Saturday, October 15, 2016


L to R:  Jeff, Mario, Ralph and Jim smoke a nice cigar to celebrate Mario's Retirement last week -- at lunch break

This year, on December 29, Mario and I will celebrate twenty-nine years of marriage.  The only relationship that Mario has sustained longer than this one is with the State of California – for which he has worked 35 years.  Now this relationship is about to change – Mario is retiring.

Saturday was the day to clean out his office, since Monday will officially be his last day at California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.   This morning, he texted me to say that everything that belonged to him was now cleaned out of his office space and that he was on his way home.  Knowing that he would be driving into the garage and unloading a car-full of personal items, I scrambled to make space.  In my head, I  knew what he would be bringing home: his painting of a South African winery, an assortment of snacks, a table-top fan, freshly laundered shirts, framed photographs, etc. I still remember him packing up those personal items to take to POST when he re-entered the workplace three-and-a-half years ago.

After we found places to store the personal boxes in our garage, we hugged.

“I don’t know how to feel,” Mario sighed.  “I have so many mixed emotions.”

I nodded.  When others would be jumping up and fist pumping the sky, Mario is entering retirement more than a little conflicted.  On one hand, retiring makes perfect financial sense and provides Mario with the freedom to teach in a police academy or community college.  He can serve as a subject matter expert without a conflict of interest or bias.  Yet, on the other hand, Mario will miss POST.  Changes in life bring all kinds of unanswered questions.  

Saturday morning brought an unlikely one: “What am I going to do now?”

I almost laughed.  Mario does not exactly sit still.  He is purposeful and driven in everything he does. He has worked hard to achieve the level of mastery and expertise that he has now. He has pioneered new things, developed as an employee and as an employer, and learned how to lead during turbulent times. 

When we left for South Africa in 2007, he really thought he was retired for good.  We were blessed enough to have a chance at fulfilling a dream to move to South Africa and work for God, joining a team that supported existing churches all over Africa.  We also joined forces with a local church in Johannesburg that became our church home for seven years. 

Preaching in Mozambique - 2008
When we realized that we were returning to the United States in 2013, Mario was asked to return to POST and serve as a retired annuitant. He appreciated the return, especially in the aftermath of a life change, transitioning from one continent to another; moving from full-time ministry back into his chosen profession of law enforcement.  After some thought, he officially “un-retired” and continued on as if he never left.

Mario with the "Road Warriors" from the TDC Bureau 
For the last eighteen months, Mario has worked as a Bureau Chief for Learning Technology Resources at POST, a job he takes very seriously.  Supervising the bureau that develops and applies technology to law enforcement training, Mario comes home raving about his employees.  Much of his work has been building teams, or supporting existing ones.  Even when he’s working by himself he strives to bring people together –or recognize their talents.  What has made him successful in ministry has also made him successful in the workplace.  It is also what has made him successful as a person. 

LTR celebrates 90,000 on the Learning Portal
L to R:  Jan M., Mario, Catherine, Jan B., Larry, Trish, Rich, and Ron.

 Mario actually  started as a State Park Ranger, straight out of the police academy when he was twenty-two years old. Last Monday he celebrated 35 years of service to the people of the State of California, working 17 years with State Parks and 18 more with POST.

Ranger Rodriguez - After Graduation 1977
 In this climate of political uncertainty, and with a public perception of police being so mixed, leadership is incredibly important.  Mario is an exceptional leader –and I’m not saying this just because I’m his wife. I actually used to work for him, when he was the supervising Ranger of Carnegie SVRA and I was a lowly Park Aid.  I remember feeling safe with him.  His leadership was solid and authoritative, but contained a humility that was extremely comforting. 

Mario's Fist POST Portrait.  Handsome!

To this day, I still see Mario as my boss – my leader. I am an avowed feminist, but there is nothing that makes me feel better than the leadership of a man who knows what he is doing.   Today, when he came home, I looked in his eyes and felt such pride and so much sympathy for his conflicted heart – at the same time.

“Why don’t you lay down?” I answered, after he asked me his question. “Rest first and then later you can sort all this stuff out.” 

I sometimes I say pretty wise things without even meaning to. 

