Walking a journey with chronic illness is lonely. It’s isolating and no one fully understands what it’s like. There are pain filled nights, the gripping fear that comes with waiting for test results, the constant worry and anxiety. Life becomes an endless string of days, and it’s so easy to forget the life that’s waiting beyond the four walls of the hospital.
So often I, like so many others, get caught up in the struggle. I lose myself in the race for survival, in doctor’s offices and hospital waiting rooms. I lose pieces of my heart and my courage on cold exam tables and in every moment I spend trying to escape the pain. So often I forget that the struggle, while unspeakably hard, is good. I forget that in the middle of this fight, it has and always will be a good fight. The struggle is not worthless, the hours not meaningless. It takes courage, and strength, and the dedication to survive. In my own life I often forget that these things are brave and worth recognizing. I get caught up in the endless cycle of defeat and isolation and pain that I forget to recognize the beauty in the struggle, the victory that comes.
Sometimes it takes someone else stepping in to remind you of this. It takes that connection, that helping hand reaching into your darkness and reminding you that it is still a good fight, a worthwhile fight.
The support I get from Melodic Caring Project concerts is unlike any I have experienced. It is someone reaching into my darkest moment, and calling it beautiful. It is someone recognizing the struggle as the good fight that it is, and reminding me of it’s nobility when I forget. It is someone singing over the trying, unglamorous moments and calling them beautiful. Because they are beautiful. The hours spent in waiting rooms and operating rooms, the number of medical procedures tried and the tests endured, they are not nothing. They are part of the struggle it takes to be alive, and being alive is a beautiful thing.
The power of connection is no small thing. Being seen, being appreciated and acknowledged, is an amazing gift. Knowing you’re not alone, that somewhere out there is someone who wants to reach into your darkness and sing over you until you find your strength again, somehow it’s enough to create the drive to press on for that extra mile, to keep fighting the good fight.
Music brings people together. It creates a community. For these sick kids, kids like me, this community is everything. It is the force behind finding the courage to press on. It is the support team sitting in the bleachers cheering you on. It is a voice in the dark reminding you of strength you didn’t think you had. It is a reminder that this is, and always has been, the good fight.
This is what music, and my involvement with the Melodic Caring Project, has taught me: to keep fighting the good fight. You are seen. You are appreciated. You are loved. You are courageous, and strong, and never alone. You are alive, and this in itself is a beautiful thing.