In 1974/75 I was a freshman at UC Berkeley and became friends with a gal named Marcia. We were 'wild child wannabes' though I will admit she was far more sophisticated in that area than me. We had many adventures together, all around our love for The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Faces and Rock and Roll in general.
The most fun we had was when we spent three days sleeping in the parking lot of the Cow Palace in San Francisco. We did it so we could be up front for the Stones. It was cold. It was rainy. It was a blast. My Uncle Karl and Auntie Della brought us Kentucky Fried Chicken. My Dad and Mom brought us a big ol' tarp to use to huddle under to keep out of the rain and my father stood there with a big grin on his face when all the kids in the area stood up and applauded him for doing that - and setting it up for us.
Poor Dad...he had no freaking idea what was happening but hey, he was going to bring his daughter a tent so she wouldn't get too wet.
I had a blast at that concert. I have attended almost every Rolling Stone concert in the Bay Area since then, missing the last one because I just did not have the money for a ticket. I loved every one of them. I attended them stoned and I attended them sober. The Rolling Stones are my band. I do not sit down or sit still during their concerts.
Imagine my excitement, therefore, when their upcoming stadium tour was announced! YIPPPEEE! A chance to go see my favorite band during what HAS to be their last hurrah, right? I mean, even Keith can't last that much longer.
Then I saw the date they are due to perform at Levi Stadium and I realized I can't go because I have two other commitments that weekend. Darn. Disappointment.
My life has changed dramatically since 1974 and I have chronicled a lot of that in this blog. My readers are aware that I am a recovering Alcoholic who, as a result of the healing found in a 12 step program, returned to full communion with the Catholic Faith. I am now a life professed Lay Dominican, a Catechist, a lover of football and rock and roll and the steward of Scottish Terriers and silly cats. I never did remarry, never had children of my own but today I get to be in service to over 800 children at my parish where I work as the Coordinator of the school of religion. I am far from perfect (a nephew still won't speak to me) but I love my life today. It is second to none.
But it is definitely different....and I mean REALLY different...from what it was in 1974. It is a reflection of a change that happened in 1992, the year I surrendered to God and to the 12 step program that saved my life. The way I live today resembles that which it was meant to be from the moment of my Baptism. I begin and end with prayer. I live a Sacramental and Liturgical life. I have not withdrawn from the world; rather, I now look at all the world has to offer through the eyes of faith, through a new pair of glasses. While not perfect I am not afraid to aim for perfection. I am not afraid to do it because I understand that failing to reach it doesn't make me the failure but failing to try can and I do not want to spend eternity in failure.
I understand more perfectly that the life I am called to lead as a Catholic is not for everyone, but it is open to all. I want people to understand it but I am okay if they exercise their gift of free will and chose not to, either by going down an easier path or rejecting the existence of that path all together. If they are angry at me for being a Catholic or for believing in God I can love them anyway and keep them in prayer. I can resist their attempts at injustice towards me and my kind, but I can resist it in the was Pope St. John Paul II resisted the Nazis and the Communists - with Love.
Today I am a different woman than the little girl trying to be sophisticated and worldly because I have found a different world in which to be sophisticated. It is not a world of glitter, it is a world of light. It is not a world of alcohol and drugs, it is a world of Body and Blood. It is not a world of wanton sex but a world of right relationship. It is not a world of lonely dependence upon another human being for my self worth but a world of full dependence upon a Power greater than myself, the Omnipotent and Omnipresent Power of God.
So when I saw the date for the Stones performance in my 'home town' I was disappointed - for a minute. You see, that is the day we scheduled for the Spanish Mass for First Holy Communion. I get to help usher in 35 little ones as they receive Our Lord in the Eucharist for the very first time in their lives. And that night? That night I get to drive to Reno because the next day I participate as a speaker at a convention of like minded and similarly afflicted types, trying to stay sober one day at a time.
Yes, my life is very, very different today. Of course I would love to see the Stones. But God has work for me to do that weekend.
And He comes first.