I love you, Babe!  xoxo

The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training(POST) leads the nation in Training and Development.  It was established by the Legislature in 1959 to set minimum selection and training standards for California law enforcement. The POST organization, with more than 130 staff members, functions under the direction of an Executive Director appointed by the Commission.  Click here to see their website.  If you look  you will find him as a Bureau Chief -until October 18th, when he will be removed.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Mario calls them “The David Shots.”  They are a series of pictures that he took with a new SLR camera the day that his first son was born – the day that changed his life forever.

When Cathy went into labor, Mario took her to Monterey Peninsula Hospital in a very interesting way.  Since it was their first child and Mario didn’t know what to expect, he loaded his wife into his patrol vehicle and proceeded to the hospital code-3.  “I flipped the lights and siren on and we took off for the hospital!”

David was born soon afterwards, and Mario began taking pictures and couldn’t stop.  He must have had forty or fifty prints – the days before digital –from high-quality film.  

Looking at the old prints now, I smile.  Their rounded corners and faded colors betray their age, but the memories of them are deep in Mario's heart.  The one above, taken when the Olympic torch was passing, is one of my favorites of father and son.  
Don't worry, Joe.  It's almost your turn! 

Today David turns 37 years old.  

I still gasp and hold my heart, unable to digest the fact that David is a grown-up with kids of his own.  I can still remember the soapy smell of  him at the Kaypro, freshly bathed and begging me for more time on the computer before he went off to bed.  I still remember the years in Arnold, chasing the boys around Big Trees State Park.  I remember his graduation, his wedding, the birth of his first child and the day he sold his company to Hewlett Packard.  

Life goes by so quickly, I know it is a cliché, but it does.  

David with Lauren, 2014

Today David is a husband and a father, the roles he loves and inevitably define him.  He is also something of a subject matter expert in communication systems. 

David is my step-son, but he’s really more than that.  Mario and I officially tied the knot just after he turned eight, so I feel closely connected to him.  He is a deep thinker and a wonderful communicator.  He grew up with a vibrant sense of humor and a strong personality.  In our blended family, David was the eldest son and proved to be a leader to his siblings.  Today, he still has a way of connecting with us.  He is a son who remembers to call his parents, and keeps inside of the life of his extended family.  This year has been an amazing, eventful time and he has grown more as a man than ever before.  I pray that God be his strength every day.

When people ask me about David, I tell them that he is strong, funny, and great to have in our family.  We love him.  We are proud of him.  We miss him.

Happy Birthday, David.  If only words were sufficient to tell you how treasured, you are in our hearts! We love you!!  

Just for fun!  Mario took this picture of himself the day that the guy on the right was born!

Monday, September 26, 2016


Selfie (taken by Harmony) at Caper Acres, Chico

Harmony has lights in her eyes that sparkle, like fireworks.  She is filled with curiosity and loves adventure.  

When she puts a puzzle together she concentrates with such intensity that she twists her mouth and purses her lips.  She glows with love asks me to cuddle with her as we read, which she does at a fourth grade level.  

She is friends with every kid in her first grade class, even the awkward ones that have trouble fitting in.  She is tender and gentle, fiercely protective of her sister and her mother.

Today she turns seven years old. 

“She’s amazing,” her teacher told me two weeks ago.  “Her reading level is definitely advanced, but she enjoys helping her classmates, which is what makes her special.” 

Daniel and Harmony with their new teachers!

Harmony loves her school experience and looks forward to going every day.  She seems to delight in every portion, especially her friends. Daniel, her bestie from kindergarten, is always by her side when I come to pick her up on Fridays. 

Because I am two hours away, our Fridays are spent at one of Chico’s picturesque parks, or its Gateway Science Museum, or visit an old fashioned Ice Cream Shoppe.  

Ice Cream cones!

We shop at local toy and game stores that carry American-made toys and stuffed animals.  We go to the Library and look at new quilts hanging on display and then read a book or two.  Fridays with the girls are relaxed, sweet times.

Back at home, Harmony and I cook together.  She loves to cook, just like her Mama did at her age.

Making Tacos

“Grandma,” she sighs.  “I just love you.”

On Fridays, my world is filled with life.  I am grateful that I get to be engaged in this little person's life, someone who is joyful and loving.  How was I ever able to inherit such joy?  I love this girl so much… she is solid gold!

