WORTH IT?

A Silly Picture of my Partner and his GrandMother

My Partner’s GrandMother has a Significant Other.
His name is FRED.
They have been together as long and as sincerely committed as my Partner and I,
And though of an earlier generation, they have been as completely accepting of our Same-Sex Relationship, and Same-Sex Marriage, as any post-modern-thinking Friends we have — Right from the Beginning!
GrandMother just turned 91.
And a few weeks ago, FRED, a very healthy 85-year old who did everything for her and on whom she depended, suddenly and unexpectedly died.
My Partner went out to California for the funeral service,
And that night, GrandMother had a stroke.

So here is this woman who uses a walker and has trouble getting around.
She is fiercely independent, insisting upon no help from Aides and CareGivers.
And suddenly, unexpectedly, she finds herself alone.
She is frightened. She is sad.
She has a stroke and is now in rehab.
She only wants to be home.
We are figuring out how to get some help in — an Aide a few hours a day and what she can afford, as in this country, there is very little provided to care for its Aging Population. Our CongressPersons, of course, continue to get their salaries and their elitist Health Care Plan for Life. But for the rest of us, whom they are elected to serve, there is little.
Such is the Disgrace of every American CongressPerson.

Life ahead was looking somewhat bleak to her before she had the stroke.
91 years old, somewhat infirm, and having just Lost her Partner who was her Everything, and the Person she depended upon…
One is almost forced to ask, “Is it Worth it?”

“YES!” comes the answer.
Life is Life!
If we are wondering if we have served our purpose and completed what it is that we came here to do, and if we are still alive, the answer is, “No!”
There is more to Do!
And perhaps we see life a certain way.
Perhaps we do not see ourselves as ever becoming elderly and infirm.
Perhaps we see ourselves with hips and knees that always work,
or sight that never gives out,
or lucky enough to have a heart that’s not broken.
And if we are fortunate enough to enjoy these gifts longer than others, then Yahoo!
But for most of us, we give up things as we age.
We gain things, also — Wisdom, Perspective, Understanding…
I remember a song I learned in Catholic Grammar School which named the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; the lyrics went:

The Miracle of our Daily Bread

“Wisdom,
Understanding,
Counsel,
And Fortitude,
Knowledge and
Piety,
Fear of the Lord,
Gifts of the Spirit,
Working within me,
Helping me do things in just the right way…”

These Gifts seem, for the most part,
more alive in the elderly than in any other demographic of friends I see.
And so, Yes!
There are So Many Gifts we receive,
Even as we are called upon to give up so many of the comforts we have known.

And so, while one might be tempted to ask,
“Is it worth it?”
The answer comes — an unqualified and resounding, “YES!”

The telephone that still hangs on the wall in GrandMother’s Home

GrandMother is a Marvel!
She worked for the telephone company so many years ago — back in the forties when it was the way one may see in old movies, connecting plugs into a switchboard to put calls through, connecting the entire town with one another.
And she has lived into the age of SmartPhones dominating the culture.
She went to work at a Pharmaceutical Company back in the Fifties, when the workforce was dominated by men — on the wall of the warehouse, the men had an enormous poster of a naked woman with her legs spread wide open. Upon arrival, she pointed to it and unapologetically announced to the Foreman, “I want that taken down!” There were few enough women in the work force back then that no one had dared to comment on it. She took a step further and told them, “If that’s still up there tomorrow, I will bring an equivalent size photo of a naked man with his legs spread in the same position and I will put that up there! Equal Rights!”

This Woman is Awesome!
And even now in her old age and frailty, she lives a Life of Outspoken Courage!
And YES, this Life is worth Living!
Every Moment!

Whatever we do without…
Whatever we may compare ourselves to, in riches or beauty, or status…
Whatever we may lose along the way…
It is Always worth it!

