I Lost My Innocence Today

Posted: December 20, 2013 in A Little Less Profound
Tags: , , ,

By Angela

“I lost my innocence today.” At least that’s how I will forever remember October 23, 2013.  On this day, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was also 11 weeks pregnant.

As I sit here at the end of another year, and look back at all 2013 has gifted and stolen from me, I have realized that throughout it all, The Airborne Toxic Event has been my constant companion. I listen to their albums on shuffle during my hour long commute to work each day, and when I get into work, I put my headphones on and open Spotify and do the same. Like most TATE fans, I fell in love with them when I first heard “Sometime Around Midnight” several years ago, and plunged myself into their music. My relationship with TATE is unlike any musical relationship I’ve had. Usually when I like an artist or band, I buy their albums, listen to their music, and move on to my next fling. TATE is no fling. No matter how many times I listen to their songs day in and day out, it never gets old. I have never heard a band in which the music, not just the words to a song, can make you feel so much raw emotion. Anna’s violin or Noah’s bass can pull at my soul in a way no other band can.

In the opening sequence of “Innocence,” Anna’s violin is like a knife piercing my soul, slicing it into tiny little pieces, then Mikel’s guitar and Darren’s drums chime in, and sew me back together. Even before my diagnosis, “Innocence” was my favorite Airborne song. For me, it’s the one song that can make me cry and then comfort me like a warm blanket all at the same time. Now that I have had to face the reality of my own demise one day, many of their songs have taken on a different meaning to me. When I hear “All I Ever Wanted,” and Mikel sings “I shudder when I think I might not be here forever,” I pause and think about my daughter and husband. I realized that as Mikel writes in “Timeless,” life is “all too short, and I’m leaving soon.” No matter what the song, I feel a connection to the lyrics like nothing I’ve felt before.  These days, Mikel’s poignant lyrics usually bring me to therapeutic tears.

One of my gifts from this year is that I had the opportunity to see TATE three times. Two free shows during SXSW, and once when they came back to Austin during their tour. I even got a birthday wish and hug from Mikel on his last show. As you all know, Mikel likes to end the show with saying “Go make some beautiful babies.” My husband and I did just that, or at least tried for several months. We finally succeeded in August.  I honestly wanted to tweet Mikel when I found out I was pregnant and let him know there was a new beautiful TX baby on the way. For some innate reason though, I didn’t. I didn’t jump for joy when I found I was pregnant.  I knew something was wrong.  Upon my diagnosis, I was told by four different doctors that I could not safely carry my baby to term because I needed to start chemo right away. I cannot explain in words how hard the decision to terminate my pregnancy was for me and my husband. We were, and still are devastated, but it came down to my being around longer for the 5-year-old daughter we have now.

2013 has been a whirlwind of ups and downs for me, but like a best friend I’ve known forever, each member of TATE has been there for me, supporting me through this journey. I only hope they know how much their music means to me and so many others. Though I may not ever get the chance to thank them in person, I would like each member of the band to know that they have been my source of hope, my constant outlet, and my crutch to lean on for support.

Purchase “Innocence” (feat. The Calder Quartet) [Live from Walt Disney Concert Hall]

AngelaAngela lives in Austin TX, and works as a financial analyst. When she’s not creating budgets and actualizing sales costs, she’s spending time with her devoted husband of nine years and beautiful 5-year-old daughter. You can also find her curled up somewhere reading a book. She loves to read, and even calls her kindle her boyfriend, because it goes everywhere with her. Before she got sick, she liked to go for a run around their little lake downtown and take in the scenery of her beautiful city.

  1. Susan says:

    Heartbreaking. You are something amazing.


  2. I can only imagine Angela how hard it must have been for you to write such moving words. We all relate in some small way to the beautiful lyrics and music that TATE create. I am so pleased that they are helping you through this difficult time.
    Innocence is for me and many others, a favourite song. I play it continuously, but, from now on every time I hear it, I will be thinking of you and your family and wishing you well.
    My best wishes,


  3. stephanie says:

    Thank you for sharing your moving story. The band’s songs touch so many of us in so many ways, and I hope they continue to see you through difficult times.

    I also wish you, your husband and daughter have a wonderful Christmas.


