Thursday morning, in the wee hours, I checked the Salisbury Post website on my phone and read the newly posted review of my play, Poochie.
It was a great review, so the normal action to take, next, would have been to celebrate the good publicity by posting a link on Facebook.
But I never did share that link. Because of what was going on, it would have been most unseemly. I did peck out a quick thank you note on my phone to Ed Norvell. He had been kind enough to attend dress rehearsal the night before and then — a day later, with a last minute request and no warning — write the review.
Still wearing a suit from opening night, lying in the recliner, which I had pulled up next to my mother’s bed, I lay there, alone with her, watching her breathing get slower and slower until it stopped. It was 3am.
An hour or so later, Karen, from Hospice, told me that I had been given a gift. Such an understatement.
About 5am, I emailed something short to a few friends, and at 6am, one of them called me and asked about my mother and what she meant to me.
I said she had encouraged me, she had supported me, she had taught me, and she had inspired me. He suggested I take a minute before the show that night and share that with the audience — which I did.
I also added a little joke, saying that she was waiting on me to get a good review before she died. Whatever context we have for our lives is invented anyway — so I might as well make up something that empowers me.
Some of my dearest friends came to the show that night. The new play had opened, gotten a great review and great audience, my mother had passed away, I had worked very little and was totally broke, and I had not slept in two days.
And there they were. Great friends with smiles and hugs. And they watched my play. It was the perfect visitation.
I never posted that review on Facebook, but something even better appeared there. Throughout that day and the next, my iPhone blinked and winked at me every few minutes as another friend posted a condolences on my wall.
Religions and cultures give us things to do at times like these. But no religion and no culture could possibly invent this. This was a completion filled with poignancy and love and luck and God and magic. Thank you.