Happy Birthday, Harmony!  I am so proud of you!!

Sunday, September 4, 2016


A recent photo of Alice
She performs with her whole heart!

When I fell in love with Mario, I fell hard. 

Anyone who has a true love knows the day that you realize that it is real.  There is a lock-down in your heart and new language. "He's the one!  This is it!"  Mario was the most incredible man and I wanted more than anything to be his wife. 

My parents had a beautiful marriage and I wanted one just like theirs.  I learned the tools from them: respect, tenderness, sacrifice, love, discipline, and oneness.  If you give of yourself, you can share your life and dreams with someone special.

As much as I thought I had it down, I never was able to make it work with anyone.  My first real try at a long-term relationship produced a beautiful baby, but proved to be otherwise fruitless.  Mario had also been married before and was not able to make it work.  When we brought our hopes and dreams --as well as our kids--into a relationship, we were hoping for the best.  

The two of us, single parents to great kids, met for coffee or diner and had wonderful, emotional connections where I gazed across the table into his beautiful brown eyes and listened.  He was the wisest, most beautiful person I had ever met and he wanted to build a future.
He had a plan. 

"If I ever  get married again,"  he told me, "it will be to my Alice."

He had to explain.  Mario told me about the relationship between his father (a Broadway actor) Chev Rogers had with his wife (Mario's "step-mom"), Alice Evans.  Alice was Chev's refuge from the storms in life.  She was also the most exciting person in Chev's life.  With Alice, things were open and honest, safe and secure, challenging and filled with color.  

Sweet Charity Original Broadway cast
Alice fourth from the left
Alice was also a Broadway actress, and could even break glass with her powerful voice.  She and Chev had met on the National Tour of Sound Of Music and became inseparable.  Their lives were one dream after another--and they adored each other.  They played hard, loved hard, fought hard and weren't afraid of truth and hard times.    

Yes, if he ever married again, it would be to his Alice.

I remember feeling threatened by the comparison.  How could I be like the Alice he was looking at as the epitome of true-love?  A Broadway Dame with a big voice, a gorgeous face and head-shots that changed with each show she was in?  I was insecure, a single mom, vulnerable and desperately in love with the "perfect" Mario.

I went home from one of our coffee shop chats and wrote a poem I called "Your Alice".  The next day at work I gave it to him.  Looking at it now, I remember exactly how I felt:

                        Looking in your face I see
The warmth of what was meant to be.
Listening to words you say
Speaking of one special day
When things will just fall into place
With one perfect face...

How can another feeling be-
So full of longing (you and me)
Than my need to be seen as real?
For you to match the way I feel?

In silence, how this feeling bleeds
Surpassing all my wants and needs.
               One face…
               What shape? What look? What kind?
               Tell me… and I’ll make it mine.

How I wish that you could see-
Your Alice come to life in me,
The peace in what you’re speaking of
I long for too: undying love.

The next day, Mario asked to see outside.  "Your poem," he said, with tears in his eyes.  "Where did you learn to write like that?  The last's just how I feel."

I was flooded with relief. And love.  Not only did Mario love me, he loved my writing.  From there on in, we made plans toward marriage.

Mario decided to take me on vacation with him and his boys that summer.  They were headed to New York City to see Chev and Alice.  I needed some preparation and decided to ask Cynthia, Mario’s Mother, what to expect.

"Alice is wonderful," Cynthia told me, taking a long drag on her cigarette. "And Chev is horrible. Just horrible.”  I giggled.  Cynthia never minced words.  I was used to two peaceful parents, living a middle-class life side-by-side and never saying anything remotely insulting about each other. 
“I’m not kidding,” Cynthia said.  “He’s hard to live with.  Just the most ego-maniacal man ever born!" 

Chev, the way Mario described him, was larger-than-life.  An artist and an actor, he lived life by his terms.  Mario never exaggerated or lied.  Secondly, I had never heard an ex-wife speak so well of the new wife.
Chev with Mario 1987
"That's because she really is an angel," Cindy, Mario's sister later told me.  Cindy had a special connection with Alice (even Alice called Cindy one of her favorite people).   "She is beautiful, inside and out!  I wish I could go with you!”

By the time Mario and I boarded our plane bound for NYC, I was so nervous.  I would be meeting the "new" in-laws, Broadway actors who were larger than life.

