Thrill Rides

My fibromyalgia has been very active, roller coaster like. This got me thinking about the time Oz and I went to an amusement park over the summer.

I like roller coasters but I am more careful about getting on them when my body is already hurting. Plus, tests have shown my adrenal glands are over worked so the whole concept of big hills, accelerated speeds, and cork screws sounds like a recipe for disaster.

But that didn’t phase Oz. He was just happy to spend time on an adventure with me. I got to pick the final ride of the night, and not wanting to disappoint, I chose a log flume ride. Scary (nothing holding you in the seat!) but fun (a huge splash at the end).

We boarded the ride with another pair, an old man and his grandson. As we rushed down the hill there was a lot of screaming–Oz– but after the splash there was as twice as much laughter. I found it so perfectly symbolic to be seated there soaking wet next to a young boy and an old man, all of us in for the ride of our lives.

I got a hug from the lead singer of that group I shared a video from, last post. Cloud cult. Oz and I went on a two hour drive to see them play acoustically. No opener. Just them. Since it was such a small show, the band came out afterwards to meet the crowd. Oz and I waited in line to speak to Craig, the mastermind and lead singer of Cloud Cult. I had a whole speech together for him. I wanted to tell him how this music he creates helped me when I was in Ireland and in a lot of pain, nervous and very alone, an ocean and a couple thousand miles from home. Plugging in my headphones and hearing them, i found i could not only breathe again but also focus on the moment, on the journey. I wanted to tell him that what they are doing matters. But all I could do was cry. Without hesitation, he reached out and hugged me. One of the most sincere embraces I have ever received.  He looked at me intently, understanding without words. I did manage to say thank you, but I knew it wasn’t necessary to say out loud.

Oz confessed afterwards that water ride is one of the few rides that actually scare him. Sometimes I think that “ride” of our lives is actually a thrill ride, like a roller coaster. Sometimes we doubt the strength of the safety belts and bars that hold us in. Sometimes we can’t see what’s ahead until we get over that first hill. Sometimes it is going too fast to pay attention to anything but our own acceleration.  But it is called thrilling for a reason.

I noticed after we left the log ride, the old man and his grandson remained in their seats, ready to go another round. And I couldn’t help but smile, heart pounding and drenched, about their symbolism yet again.

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