Epic Night


U2 Live at Met Life Stadium Thursday June 29th, 2017

” Our prayer tonight is to have an epic night, one of those nights you hold onto forever.” Bono  *PLEASE CHECK MY NEW DOMAIN NAME AT THE BOTTOM*

I’ve seen U2 every tour since the 80’s and they never disappoint, but this tour was the 30th anniversary of the Joshua Tree Tour.  This full circle moment has a special meaning for me. 30 years ago I went to the concert with a bunch of people all piled into those big old cars; we were teenagers headed to the Meadowlands to rock out to U2. We had on our long coats with the sleeves rolled up, and various buttons on our coats, such as: Why Be Normal turned upside down, U2 buttons, Anarchy buttons, and any other button that said we are different and we like it. In addition, we all had our high top converse on, mine white canvas with writing all over them. We were sitting on laps and drinking tall boys, and Pink Floyd was playing on the radio:  “I need a dirty woman.”  I was sitting on John’s lap and I was in heaven.  At the show whenever U2 played a classic we screamed and hugged each other; this man was my first real boyfriend, and today my child’s father.

This anniversary brought up so many emotions for everyone. His sister was with us at the original show too; she was 12 and I was 18.  John and I try to keep our relationship only about Maggie; we are not perfect so sometimes we veer off into other topics, but much less than we used to.  I didn’t tell him I was going to the show and I wondered if I would see him and his sister that night. Well sure enough, as I’m tailgating in the parking lot with my friend I get a text of the original ticket stub from 1987 and I say to myself, “Is he here?”  So I text back a picture of the stadium with the word here.  He sends back the same picture and it says, “Same view.”  I begin to feel overwhelmed and excited at the same time.  My friend shows me where their car is based on the photo; we were just aisles apart.  We go back and forth with things like: “Where are you sitting?”  “I’m outside buying my shirt.”  Beth and I have tickets in the 341 section, nosebleeds and we couldn’t see the gigantic screen which is a huge part of a U2 show. After about a half hour I get a text saying, “You want an upgrade?”  Quick note here: John always gets tickets and always gets good seats for all concerts. He tells me to meet him outside my section and as I walk towards him he hands me two tickets and says, “First mezzanine, second row.” I literally said, “What? How?” and my mouth dropped open.  Then he hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and said have fun.  I go back to my friend and tell her where we are going and she is elated.  The Lumineers are still on stage so we run downstairs to our new seats and we are amazed at how close we are. Then John and Dierdre come in front of the mezzanine and say hi; it was so great to see Deirdre.  She and I were yelling “30 years!”  And we blew kisses.  John and I haven’t hugged in probably about a year. Everything was happening so fast and adrenaline was flying. Turns out him and his sister are in the Red Zone, right next to the stage.

When U2 came out I could see Bono and he could see us; it was pure joy.  The band was on fire; they played hit after hit including the entire Joshua Tree album, with lots of visuals and inspiring messages on the screen.  I literally jumped up and down and screamed and sang for almost 3 hours.  80,000 people all singing in unison; it is a spiritual experience. Sometimes Bono would say cut the music and we all just sang together as he watched with admiration.  There was a girl next to me that came from Mexico to see the show; she said it has been her dream since she was 15 years old and tonight her dream came true. I told her I was so happy for her.  We often were jumping up and down and yelling at the same time.  This moment made me stop and think about immigrants; it was very poignant to have this experience with her at a U2 show as we go through these tenuous times in our country.  She was so fun and grateful and I’m glad I was blessed enough to sit next to her.  She taught me a lesson; I’m just like you. I love U2. I love America.  Dreams come true in America.

So now I have my ticket stubs from 1987 and 2017.  My friends were concerned about John and I hugging and I told them it was because of the nostalgia and I felt strong enough to experience it, yet know that he can turn around and be an ass next week. The difference is now I know that; now I know that John who gave me tickets is a good part of John, but the lying and manipulating parts of John are there too.  Being at this show was fantastic, and seeing John and his sister made it even more special.  U2 actually played a song that he and his sister danced to at our wedding.  But I felt no longings, no I miss him, no awww; I just felt grateful. Lately I have been integrating my past into my present life; my therapist says that is healthy and healing.  She says rather than cut things off mentally, it is better to learn how to include them in my life today, and to honor them and understand they are part of the fabric of my life.

Well I definitely fulfilled Bono’s prayer that night; the feelings were visceral and pure bliss.  It was one of those life changing moments in life that I will hold onto forever. Bono also said, “Our prayer tonight is rather than being used or using, that you are useful.”  When he says these prayers, it’s like he is setting an intention for the evening.

The next day I woke up without a voice, the humming still in my ears, and I think I lost 5 pounds!  I went home and I sent John a text thanking him and telling him it was great to see him and his sister.  Bono also said, “So it’s been 30 years and we’ve changed, but we’ve also stayed the same.”  So true.  John and I will go back to our co parenting, and he never texted me back, and I am totally fine with that.

Epic is an understatement. Mind blowing. Inspiring. Freedom. Joy.

IMPORTANT:  NEW DOMAIN NAME:  tracihalpin.blog

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