Let us respect the Inestimable Value of Human Life!
Let us remember that this Life we live — this Precious and Valuable Gift —
Is the Greatest of All Wonders!
No matter What!
When we have been together with our LifePartner for Decades,
Or our Pet has been by our side for ten or fifteen years,
It may be hard to think of Life as worth Living when they have departed.
Too Painful?
Perhaps. Who would deny that?
But even a Life fraught with Pain and Challenges and Confusion, and Ailments and Knees that don’t work quite the same way as they once did, and the Loneliness of our Signifcant Other gone before, leaving us with that hole in our hearts that cannot ever be filled in this Lifetime…
Even that Life is still US.
Here.
Present.
Living
In a Physical Body.
Some Body
With skin and bones and musculature and a Beating Heart…
Our Soul — bruised and battered.
Whatever it is that makes this 98% Water and 2% Dust get up and walk around
And See
And Think
And Experience the World around us…
And we are Here!
With Other People!
Constantly interweaving our Stories…
And with the Ever-Looming Possibility of Love
In all its Infinite Forms!

Worth It!

And it is So Worth It!
YES!
This Gift of Life
On Whatever Life’s Terms
Is Unquestionably
Unequivocally
Uncontestably
Unambiguously
Unmistakably
Undeniably
Irrefutably
Incontrovertibly
Indisputably
Indubitably
WORTH IT!

# # #

Create a Miracle

Our Beloved Friend, BRENDA

A BRIEF THOUGHT:

Our good friend BRENDA passed away
after a rather brutal battle with cancer.

She defined “Fabulous” — had a sense of style and a Joie de Vivre like no one I have ever known!

When she had been in the hospital a few weeks, this last time, the Doctors took her off treatment — it was an experimental treatment and they had determined that in her current state, she was too weak to tolerate it.
She was suffering, and her devoted wife, MICHÉLE, (who lived in that confined hospital room by her side for three months until the very end) sent me this text:

“Want to work real magic? (more…)

Live Out Loud With Significance …Or… My Strong, Good, Courageous, Positive-Thinking, Magical Marvelous Friend! Part II

The Drive Home from the Funeral Services

You are gone several weeks now.
Gone?
No.
Transitioned into the Non-Physical Realm.
The Place above this Pettiness.
The Place where DICK CHENEY and I will learn to be friends — and other such Unimaginable Graces
The Place where All is Forgiven.
The Place of Higher Consciousness.
The Place we all reside.
As THE COURSE IN MIRACLES tells us, “’Heaven and Earth shall pass away’ means that they shall not continue to exist as separate states.”

Evidence exists.
Evidence may be accepted or dismissed.
But it is still Evidence.
(more…)

My Strong, Good, Courageous, Positive-Thinking, Magical Marvelous Friend! Part I

As soon as the call came through, the airplane cabin was flooded with light coming through my window

There is nothing quite like that call.
When someone is not well, or elderly, or in hospice care, and you get that call from their next of kin.
It may come in the form of a voicemail, their saddened shell-shocked voice asking simply to return the phone call. And of course, you know what’s happened, but they feel it’s impolite to leave such potentially devastating news on a voicemail.
And they are right about that.
It is certainly better to deliver such news in person.
It may come as a voicemail message delivering the news and requiring no return call, ‘She’s gone.’ I’ve been on the receiving end of that one, as well.
It may come as the name of their next of kin lights up on your cell phone screen, and you answer it, even as you are seated on a plane about to take off…
That’s what happened this time.
“This is the call you’ve been waiting for,” she began, her voice a combination of the triumph and weariness of Acceptance, when one has completed that final Journey with a Loved One.