Arriving in New York City, June 1987, at nearly midnight, we had to go through Harlem to get to the West End of Manhattan, where Chev and Alice lived.  Chev answered the door looking every bit the Broadway star he was... and I'm sure capitalizing on my sheepishness.

"So this is Janet," he said, in a booming, deep voice, stretching his arms out for a hug. I smiled, and hugged him, hitting my cheek against a plastic stop-watch hanging from his neck.  We made our way through the kitchen and into a wide, open living area with a grand piano and crown moldings and a hanging chandelier.  I scanned the room for Alice, but Chev told me she was in bed.  How dare she??  After all, it was only 12:30... and I'm sure she was used to partying until dawn.

While Chev offered us drinks, Mario insisted we put the boys down to bed, and we began the process.  While we set up beds, I saw more "realistic" pictures of Alice around the room.  They looked like a normal couple, not so much the larger-than-life version I had made them to be, but rather like my own mom and dad, with family, baby pictures, holiday shots.

Somehow I slept that night, and when I awoke, it was to Mario stirring to go to the bathroom.  He walked outside, and was greeting by an excited yell, followed by a laugh.  I could hear the hugging from where I was. Mario giggled and Alice continued a melodious laugh... one that I was strangely jealous of.

I got out of bed, got dressed, looked for makeup, gave up and then walked outside.  There she was.  She small.   Somehow she wasn't so "Broadway sized", she was even smaller than me.  She turned around and gave me the most disarming smile I had ever been greeted with.  I blushed, and hugged her, as she said "So this is Janet."

Alice made me feel welcome and told me quickly that she had heard all about me.  She wanted to know more and we connected in the beautiful living room, a baby grand piano in its center and pictures of family hanging on its cream-colored walls.
Alice and I - that week in NYC
Throughout the week, Alice's beauty became real to me.  The perfect image I made of her broke away and I was able to see her in the warm and real place that she lived.  She was genuinely full of love for most everyone we talked about.  She asked real questions about me, about my family.  And she loved my poem.

"Honey," she said, in her gorgeous voice, "your poem is a treasure.  I wrote it down here in my journal, see?" I smiled, so humbled that she would save this.  "I am just so glad Mario has met you.  He needs a woman who really can see him."

Saying goodbye after the week was over was a little sad, but I was ready to get back home. As she hugged me, she whispered "And you, my dear, are a delight!"  She meant it.  It meant the world to me, and I thought about her the whole trip home.

At the end of the year, Mario and I got married.  We had our own passion, our own drama, and our own obstacles we somehow overcame.  The following year we had a daughter and named her Alicia, the name that Chev called Alice.

Alice and Alicia 

Today is Alice's birthday.  I cannot begin to tell you how blessed we are to call her family.  To have her in our lives means that we have a woman who values us and accepts us regardless of all our shortcomings.  She is always ready to bless us, encourage us in sad times and celebrate the happy times.  She is a delight and a treasure.

Over the years, Alice has earned the place in my heart that she already had in the hearts of our family – as a treasured, irreplaceable treasure.  But I like to think we have a special connection, one that has been tested by time and circumstance.  One that is not afraid of intimacy or questions – I am a better person for knowing her.

Blessings and love, dear Alice.  I love you deeply!  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


When you have a grandchild, the world changes.  Most people say that they feel a genuine sense of awe that that new life has come from their own child.  This was definitely true for us.
The day that my first grandchild was born changed my life.

Laila Willow Rodriguez was born in Kansas City, to my step-son, David, and his wife, Lennae.  We heard from David after the event was completely over and Mother and baby were doing well. It was a very intimate birth—our first grandchild was delivered in a hot tub with the help of a midwife.  An unconventional birth delivered an unconventional child.

I remember turning to Mario and asking, “What is today?”

 “August 30.”

We hugged and I whispered that we were now Grandparents, a title that filled me with new purpose.    Not only was Laila’s birth unconventional, her name definitely was.  “Laila Willow Rodriguez,” I kept saying to myself over and over and over.  I was hoping that one day it would just roll off my tongue.  One day it did –I learned to love her name.
Laila's bold haircut last year

Today, that grandchild of mine -the one who made me a grandmother in the first place, turns 13 years old.  There have been a lot of changes this year—changes that have been private and almost protected.  

