I want to Talk about what seems like a skipped year; like, 2012 just is getting started, and with a slight thump, it’s gone! (Is it just me?) So much glad and sad happened in this seemingly short time and now one is thinking ahead to 2013 (?).
Reviewing 2012, positive me is weighing the amount of loss that pummeled away at us all year. Beside national disasters and catastrophic terrors that were incomprehensible, personal loss made for much sadness. At the last SAG-AFTRA Board meetings, the moment of silence turned into many moments as the long list of members who are no longer with us was read. And at home, starting early in the year, it was good to have a gathering to remember the effect Ray Aghayan had on so many lives. Ray was an LACC college friend of both mine and David’s. He lived golden moments and achieved award winning prominence in the exquisite Costume Design world. Dale Olson, always kind to all, left us without his art for friendship and Public Relations… and his booming voice for the Actors Fund. He was a generous friend of Actors and Others for Animals and I’ve known him since he championed “The Billy Barnes Revue.” And then we lost Billy Barnes. We speak of friends that are like family, Billy Barnes was family plus. Without him, there is a void that can never be filled.
The shock of Jules Chaikin’s death is still jolting. Jules was such a gently vibrant presence. Judy Chaikin and their kids and grandkids are going to Cabo to say their final farewell during the New Years Bonfire tradition that was started by Jules years ago.
My cousin Lois endured and conquered cancer so many times I think she was taken aback when it was time for Hospice. She was a joyful survivor and a witty patient. Her daughter Kelly used to live with me and she has been the daughter anyone would dream of having. Now, I’m the Matriarchal Cousin who is trying to channel my dear Lois and try to send her guidance. Oh, to be as good a person a Lois Verna Tibben, (nee Lessin).
There were more, and for those of us who are hanging in, we count our blessings and honor the passings.
Our blessings were mighty. All immediate family is well – what more matters? All of our medical moments have been tended to, like a car going into the shop, tinker, tinker, tinker. My middle trigger finger is now straight, a little stiff, but so? My nostril cancer (sounds so silly) was surgered away in timely fashion and my face-mashing fall has faded, pretty much. Dentists managed to lower my gums, in order to cap some weenie lower from teeth, due to my extremely healthy gums. A necessary do. (Thank you, Water Pic). The end of the season cold is annoying, but doable (hacky, hacky).
My great blessing is having David who tries endlessly to take care of me, as well as getting me out of the house to travel.
In the spring we had Maui and in the fall, New York… due to the kindness of friends who gave us their condo quarters. Mayberry Days in the fantasyland of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, were fabulous fun, newfound friends… and also sad losses. George Lindsey (Goober), Doug Dillard (of the Darlings, and the Dillards) and Charles Dowell, head pork chop sandwich maker at Main Streets “Snappy Lunch.” And then there’s Andy. Andy Griffith’s passing was a respectfully noted national event. All tributes were deserved. Ron Howard did a special tribute for Andy’s memorial service in Mt. Airy, his birthplace and his muse.
Last trip was a few days in Laguna to celebrate our 9th Anniversary. How did that happen? And my Christmas wish came true with a red tricycle, with a basket and a helmet! So good for me.
2013: Flashing Forward. The calendar dates are slowly filling in. (Drs. Appointments, natch.) Again, David is traveling to England solo, as it’s too cold for me. However, I’ve got The Westin Maui in my sights for a week with Carolyn See and Joan Weber (girlfriends since we were 11). We are entering our 80th years with the sun and the sea… and with Richard Jordon, Billy Barnes’ fantastic partner, for a final farewell to Billy. I’m sticking as close to home as possible, but David is nudging me to return to Europe with him (we’ll see). In October there is a Mayberry Cruise out of Tampa, a five-day delight with special people. I’ll be missing Mayberry Days this year due to a conflict with the first SAG-AFTRA National Convention. As they say in Mayberry, “this is big!” Happy New Year to all…