Temperatures warmed up just briefly enough this weekend to trigger another round of seasonal allergies. Yet somehow my husband and I managed to make it (sniffles and all) through our rehearsal with the Messiah orchestra.
We threw down the gauntlet again, rehearsing "O Death, Where is Thy Sting?" and those notes always take us back to the first time we sang that together, just a few months after my surgery and diagnosis. (So does the video, courtesy of my brother Blake):
It was so exciting to realize how long ago that was.
I then got to run through "O Thou, That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion," which is such a cheery song for me. Like most of the oratorio, it is very dance-like, and it's a fitting celebration (in many ways) of survival.
(More video from the 2006 performance):
We moved to the next one, and I giggled as I rehearsed the recitative, "Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened," because the last words are, "and the tongue of the dumb shall sing." It's funny to me, because I (the dumb?) immediately follow that by singing my next aria.
And then my giggling stopped as I sang the words, which remind me of the Lord's care for us: "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, and he shall gather the lambs with his arm. And carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young."
Like any mother with cancer, my biggest concern has been less about myself and more about the children who must deal with it. As someone "with young," it is a comforting realization to know that I am not the only one who knows their needs and cares for them.
As I left the rehearsal I had a smile on my face and a tear in my eye, feeling full of gratitude for yet another chance to do something that has come to mean so much to me. I remember that first "A.D." Messiah performance, when I thought it might be my last. I remember my brother joking back then that four years later people would be rolling their eyes, saying, "Here she comes, thinking it's her 'last Messiah' again." Back then I thought the idea was so far-fetched. But here I am -- three years later and looking forward to my fifth performance this Sunday.
Hallelujah! Glory to God!