Thank you Amanda Marshall


July 8, 2019

Have you ever paid attention to the odd things that seem to come up when something significant has occurred? Like when you purchase a new car and then begin to notice that same car on the road with more frequency. It coincides with the peculiar synchronicity that life seems to offer when two odd concepts, or notions are paired together in a way we can't help wonder what the message in that particular pairing may be. This isn't a new idea, in fact, it's something that has regularly occurred in life, so much so that it's been given a name, Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. This is type of cognitive bias, also known as a frequency illusion, and is meant to help explain the meaning we give when two ideas collide, like Amanda Marshall and cancer.

Music is something that has the ability to linger in the background of a conversation, steadily drumming a finger or two in acknowledgement of the beat, or can be in the forefront of a dance, where you're moving and swaying along with the rhythm. Either way, the influence of its presence is salient and palpable, even if just subtly. I often feel that in my life, music has helped give me motivation, strength, or the passage to release my tears. When I came to learn of my cancer diagnosis, I was wrapped up in the physical and emotional complexity of all the decisions I had to make. After the diagnosing appointment, we had decided that James would return to work for the rest of the day, and I would go visit my aunt and cousin, so as to let them know the news. All I remember from that short 10 minute drive from Credit Valley Hospital to my aunt's salon was that I heard Amanda Marshall's 'Believe' playing. I probably hadn't heard that song in years, or at least acknowledged it. Then throughout that day and the upcoming weeks I kept hearing more of her songs on the radio. In the middle of the night, whenever I would awake, I would hear pieces of 'Dark Horse' or 'Everybody's Got a Story' playing in my mind. In the waiting room for the bone scan, MRI and CT, and the fertility appointments, all had Amanda Marshall playing at some point or another. What was going on??

I had to acknowledge that the spirit of her music was a message for me in some way. Here I was returning back home and living a life I had similarly lived when I was a teenager and young adult in the 1990s/2000s, listening to Amanda Marshall, Barenaked Ladies, Alanis Morissette, and so on, while hanging out with my friends and family. It was more than that, there was an element of gratitude that I felt I needed to express. So with that, I wrote a letter thanking Amanda Marshall. I don't know her, nor do I know how it would ever reach her, but if anyone does, I'd love for this note to be sent to her:

Dear Amanda Marshall,

There's a particular moment that our lives crossed, to which I want to thank you for: You had performed a concert in the small Elgin Theatre in Toronto back in the early 2000s. Sitting in the balcony directly above the stage were two eager and fresh-faced university girls. As we looked around at the audience, we noted that we perhaps represented more of the visual minority of the group, being South Asian and Persian. It didn't matter to us, as you and your music represented a cultural bridge. Your music and persona gave us the encouragement to pursue our Canadian dreams and desires. We came from strict families, with an eastern cultural heritage that may not have always understood who we were, but in your lyrics and songs, we made sense.

As such, we found courage in your purpose and music. We succeeded in our dreams and passions, because we believed that we could bridge our cultural ties and gain fortitude within it. During your concert, while you were singing 'Believe', you had stopped at the chorus pointed at various people in the crowd exclaiming the lyrics 'Believe in you...'. We were hoping you would look up and see us too, and to our amazement you did! You noticed the two of us, waved, and sang that you believed in us. In that single moment, we derived our motivation, our drive and passion to believe in ourselves.

So thank you Amanda Marshall, for waving at us, you continue to represent so much tenacity within our lives. In moments in life that have been difficult, you've been in the background cheering us on. We still listen to you often and hope to hear you in concert again.

Thank you,

Baljit

Believe in You, By Amanda Marshall

Somewhere there's a river Looking for a stream Somewhere there's a dreamer Looking for a dream Somewhere there's a drifter Trying to find his way Somewhere someone's waiting To hear somebody say

I believe in you I can't even count the ways that I believe in you And all I want to do is help you to Believe in you

Somewhere there's an angel Trying to earn his wings Somewhere there's a silent voice Learning how to sing Some of us can't move ahead We're paralyzed with fear And everybody's listening 'Cause we all need to hear

I believe in you I can't even count the ways that I believe in you And all I want to do is help you to Believe in you

I will hold you up I will help you stand I will comfort you when you need a friend I will be the voice that's calling out

I believe in you I can't even count the ways that I believe in you And all I want to do is show you I believe in you And there are just so many ways that I believe in you Baby, what else can I do but believe in you, believe in you All I want to know is you believe, believe in you

#amandamarshall #thankyou #gratitude #cancer #breastcancer #NaturopathicDoctor #strength

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