On a trip to Kansas at the beginning of the year, David and Lennae told us, very carefully, that Laila confided to them that she was gay.  We were a little surprised, but not too worried.  After all, Laila was very young.  Could she really know for sure if she was gay?

Almost instantly, I realized that the answer was yes.  My gay friends tell me that knew they were gay from a young age.  Why would Laila be different?

“What should we do?” I asked David.  “What should we say?”

“I don’t know if the subject will come up,” he said.  “I’m telling you just in case it does.”

Our New Year’s visit, like so many others, included spoiling our grandchildren.  We took Laila, Lilli, and Lauren places that they wanted to go, bought them things they didn’t need, and celebrated with each other over large family dinners.  As always, Laila was herself.  She didn’t seem too different from the grandchild I related to before, and she never brought up the subject of sexual identity or preference. 

During my spring semester, I called Lennae to check in.  I wanted to see how the girls were doing and ask what Lauren wanted for her birthday.  After some discussion, Lennae told me that Laila was going through a different kind of metamorphosis.  She had cut off her hair, changed her name to Max, and told her parents that she identified more as a boy.  I swallowed hard.

I had just learned that my granddaughter was gay.  Now I would have to accept that Laila was uncomfortable in her assigned gender.  This felt like a very large pill to swallow, and I prayed hard, asking God for direction.  How can I reach out with His love?  What do I do?  What should I say?

It occurred to me that God is the same God for Laila as He is for Max.  There is nothing that surprises God –because He knows this person intimately.

How would things be different between us if Laila became Max?  Wouldn’t I always love my grandchild?  Wouldn’t I always want relationship with this person?  Wouldn’t there always be time for discussion and sharing –if I were safe enough to discuss this with?  

I was able to spend some time with the kids last month when David and Lennae went on a cruise for their anniversary.  Cathy and the kids picked me up at the airport, where Max –formerly Laila –looked different, but not so different that I didn’t recognize him.  

Cathy, Lauren and I last month

I wanted a picture with all of us together, but Max yelled out, “No pictures!  This is my awkward, transitional phase!”  

There was a rustling in the back seats, and soon only Cathy, Lauren and I were in the frame.  I shrugged, and snapped it.

Over the next few hours, I could see that things had definitely changed.  Max was now wanting to be called Max – not Laila—with “him” and “he” – not “her” and “she”.   I tried to remember his new name in my speech and change personal pronouns, but I kept forgetting.  My brain knew only Laila, and as much as I wanted to support Max, I still had my habits and language that, I could tell, caused hurt. 

I was ready to learn and Max was ready to help me.  We did have a few private discussions, and many opportunities to affirm one another.  I think that Max wanted to know that I was still Abuela, the grandmother that loved without condition, without limits, and without boundaries.  For that reason, it was relatively easy to live up to what was expected of me.

Max fanning the flame of the Smithy - Mahaffie Farm
We visited the famous Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm while I was there, where the kids fanned the flame of the blacksmith, fed the pigs and goats, and took a stage coach ride with me.  The working farm is meant to remind its visitors of a simpler time, when things were not so instant.  

Things took time to process, and community was very important.  Before we left, I wanted a picture of all of us in front of a delicious, irresistible boot that guarded the entrance.

“No pictures!”  Max repeated.  “I don’t want to remember this part of my life!”  Max waved his hand in front of his face in a circle, summing up his appearance with dissatisfaction.

 I turned to look into the beautiful face of my grandchild and smiled.  “You are beautiful!  Don’t you think that most thirteen-year-olds think this about themselves? Now I’m you’re Abuela and I want a picture with you!”

Before the boot - Max, Lili, and Lauren (seated)
The obliging docent snapped a few, with Max objecting and acquiescing at the same time.  I am grateful we have them—it is my only snapshot with Max during my visit.

Before I left the house, Max and I spent some time picking out a birthday present from us.  Max chose bow-ties, an accessory that he really wanted for the beginning of school.  Just a few days ago, for the first day of school, Lennae snapped an action shot of Max getting ready to leave the house.  Looking cool and collected, I could see the bow-tie around my grandchild’s neck.  I smiled.  He was finding his unique sense of fashion.

