Just thinking on a Sunday…

Such a mix of things this week – odd emotional personal anniversaries, American democracy in rare form, wonderful theatre things…

This week, the 19th in fact, was the 3 year anniversary of my going into the hospital with bacterial meningitis and having my life, and outlook on life, changed forever.

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my father passing.  Miss him every day.  Facebook and family shared some pictures of him, and of course I have some videos and pics, so I spent a little time with those yesterday.  When I think about him, one of the things I think about most is how tightly he’d hug you.   Especially the last 9 months or so of his life, between my getting out of the hospital and his passing.  Any time we were parting for even a short while, those hugs would be long and smothering, in the best way.  I love the pictures of him, and the videos where I get to hear his voice, and his laugh, but boy I miss those hugs.

Other things this week – a new president was inaugurated, and he’s a pretty controversial figure.  Lots of examples of democracy at work as huge peaceful marches and demonstrations are happening all over the place this weekend.  As a response to the divisiveness, and need for community, we did a reading at Williamston Theatre of a great play by Lauren Gunderson that is political, and hilarious, and incredibly smart – it skewers extremism on both sides of the aisle, and inspires action and participation. Theatres all over the country performed it that night. The reading was packed, the audience loved it, and a wonderful evening was had by all.  It was really moving to see everyone, Democrats, Republicans and everyone else, come together and give ourselves permission to laugh at ourselves.  Yes, there’s work to be done to heal the country and promote justice, equality and empathy – the reading was a nice start.  🙂  Togetherness.

We’re in tech week for A Painted Window, too – this beautiful play just breaks your heart.  It’s about sisterhood, classism, racism, fear… another beautiful piece to make us think about how we treat each other.  The run through today was gorgeous – I can’t wait for audiences to see it.

And this weekend I also got a chance to have a nice long phone chat with my daughter in Finland.  She’s doing well, making friends and making a life for herself, and I’m super proud of her.  It’s funny…. I know she’s having a good time, I know this is a great experience for her and, even though we text and chat and can have long phone calls… well, as her Dad… I sure understand why MY Dad hugged so long and hard.  Boy, I can’t wait to hug that kid again.

All these things this week… so many things that come back to the simplest of lessons.  Life is short.  It’s unknowably short.  We should live it fully.  Everyone should have the chance to live it fully.

Love hard.  Laugh Hard.

Hug people.

 

 

A night of long hugs

The house is quiet. I can hear gentle snoring, the creak of a bedspring as one of the kids rolls over in their sleep. The pipes ping gently as they warm the house.

On a day like today, with the tragic shooting in Connecticut, I felt fortunate to be rehearsing a play about love, and the power of family and kindness.

I got home from rehearsal just before bedtime, and hugged my wife. My daughter came out in her pajamas and gave me a big, long hug, saying “I love you Dad”. I held onto her, and told her I loved her too. With a big heavy sigh full of teenager-growing-up-too-quickly she squeezed me one final time, and kissed my cheek, said “G’night. Sleep good”, and went off to bed.

10 minutes later, sitting with my 12-year old as he was about to read himself to sleep, we quietly discussed how sad those families in Connecticut must be right now. After we sat for a minute in silence he looked at me. “When I grow up and become a psychologist”, he said, “I hope I can help someone to not do stuff like that.”

I hugged him close. “I think that’d be a pretty great thing, buddy.”

And now I lay in bed, and I listen to the quiet of the house.