  4. Ryan F. says:

    To my beautiful wife,

    We may have lost our innocence that day but I have not lost you. That’s all that matters. I am so proud of you. I love you more than any words put in any book or song can ever express. You have sacrificed so much to be with us. The tears may be in my eyes but you fill my heart with joy and love.

    Your Husband



  5. Wow, thank you for leaving that comment Ryan. You are a special couple, and we wish your family nothing but the best.


  6. trevor says:

    i’m lost for words I will be thinking of you and your family xxxx


  7. Ryebread says:

    Wow, so heavy on my heart. Hmmm, I’m not sure what to say. But I want you to know that every time I play the song “Innocence” (and I listen to TATE a lot :)…. I will say a prayer asking God to bring an extra boost of strength to you and your family. It’s a blessing that you have a beautiful child and that she’s old enough to have formed awesome memories of her Mom. xo


  8. Bud Murray says:

    The Story was very very moving. I love Angelia very dearly and her mom and I wish we could help carry her burden. Yes, I am her dad and glad to know she has a place (her Music) to go when she feels bad or good. Even tho, until today, i had not heard of the band, i am thankfull they came in to my life. Like her husband and child, you can be with her in song and prayer.


  9. Thank you for stopping by and commenting Bud. Our hearts ache for your whole family, but we have great hope that Angela will conquer this. Blessings to you all.


  10. Steph says:

    I thought your post was touching but your husband had me in tears.

    Take it easy sweet, we’re all here for you xxx


  11. Angela Fuller says:

    As my family and friends know I’m usually a pretty private person, but there has been this nagging feeling inside me telling me I needed to share my story. We ALL go through difficult times and each one of us find our own special way to cope. Music is my therapy, most significantly, TATE is who I turn to when I need to let go. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. As you can see, the choices my husband and I made were not easy, controversial, and it still haunts us both daily. I naturally had reservations about going public due to political or religious backlash, but I’m hoping that everyone can see past their own beliefs and understand that life is full of difficult choices and we did what was right for my health and my family. It truly comforts me to know that even though we may be strangers, we share the love for one damn awesome good band and group of people, and that automatically makes us friends. Again thank you for your support, and as Glen has requested, I will keep everyone informed of my progress. I hope to meet you one day soon.


  12. Ray L Perez says:

    You’re a Fighter, Angie! Don’t ever stop!! You’re in my thoughts and prayers!!


  13. Jessica Shipman says:

    Wow, Angela that story really did pull on my heart strings. I say a prayer for and Ryan every night, and I know God hears me. I love you all very much and Rob & I are here for you should you ever need anything.


  14. Wendy Steele says:

    You are truly an inspiration. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story:)


  15. Thilde Jagger says:

    Angela: I’m sure you already know you are all in my thoughts and prayers.. You are a brave, strong, wonderful woman. Don’t give up on the fight. Hugs and love to you and all your family, Thilde


  16. Pat Bisson says:

    Hey, we love you Angie and pray you beat this illness soon. You have had a tough year. It will get better, I am certain. Barbara and I love you and am praying for you.


  17. Laura Murray says:

    An update: I am Angela’s sister and our family is having an auction/raffle/plate sale for her in Belton TX @ the VFW on March 15th @ 1pm. We also set up accounts with paypal and Wells Fargo. If you have a paypal account, log in and you can donate or gift to angelamurrayfullerdonations@gmail.com or if you are a Wells Fargo member – you can go to bank or transfer online. Checks can be made out to Angela Fuller Donation Account (For Deposit Only, needs to be printed on the back of the check where signature would be). If you need account numbers or more information on anything Angela, you can email me at lamurray1972@yahoo.com. Thank you so much to everyone that posted – she is such a brave and beautiful woman and no one knows her struggles but her and this band has had a way to open up to her soul like no one can and for that I am so grateful to have such talented people out there like TATE.


  18. […] Note: This post is a follow-up to Angela’s previous post, I Lost My Innocence Today, from December 2013 – the most widely read post in the history of This Is […]


  19. […] left me speechless. Again, there are too many to name, but I will risk doing so anyway: Ginny and Angela’s battles with cancer, Colleen’s tale of heartbreak, Debbie’s overwhelming loss and […]


  20. […] at least for me. Many others have shared how the band has helped them through similar battles (see here and here and here and here); now I’ll have a story of my own to add to the […]


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