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Detra’s story

Part 14

“Lucas volunteered to bring up all my stuff from the storage unit in Arkansas. He was supposed to arrive on a Monday, so the following Sunday I scheduled a final performance of ‘One Woman’s Journey To Love.’ I wanted it to be a night to remember: my show, my songs, in my place, with my stuff. Unfortunately Lucas was delayed, and by the time he arrived we barely had time to get everything unloaded. On the night of the performance, the bathtub had stuff stacked up to the shower. Twenty-five people attended. The band set up in the kitchen, and I performed while standing in the hallway. There were some new songs in the mix: ‘My Way,’ and ‘Wild Horses,’ and ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.’ I sang a hymn for the first time. I’d never sang a hymn in my show before, because I hadn’t wanted to put people off. But it’s what I believe. So I sang ‘Lord I Need Thee Every Hour.’ At the end I gave a little monologue; I told the audience: ‘We are dealt so much in life that’s wrong. And we do so much that we wish we hadn’t. But you’re so much more than those things. You are beautiful, and you are needed in the world.’ Then I closed with ‘You Are So Beautiful,’ by Joe Cocker. Margaret stayed behind to drink a glass of wine after everyone left. We settled into the 14-foot sectional. And I started to look around, at all my stuff. Beneath my feet was the giant Oriental Rug my kids had given me one Christmas— they’d split the cost seven ways. There was my collection of antique Nancy Drew mysteries. There were my three pictures of curved bridges. The hurricane lamp, with a cardinal, that my daughter had given me. Because she knows how much I love little lights. My rooster plates, my rooster platter, the rooster lamp from Cracker Barrel. My upholstered coffee table. The drapes I’d sewn from my favorite fabric at Hobby Lobby. I’d waited weeks for it to go on sale. I never thought I could do a good job because we were so poor. But looking around at all this stuff, I realized something: it was beautiful. When it all came together, it was beautiful. Maybe I hadn’t been given many choices in life. But I always knew what beauty was. And even in the ugly, I created beauty.”

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