It’s taken me some time to be able to sit down and write about everything that has transpired over the past two months. I have experienced sadness, grief, anger, confusion, joy, happiness and gratitude. I am writing this in memory of my beloved and most faithful friend I have ever known, My BoBo Ray of Sunshine and some wonderful people I have met along the way all thanks to the band Tears For Fears.
The Saturday of Memorial Weekend I received the four leaf clover shaped Tears For Fears Head Over Heals album. I was ecstatic and thought maybe things were finally going to start turning around. BoBo had been diagnosed with kidney disease a few months earlier and we had recently started to give her fluids once a week at home. They seemed to do the trick for awhile but she had her good days and bad days. I received a message from a fellow fan who lives in England and long story short, got invited to see Tears For Fears the middle of June. After getting work time off situated and logistics worked out, by Memorial Day I knew I was going on a last minute trip of a lifetime. A few days later I made the decision after consulting with our vet that it was time to say goodbye to our sweet BoBo Ray. Thankfully I was able to arrange a wonderful photoshoot with Sarah Beth Photography who specializes in distinctive pet photography and Joy Sessions. I was also able to spend the last week working at home with my girls and confirmed it was the right thing to do after second guessing myself. I had always said that BoBo was sent from heaven to her mama but now heaven needed her back. I didn’t realize the day she would leave me was the same day I had picked her up and brought her home 13 years earlier.
It had been a busy two weeks since BoBo had left us. I had work events and wanted to make sure everything was covered while I was gone. I got in with the hematologist to get my Lovenox so I wouldn’t risk another blood clot after the long flights. I hadn’t been sleeping great but was going through grieving and excitement at the same time, a very strange feeling. I had to make up my mind that I was going to enjoy the moment. When would I ever have an opportunity like this again? Maybe never, so whatever emotions I was going through, I needed to get them in check. It was almost like BoBo had known her fate and somehow planned for this trip to transpire so I’d have something to help me through the process of losing her.
I arrived in London traveling through Iceland at Heathrow Airport and hadn’t been to England since 2005. Immediately I was super excited and a bit nervous at the same time. It had been 14 years since I had visited England. Growing up I was obsessed with British bands. They plastered my bedroom walls like wallpaper. My first love was John Taylor from Duran Duran. I still have a Bop magazine I saved from German class with Herr Krueger. I also got JT’s set list when they performed in Minneapolis at EPIC a few years ago. I’ve always said the best music from the 80’s came from the U.K. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like growing up there back then. I think I would have been in heaven if I’m completely honest.
I got picked up by my travel mates for the next 5 days in none other than the “unofficial” Tears For Fears car. My friend has custom plates that end in TFF. I made the mistake of posting the whole license plate on the web and learned that people steal the information and make fake plates over there to steal petrol, so it can be quite a pain in the arse to try to prove yourself innocent when you truly are innocent. Needless to say, no photo of the TFF mobile on here but trust me, it does exist! And if Roland, Curt or any other band members wanted to sign it for her I’m sure she’d be more than happy to oblige. A true fan always carries a Sharpie in their purse. Well, I do! LOL
We started off our journey traveling for a few hours north of London. After a few stops along the way at service areas for stretching and loo breaks, as well as my introduction to Giggle Pants, we visited a castle that is located close to where G lives. I cannot imagine looking out my front window everyday and seeing a castle as my view. At that castle was when I first knew I was absolutely supposed to be exactly where I was. I got a bit startled actually and may have frightened the ladies a bit when they turned around and saw me crying after I saw the butterfly that came out of nowhere. You see, a day before BoBo went to heaven, in our backyard there is this area where a butterfly suddenly appeared. My husband mentioned it as he found it intriguing. I saw this butterfly at the castle and immediately thought of my BoBo. As crazy to some as it may seem I said, “BoBo is that you?” I swear the butterfly fluttered its wings and came closer to me which startled me even more. Then it stopped so I could capture its photo and then flew away. I immediately texted my husband and he responded back with that’s BoBo the butterfly. This was one of many signs on this trip.
We were up early the next morning to start out for Delamere Forest. This was the first concert for me and their third of this leg of the summer European Tour. We were the first ones there! Hard to believe I know. This was a general admission show so if you want the front of the barrier you do what you have to do. I didn’t know if my feet were hurting from flying as they usually swell up. I was even wearing my fancy compression socks under my jeans because no one could tell. All I know is my feet hurt and felt like two concrete logs.
When it was time for the gates to open my job was to run to the barrier which is what I did. We got the front row! It was almost surreal. I was actually in England in the middle of a forest waiting to see Tears For Fears! If you would have told me that a few weeks before that I would have called you a Muppet! (I also learned a few words while I was there) The opening band was a group called Ward Thomas who I had never heard of before but have since downloaded their music since I returned home and quite love it. I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll so I quite like them. I’m also stuck in the 80’s which there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT as I tell my younger coworkers who like to give me a hard time now and then when I bring up a song they have never heard of before.
We all had an inkling on our way to Delamere that it was going to be a good night. W came out of the loo to find a lovely bouquet of sunflowers on the counter. Sunflowers were a sign! We saw the truck with the Sun. Another sign. I certainly wasn’t prepared but was definitely giddy inside and out when Curt Smith started speaking to the crowd and lo and behold he did a SHOUT out to Me! Did I hear him correctly?! I sure did! He said, “Hi Tamara by the way. You flew all the way from Minnesota?” WHAT?!?!?! OMG Not only am I in the middle of the fricking forest in England but Curt Smith from Tears For Fears just said hi to me in front of all of these people. Wow Wow Wow Wow Wow! Yup, that pretty much made my trip right there, or so I thought… This was only concert #1 for me and it isn’t even over yet.
It is no secret that I have been known to be Ms. Sensitive Pants and it was no surprise when Woman In Chains came on that I literally lost it. There is no other way to put it gently. I was sobbing uncontrollably and standing right in front of Roland singing the song himself. Good Lord Baby Jesus what was he thinking?! He has no idea about my BoBo. He doesn’t know she just went to heaven 14 days before this or that we danced to this song in my dining room right before the vet came. That song will always be our song. That song has gotten me through other things in my life that I don’t care to discuss but are equally as traumatic. That song is like no other. There was something about hearing that song at that moment live standing there in the front row that just hit me. I felt that song like never before as I clutched the silver heart necklace filled with my BoBo Ray’s ashes around my neck. The girls said he noticed me crying. W had to motion that I was ok. Was I ok or was I just so moved by that song? I still get moved by that song whenever I hear it. If I ever get the chance to meet Roland the one thing I would want him to know is how much that song means to me and thank him for writing such a beautiful meaningful song. I know my BoBo is now free. Free from pain and disease. As much as it hurt me to have to let her go, when I heard the words “So Free Her” it just helps me know I set her free and she isn’t suffering anymore. Boy oh boy am I suffering though. I need to buy some stock in Kleenex with lotion I think!
After WIC they sang Badman’s Song, Head Over Heals and Shout for the encore. The three of us got set lists from the best crew. I was given Charlton’s which is awesome after meeting him in Killarney back in January. It truly was a night to remember in so many ways. We had to drive back to G’s town and ran into some road closures on the way back so it took us longer than expected. I fell asleep in the back seat of the car as I was still trying to adjust to the time difference. Once we arrived back at the hotel, W and I talked like two girls in school about all of the events that occurred throughout the day as we had to pack up our things for our next adventure on to Blenheim Palace or as I was told pronounced Blenum.
To be continued Part II