It has been a long time since I wrote. Forgive me. Sunday, the day I usually write my column, seemed to come and go and come and go and each time I thought about writing I just couldn’t. So much happened in the last few months that I could hardly find time to come up for air.
Yes, 2016 was a whirlwind of wonderful, dream like highs and horrible, nightmare lows. The highs, of course, came with the release of Mr. Church and all that came with that — the screenings and travel and beautiful letters from strangers around the world telling me my movie touched them, changed them, made them want to love better. But in the midst of all that incredible joy was the passing of my father. It still hasn’t settled in… will it ever?
I look for moments to find a way to grieve, to accept it, to believe it. I come up short. I don’t want to because if I do it means he’s really gone and I can’t wrap my mind around it.
And then… there’s his face on my television as part of a memorial for those artists who passed away in 2016. There you are, pop. Looking beautiful as always.
And it’s like a slap of cold water saying “Yes, Susan, he’s dead. He died.”
He did not like Trump, I’ll tell you that. I’m glad he’s not here to see him as our new president. My dad was kind, honest, humble, hard working, generous, decent, respectful… a gentleman. Is it any wonder he disliked Trump?
He would’ve been proud of my daughter and me for marching at the Women’s March. He would be proud of his granddaughter who is writing sonnets every day in her humanities class for the first 100 days of Trumps presidency. Finding power in poetry. Go, girl! And he would be proud, as he always was, to be a New York actor.
I just wish he was here. I’ll be honest, with how scary the world is right now there was something about hearing my pop’s voice on the phone that made me feel like it was all going to be okay. He’d say something incredibly witty, tell me he loved me, and the knots in my stomach would fade away.
My father loved artists. Art brought tears to his eyes like nothing else. Art in a story, a picture, a song, a quote, a snowy sky, a dance, a perfectly well-done-almost-burnt burger.
My fiancé got to know my dad briefly before he left us. But the impact my pop made on Derek was enormous. Not only as an artist but as a man. He keeps a picture of my dad on his phone as a screen saver. He dresses in suits and ties now even when it’s not a special occasion. He weeps at the sound of my father’s singing voice.
He discovered him late in his life but not too late. Forever changed. Forever impacted. Forever inspired.
My pop loved life. He saw every day as being incredible. He loved being alive.
He was a quality man.
Perhaps our new president could learn from this… it’s never about quantity. No, sir. It’s about quality.
I miss you every moment of every day pop… and all the sweet dreams in-between. xo