Losing Tony hasn’t really made me question who I am as a person, but it has made me question how I should spend my time. As a couple, we each participated in activities that the other person wouldn’t sign up for alone. I’ve been to NASCAR races, BBQ contests, and attempted to fish. None of those are things I would have participated in without him. I used to drag Tony to my college alma mater for Homecoming, musicals, and Target. If he were here, I’m sure he could list many more things I made him do along the way.
This year, I decided to get myself season tickets to the theatre that hosts Broadway shows that travel through the states. I love live theatre and I thought it would be a good opportunity to do something a little different. This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the musical, Hadestown.
If you are not familiar with the show Hadestown, it is based on the Greek mythology of Orpheus and Eurydice. I know how this Greek tragedy ends, so I came to the show prepared with tissues and small glass heart I received at my first Camp Widow. Those are two items I usually have in my purse, but I made a conscious effort to make sure I had them for this outing.
As expected, Orpheus and Eurydice fall in love. Eurydice dies and goes to the Underworld run by the baritone Hades. Orpheus is grief stricken and plays his way beyond the wall into Underworld to bring Eurydice back home. Their love reminds Hades of his love for Persephone, but he cannot just let them walk out of the Underworld without looking weak. So, he creates a test they must pass. Orpheus must walk first and trust that Eurydice is following behind. If he turns around before they are out of the Underworld Eurydice will be sent back to Hades. Doubt slowly creeps into Orpheus and at the tail end of the journey he turns around to see Eurydice has been following him the whole time. He has failed the test and she is returned to Hades in the Underworld.
I know that this is a tale as old as time, but I cannot help but to wish to be given this chance. The opportunity to go visit Tony even for an hour would be too precious to even put into words. Although an hour wouldn’t be enough. It was never going to be enough time. Even if he’d died at 80, it would not have been enough time. The person left standing will almost always crave more time.
Then I ponder if I would pass the test Hades put forth. I think that yes, I am strong enough and I would bring him safely home. I would never turn around and risk losing him again. My strength and love would tow him home behind me. Of course, this is all hypothetical. Love and life don’t work that way. Only in my own invented story, can I be the hero.