The happiest day of my life happened when I was 12 years old. The morning my 7th grade class went to Medieval Times I woke up and asked my mom if I needed to go to school. I had known that we were bankrupt and didn’t tell my parents about the trip because I knew we couldn’t afford it. It was going to be a day of me alone in a classroom and I didn’t see the point. Mom told me to go up and put my favorite outfit on. I wasn’t going to school. I put on my lavender leggings and matching top. It was hand-painted with purple morning glories on one leg and the torso. She wore a brown, rust, red hippie skirt with sequins and a bohemian top. It was her in her element. We took the train into the city and we got on the Tkts line. She asked me what I wanted to see. I thought I had a choice and said Cats. I had been singing Memory in my chorus. I was wrong, she said she was really in the mood for something french. We were going to see Les Misérables. But before that, we walked to my first favorite restaurant. It would set the bar high. Le Rivage provided me with my first taste of how good food was. Pâté and duck still remain my go to staples if I am splurging.
The day, the music, it changed me forever. I attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts for voice. I wanted to be Eponine. I wanted to be on Broadway. I wanted to relive that day over and over.
A year later, my mother died of an asthma attack. It would spark a chain of events that would also change myself and a decade’s depression, anxiety and hopelessness that almost claimed it. And yet, here I am. After what I’ve been through, the musical resonates with me as more than ever. “A little fall of rain can hardly hurt me now” and “rain will make the flowers grow”. I am stronger, happier and healthier than ever and perhaps for my tribulation.
Today, I am going to see Les Miserables in the movies. It is bittersweet and thankfully, I am not going alone.