nieces, even younger and all of us, so excited. My mom was going to watch my toddler at the time and we were pretty much ready to walk out the door when my mom tripped and fell. She had an enormous bruise on her side and was pretty upset. My sister and I later confessed that the second thought that popped into our minds after "Is she ok?"was "Will we still be able to go?"
Many years later with kids grown, and my sister newly widowed, the four of us stood at a new venue in Philly. We quietly surrounded my sister, a subtle hand squeeze here and there, as Bruce sang Working on a Dream, a song that she always associates with her late husband.
For me, Springsteen's lyrics have energized me when down, let me know I am still cool no matter how old I get, and surely can take my worries away as I roll down the windows and let the wind blow back my hair. My favorite CD, The Rising, has carried me over more than a few rough spots. The Nothing Man, lets me know that no matter what, the sky is still the same unbelievable blue. And City of Ruins, affirmed that with these hands and a lot of faith, I can do just about anything.
So tonight, with vintage tee shirts washed and free of dust and the smell of cedar, my sister and nieces and I will punctuate the syllables of Badlands with our fists in the air. We'll reclaim our youth for a few short hours and celebrate life in all of its mystery - with the Boss. Sounds like a plan, right?