In memory of a hero

Hello everyone,

Well, I've been out of the hospital for three weeks. So much has happened since then, it feels a lot longer. Trust me, that doesn't happen very often. Since I have been out, I have started rehearsals for the next project I am working on, and then had to break up that routine for a vacation we had planned. This vacation was very important. We have been planning it for three years. It was part of my personal celebration in turning 40 this year.

We went to the Florida Keys. What a wonderful touch of paradise! We were there eight days. The biggest kick was the airboat ride in the Everglades!! Woo-hooo!! And on the CF note, the most important moment was snorkling. Getting past the anxiety of breathing through a tube was a bit trying; but I have to say, it only took me 20 minutes to get past that! We ended up snorkling three times, for a total of approximately three and a half hours! And I am so glad I did it, as we saw some of the most beautiful things in this world! What a crime it would have been to let CF stop me from seeing such things!

Now, we are back home to the world of the land-locked. I think I was meant to be on the water! Even Craig was amazed at my knack for "becoming one" with the water. Maybe some day, we will live in the wonderful Sunshine State.

In the mean time, back to reality. Back to reality, meant also catching up with the national news last night; and just happened to be home to see this report, which told us that Patricia Neal had passed. For those of you who didn't  know, yes, I knew her. For those of you who have been a part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference and met her, you probably don't know that after the times I "took care of her" in the various Stage Manager duties, I continued to keep in touch with her. We wrote back in forth, and she grew dear to my heart.

Let me tell you all, this woman was fascinating. So strong. As we all know from her challenged life. She was an inspiration to me. I loved hearing her talk. I loved hearing her talk about the handsome Gary Cooper.  :)   (I've had a crush on him since I was a kid!) But more so, I loved hearing her talk about her challenges and how she made it through them. I don't think I could ever get through one of her talks without crying, just because she moved me that much.

I've had a lot happen in three weeks, from conquering breathing through a little tube, to reflecting on a beautiful woman who gave so much of herself. I am so grateful to be where I am at today. When I feel week, I only need to think of Patricia and I feel strong again. I shall have Patricia in my heart forever.


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