more about the dance

I posted back in April about the overly used ‘dancing in the rain’ quote. Guess what? It came up again. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

Anyway, I wanted to grab a card for a friend today and just like it was meant to be, a card including that very quote stood up above the rest. What was I supposed to do … pass it over and look at the other cards? It’s like when you’re driving by Biggby and the sweet little voice in the backseat inquires, “Hey mom, can I get a Biggby?” You get the kid a Biggby.

Do you guys agonize over cards like I do? 

In all seriousness, I remember the first time I got a real glimpse at the unfairness that life can throw at us. It wasn’t over my mom saying no to a new Barbie (#justaskdad) or when I knew that I wasn’t going to ever wear a size 000. No, it was when I was going through the McDonald’s parking lot as a kid. 

It wasn’t about food that time, either.

I was in a car (I think an old Jeep?) with my aunt and my cousins. My Aunt Kathy, Nick and Tiffany had been faced with a  cancer diagnosis for my Uncle Steve and at the point that we were in the McDonald’s parking lot, we knew he didn’t have much time.

What I’ll never forget is when the song “The Dance” began to play. My poor Aunt Kathy just cried. It was all she could do. The song was so special to her and I didn’t realize at the time how much emotion goes along with music, but maybe I did after that moment. I definitely do now. Hello, “10,000 Reasons.”

But, what I will always cherish about my Aunt Kathy is her smile and how quickly she bursts into her infectious laughter; her ability to dance in the rain. The song talked about being thankful for not knowing how everything would go …

“And now 
I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end 
The way it all would go
Our lives 
Are better left to chance 
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss 
The dance …”

My Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve loved each other so very much. I still remember that about them. And they laughed. And they danced. Through it all, they danced. 

And now, over twenty years after we said goodbye to my uncle, my Aunt Kathy still laughs. In fact, she talks about having her laugh recorded so she can play it at her funeral. Sure, it’s a little morbid to think about but also dang funny. Who wouldn’t want to remember someone like that? 

She’s celebrating a milestone birthday this week. And I won’t mention which one but it starts with a ‘six’ and ends with a ‘t’. I had the opportunity to ‘dance’ with her this weekend and I remembered that time of complete heartbreak; when I saw her in so much pain. I think about those storms of life and how absolutely awful they can be, and how they can seem to last for an eternity but I think that’s why we were given the advice to learn to dance. How else would we be able to deal with all of that crappy unfairness in life?

I still don’t think it’s fair we had to lose Uncle Steve when he was in the midst of the dance. He was such a cool, fun-loving uncle and I know Nick and Tiffany would agree; but I sure do love to see Aunt Kathy laugh. And I love to see all three of them dance, because they do. It makes me think of another unfair situation that someone very dear to me is experiencing right now and I hope the same for her. I saw my Aunt Kathy’s priceless smile and heard her infectious laugh and was so grateful because I know my dear friend will smile and laugh again, too. 


So happy birthday, my dearest Aunt Kathy. Thank you for the reminder that despite it all, we’re better for having learned to dance.


2 thoughts on “more about the dance

  1. I second Doug’s comment!! What a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to your Aunt Kathy. Life can be so unfair and challenging yet we need to “dance in the rain”, enjoy the journey and count our blessings.

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