From the Rafters

By Laura Edwards

Mom, Taylor, and I made our annual trip uptown to see The Nutcracker at Charlotte’s Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Sunday night.

For me, Christmas wouldn’t be whole without these two precious hours spent with my two favorite girls. We were up in the rafters this time around, but none of us cared. Taylor, of course, goes solely for the music. I love the ballet, but I go mostly because almost nothing makes me happier than seeing my mom and my little sister smile. I’m not quite sure how many times I’ve seen The Nutcracker, but that will never get old.

I cry very little these days; sometimes, I wonder if my tear ducts haven’t all but dried out thanks to the events of the past four-plus years. But at the zenith of my favorite part of the ballet, “Pas De Deux” (the dance of the sugar plum fairy and her prince near the end of Act II), I glanced over at my mom, and I lost it.

Only God knows how many more times the three of us will be able to go to The Nutcracker together. Our next chance is a year away, and I can’t take anything that far out for granted. I can’t take next month, next week, or tomorrow for granted. To be fair, none of us can. But Batten disease changes the game. The curse that is Batten disease makes each day my family is still whole even more of a blessing. The present is fleeting. But those two wonderful hours in the Blumenthal rafters with my girls will live on in my heart forever.

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