Eight-years-ago tomorrow Mom played a great trick on everyone and woke up from her coma to talk to her kids and grand kids before she passed away. Her death set me on a wonky path of fear and grief and peace and success and belief in myself.
Fear levels off and dissipates like smoke wafting up the chimney. It goes away.
Grief never leaves, but it does abate. Over time. A long, long time. It’ll sneak back in too. Just not as bad as before.
Peace is hard won, but I got there. Most days anyway.
Success came in the form of a stage play I wrote and produced for the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2014. The spectacular cast of That’s Why I Hold On led the way to an Encore! Producers’ Award. The play is about tonight, that night in 2011, the night before Mom died. One of the worst nights of my life became my greatest writing triumph to date.
Now it’s time for a leap that would have incapacitated me before. I’m no longer working at Nibs.com and I’m not looking for another job. It’s time to do what I do every day. Only now to get paid for it. Not well, at least not at first. But I’m going to write. I’ll write the boring stuff for others and I’ll write what I want for me. My management skills will be used for my gain, not someone else’s. I believe in myself and my talent and my work ethic to make writing my profession.
All of this rooted in fear and grief. So thanks, Mom. Thank you for continuing to inspire and, occasionally, kick my ass.
Also a ginormous thank you to the cast of That’s Why I Hold On for doing such a beautiful job and your patience with my lack of theatre experience: Lisa Laureta, Robin Roth, Derek Green, Meitav Marom, Jason Stafford, and Anastasia Washington.
And Jinny Chung, without whom casting never could have happened.
“As I step out into the darkness from the bright lights of the theater lobby I have only two things on my mind: I should have worn more comfortable shoes and my mother is going to die.” ~Mamie