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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Better Times Ahead

Things are looking up, if you look at it from a certain angle.

Sure, my cat had emergency surgery which was painful for her and expensive and time consuming for me, but a lot of good has come from that. Instead of rushing off to work and off to Dress Rehearsal for Dickens, I stayed home. This is what Pixel looks like after I stay home for four days straight:
Pixel has a happy.
He loved it. Meanwhile, Leeloo has been so much happier too, now rarely waking me up in the middle of the night to try to throw up. Also, she has been on a restricted diet of boiled chicken and baked white fish. I'm pretty sure she'd sign up for surgery again if it meant she got that every night.

Meanwhile, I'd sent a note to the Fezzis cast letting them know I wouldn't be able to be there. The director passed the hat and raised $160 for Leeloo's care. I am amazed at the generosity of my cast. This is a group of people that donates their time and puts money into costumes just so that they can spend the day volunteering to teach others about dancing and parlor games. After all of that, they still offer more to help out a sick kitty (with further donations coming in this past weekend as well!). Fezziwiggers are some of the best people in the world. They're my second family and I'm so very grateful to have them in my life.

The first weekend of Dickens was also a reminder of what wonderful folks Fezziwiggers are. There were so many things and so many reasons to love the people in my cast, but on Sunday, after three days of this, they went far above and beyond the call of duty. There's a slot from 2-3 where our band has a lunch break and Robert Young (Mr. Dickens) schedules two Guest Performers who each perform for 30 minutes. On Sunday, the 2pm group canceled, but we were assured we had Morris dancers for 2:30. At ten minutes til 2, when we'd already set a "fill a half-hour" plan in motion, we found out we had to fill the full hour. The Morris dancers were not coming. I breathed in, but couldn't quite breathe out. We told the group to stretch Stagecoach as much as possible. They did. Meanwhile, I ran out to see if there was any chance that Bruno might be free at 2:30 to run an emergency show. They were busy, but on the way, I told every Fezziwigger I met what was happening and to come help if they could. What happened next was extraordinary. They came. They all came. Those on break came back. Those about to go on break stayed. And we handed out lyrics and the audience sang along. The world's silliest Twelve Days of Christmas happened, with well more than ten lords leaping. T and Danielle made an adorable pair of turtle doves, and so did David and Gregory!

After Dickens on Sunday, Josh and Magenta invited all of the Fezziwiggers to spaghetti dinner at their house. Magenta, with infant son to care for, made us all dinner. It was fantastic. After three days of Dickens, having someone else fix you dinner is a life saver. Unwinding after fair with a bunch of folks was a joy.

Meanwhile, my grandma is doing well enough that the nursing home gave her a four-hour pass to come home for Thanksgiving. We had turkey and all the fixin's just like normal, and the only difference was that Grandma and Grandpa had switched places at the table to accommodate her wheelchair. Now, my grandpa is losing his hearing, and it's been about 15 years since he could hear anything I said, but he recently got new hearing aids, and he actually heard me (rather than having it relayed through someone else) for the first time in years.

Finally, my friend Alex succumbed to cancer this week. He's one of those guys that is an easy leader, at once compassionate and full of good humor. He'll be dearly missed. He slipped away more quickly than any of us were ready for, but in the end, that's probably for the best. But it has also been a fantastic experience of watching the internet at its best. Johanna was able to keep us all updated as things progressed. Better yet, the day after it happened there were two new live journal communities - one to post memories and pictures of Alex, and another to auction items to help Johanna defray the unexpectedly high cost of final expenses. Once again, I'm amazed by the love and generosity of those around me. These are not the people who stand back and say, "Someone should take care of that." They take action and do so much good.

If I wanted to, I could see the past three weeks as being truly terrible, but I don't want to. I refuse. I see too much of the good stuff. I see a dude in a wife-beater learning to waltz. I see a darling baby boy asleep in my arms, undisturbed by neither musicians nor dancers. I see single friends flirting with affection at fair. I see Don Brown's carrying on even without the Mullah. I see a room full of friends emptying several bottles of port and toasting the hair. I see that same group laughing in unison at the surprised kitten. I see two kitties curled up at the end of my bed nearly every morning, who reach out and try to convince me to stay.

It ain't perfect, but it's just not that bad.

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