Monday, June 12, 2006


On Saturday, I took my Grandma the Troll and her friend, Helen, to see Cousin Danielle's show. There, we met a coworker, her husband and their kids, who I reserved tickets for months ago.

When I sent Danielle my ticket request for last Saturday, I asked for six tickets. Helen was a late addition to our group, so my tickets were 6 + 1. Meaning, basically, that someone (me) wasn't guaranteed a seat with the rest of the group. Big flipping deal.

It became a somewhat bigger flipping deal at will call when the man working the booth could only find the envelope with my first six ticket requests. He bumbled around looking for my seventh ticket for a good 10 minutes [people in line behind me, please accept my apology for the delay] before giving up.

"That's fine." I'm normally not so calm in such situations. "Just get me a ticket anywhere."

"Well, miss, all I have is..."

"That's fine. Really. I'm seeing it again on Thursday. I just want a seat."

And so I got one. Stage left. A decent location. Close enough to be able to clearly see Danielle when she was on stage, but to the side far enough that I lost some of the depth of the stage. Not a huge deal.

I got into the show more, I think, because I sat alone. I didn't have to whisper and point to my grandma and my coworker when Danielle was on stage. I absorbed the story and let my eyes puddle with tears at the climax of the show.

I didn't let the tears fall, though, until the finale.

Thinking about how proud my grandma would have been. How she would've cried too, seeing Danielle under the lights, taking her bow as though she was born to do it, smiling as she absorbed the applause.

My grandma died shortly after Danielle - who studied acting at NYU - got her first big break in a national tour of a Broadway musical. The show was to come to Detroit in the spring. Grandma died a few months before it did so.

The entire family went to see Danielle on the show's opening night. We waited in the lobby for her after, filled with proud and happy and lingering grief.

Danielle entered the lobby and collapsed into my mom's arms. So happy and incredibly sad. We all were. Smiling through tears and so much regret. Grandma should have been there.

And Grandma should have been there on Saturday, too.


Unknown said...

Maybe it's because there's a sad song playing on the radio, or I'm still a hormonal mess, but this post made me cry. If I was there with you, I would've cried right along.

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