My friend had been in hospice care for several weeks —
My Strong, Good, Courageous, Positive-Thinking, Magical Marvelous Friend!
My Incredible Friend who was so shy about social media and asked to never have pictures of herself posted here.
I shall not go against her wishes, now.
Ah, but how I wish I could show you!
(more…)

Gratitude and Helping Others

Kate Spade: Photo from the internet

Anthony Bourdain: A meme from the internet

KATE SPADE, 55 years old
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, 61 years old

…This Week joining the likes of
MARILYN MONROE, 36 years old
ERNEST HEMINGWAY, 61 years old
VINCENT VAN GOGH, 37 years old
SYLVIA PLATH, 30 years old
VIRGINIA WOOLF, 59 years old
FREDDIE PRINZ, 22 years old
SAWYER SWEETEN, 19 years old
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, 40 years old
DON CORNELIUS, 78 years old
ROBIN WILLIAMS, 63 years old

When I was in 2nd Grade in Catholic Grammar School, the Dominican Nun at the front of the room was teaching us about Sin and Forgiveness.
“Sister, is there any sin that is not forgivable?” myself or some other curious seven-year old raised their hand to ask.
(more…)

One Kind Word

My Friend, MARK

My friend MARK went missing on August 13th.

Two weeks later, his body was found in a park by his home in Oradell, NJ.
According to the Press, since there was no sign of struggle, it is expected that it was a suicide.
To any of us who knew MARK, this seems incomprehensible.

In an industry of occasionally towering fuckheads, MARK was the rare person who was always always level-headed and kind.
He went out of his way for people.
An Agent, he represented his clients with Grace and Humanity;
He emanated Respect, such a rare and treasured quality,
And in so doing, he won the Respect of everyone, industry wide.

He was a first class Agent,
The kind of man who was just so good at what he did —
Yes, at Agenting,
But moreso, (more…)

She’s Ninety

Mom

Mom

MOM turns Ninety! She asked me to write something for the occasion. I read this at her Birthday Dinner last night. Sharing it here, as well…

She’s Ninety!
She doesn’t feel that way!
She feels like the Beautiful Young Girl she was in the 1940’s
Dating
And Flirting
And Dancing
Pioneering Fashion
Enjoying Good Food
And Good Times…
All of the things people today think they are So Cool for having discovered…
She was doing them all seventy years ago.

The Family gathers to Celebrate

The Family gathers to Celebrate

1927

The Roaring Twenties
It was the Jazz Age
The Age of Art Deco
And Radio Broadcast
Described as an era of Social, Artistic and Cultural Dynamism.
She was a Social Artistic and Cultural Dynamo.
In that Year:
(more…)

TAMMY

Tammy Grimes

Tammy Grimes

I knew TAMMY GRIMES.
I had worked with her a bit, and kept bringing her in for Auditions over the years.
She was known for her eccentricities,
But invariably a constant Delight!

One of my first Jobs out of College was as Assistant to the Producer of SUNSET,
A Musical at the VILLAGE GATE
Which opened on November 7th, 1983
And closed on November 7th, 1983.
It was a Musical based on the film SUNSET BOULEVARD — an idea, clearly, ahead of its Time!
sunset-2
TAMMY was a STAR!
(more…)

Touching God for the First Time

P 033

Dad, during his Gymnastics Days

My Dad passed away Five Years ago this Morning.
My Mother and I were with him.
He was Ninety Years Old.
 
During his battle with Cancer, he chose Home Hospice Care.
We took care of him.
One of those things that you can in no way be prepared for,
But as the Universal Prayer goes,
“Dear God, Please turn me into someone who can do this!”
 
On the day he died, I sent this Letter to my Nephews and Niece.
Today, in memoriam, I am posting it here:
(more…)

Light One Candle

Snapped by a Photographer for the Digital Journal: http://www.digitaljournal.com/image/301783

Snapped by a Photographer for the Digital Journal: http://www.digitaljournal.com/image/301783

So Much Pain
So Much National Disgrace
How Do we get on now?

Clinging to one another.
I have been So Inspired by my fellow-Citizens on Planet Earth this past week.
People figuring out what to do.
How to write their CongressPersons
And Stop such easy Access to Weapons of War and Mass Destruction
With No BackGround Checks, No Waiting Periods…
People sharing information about to whom to write
And How
Email Addresses
Hard Copy Letter Addresses
PostCards
Whether or not it is OK to Write a Congressmen who is not of your District…

Such Tremendous Activity
Such a Great Coming Together
Such a Beautiful Sharing of Community.

(more…)