Imagine what I did to get out to
Lawsy, y’all. Lawsy.
The trip to
It was amazing to experience the ceremonies of this week, and all the folks who attended them. Ann’s send off stood in sharp contrast to my Dad’s Dad, who had only ourselves at the ceremony and a priest who hadn’t known him. Ann had literally hundreds of friends and relatives, from her work with the church (Roman Catholic) and the historical preservation society of
The week was good for him. I had a few harrowing moments when I worried for his state of mind, and heart. In particular, he had the impression that Ann had said her final farewells in her sleep, blissfully unaware of her own passing, but her night time caretaker revealed at the viewing that this was not so. She was present, heard Ann moan, and when she checked on her found her pale blue and unresponsive. Helen (the caretaker) began to resuscitate her, and succeeded, but Ann held up her hands and said, “No more. No more.” She slipped away again when Helen spared a second to ask her husband to call the EMTs, and again Helen resuscitated her, but Ann held up her hands in the same manner, unable now to speak. She saw Helen’s husband in the doorway, then the EMTs were there, and Helen and her husband were taken from the room.
When Helen told David this at the viewing, as distraught as though it had just happened, I thought either David would break down or I would leap a pew and strangle the woman just to stop this revelation. It was definitely, at first, difficult for him to hear. He remained relatively composed, however, and a few minutes later reiterated the story to his friend Alan, down from
After this kind of moment and others, after all the condolences and catching up and story telling, you can imagine just how spent we could be. Yet David and I did make some good use of our time after it was all said and done. It was along the lines of more nostalgia for him, and I enjoyed being taken on the tour as much as, if not more than, those visits we made prior to the funeral. Thursday, once we had relaxed with a walk and drive, we visited the Winchester Mystery House, which was a childhood favorites of David’s (which explains a lot) and settled in early for Chinese food and Gregg and Denise’s wonderful company. Then Friday David scheduled himself a massage, and treated me to my own, which is the kind of luxury that alone could justify the various aspects of trickiness involved in getting there and back. It was at a spa on the beach, so I got to visit briefly that terrain as well. Finally, Friday we visited Santa Cruz once more to meet an old friend of David's, Phil. He's an actor and playwright, and author of fiction and non-fiction. A great guy, he started out in a rather dark place conversing with us about the large number of his friends who have died in the past fifteen years, but perked up into a man I knew David loved once we moved on to the subject of theatre and writing. It's funny. David later told me that Phil was to him something of what David has been to me--they met at approximately the same ages as David and I did and worked together on various projects for years. The really funny part--to me, anyway--was that they met in a theatre workshop/class David decided to start conducting when he was about twenty-five, and I could plainly see that it was David who elevated Phil back to an optimistic mood during our day together. I think David is what he is to everyone, regardless of age. An inspiration, plain and simple.
I know: sappy. You know though? True.
Things are picking up for me theatre-wise right now, just in time. I have a play-lab at NYU coming up, a new workshop session for "The Torture Project," and I was just cast as Frankie in "A Lie of the Mind." (We're at 11:45 pm now [that's 8:45 in California].) It's a little bit like a family reunion. Now I just have to convince all of the people I love working with here to move to Santa Cruz with me.