1st Day of school- 2016

“What am I going to write this year on your birthday?” I asked him, before I said goodbye.  “For your birthday blog?  Every year, it is my chance to tell your story….”  My voice trailed off. 

I didn’t say, “Every year I look forward to writing a blog about how unique and special you are.  Every year I tell the story of how I grew to love your name, Laila Willow.  Every year I talk about what a strong person you are and how important you are in our family…” 

I didn’t say those things, but Max could hear me say them anyway.  “This year, you’ll write a blog called Max.”

And so I did.  I have permission to share these things (from everyone) and we hope it conveys love, especially for families who may be struggling.

This is the story of our family as we begin to navigate uncharted waters.  Swimming way out ahead is my grandchild, Max, a unique and wonderful person with a heart that I have always admired.   As scary as this life change is, Max feels confident.  He also takes comfort that we have his back. 

Today is a celebration.  Thirteen years ago, this person came into the world and changed my life, a person who I love beyond measure.  I still I have a genuine sense of awe that the baby who was born in a hot tub became this person – this unique, special, multi-faceted, complicated person. 

Happy Birthday, Max!  Today and always we love you.  

Sunday, August 28, 2016


It is the eve of my return to school.  I bought a new rolling backpack to replace the one that was stolen from my garage last May.  I have started to pack it, but I have the familiar insecurities that plagued me when I first started at my beloved American River college.

I am not a conventional student – I am well into my fifties—and on most days I live like I am ignorant of my age.  The days it does matter is on my first day of school.  I catch even the most politically correct students, the ones who champion diversity, look at me like I don’t belong next to them.  I learned how to ignore them, or better yet, let them fuel my competitive spirit.

Tomorrow is my first day at California State University, Sacramento –the home of seven academic colleges, offering 58 undergraduate majors to more than twenty-eight thousand students.  The green, tree-filled campus stretches over 300 acres and still manages to feel crowded.  I will be part of the College of Arts and Letters, as an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis.  I will also focus quite a bit on Spanish, hopefully enough to have a minor.

Mario, as always, is the rock of support he usually is.  He tells me over and over that I will do well.  My nervous jitters are probably a precursor to intense involvement with homework.  My energy will be funneled into the second-half of my degree, the intensive involvement with language, literature and writing.  I am honored and privileged to have this chance and I know it.

I practice gratitude breaths as I walk across campus.  Breathe in gratitude, breathe out negativity.  Breathe in love and respect, breathe out poison.  It may sound corny, but it really helps me.  Focusing on a goal comes with a hundred little tricks. 

Tonight will be a tricky night’s sleep!

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Saturday, August 20, 2016


The day I met Adam he played the theme from Veggie Tales in my living room -on a tuba.

Wrap your head around that. 

We all have those friends who bring color and vibrancy to our lives.  Adam is a friend who lights up and encourages everyone around with love, sincerity and an infectious belief that he can do anything.

Two years ago, right after we returned from Africa, he ran for Sacramento City Council and printed business cards with his face in the foreground and the American flag in the background.

I smiled.

We walked precincts for his campaign.  Only Adam can motivate me, at 53, to walk precincts!
 Adam epitomizes everything that is good about America.

Adam also belongs to our church and is on the worship team.  Not only does he have an incredible voice, he also plays harmonica with soul-felt passion that can make you weep.  He is also the guy who shows up early on Sunday to set up the signs that direct newcomers in.  He attends small group regularly and is usually in a good mood, even when he’s had a bad day.  He loves God and believes that God is who He says He is.

Adam performs on stage at community theaters and is quite good.  Since Broadway is in Mario’s genes, we started going to Adam’s plays as soon as we returned from Africa and I am happy to say that we haven’t missed one.With his encouragement, Mario auditioned for Man of La Mancha at Davis Community Theater and played a muleteer to Adam’s Sancho Panza. 

Tonight Davis Musical Theater had a send-off potluck for Adam, who has decided to pursue the dream of going to be a full-time actor.  Doing this requires a complete life change; it means moving to Los Angeles.

“I will get an agent once I’m there,” he told us over dinner one night.  “It’s too hard to do things like that long distance.”

The Jewish mother in me rose up.  I wanted to warn him not to go without having representation.  The world of the performing arts is littered with the bodies of those who “almost made it” and I didn’t want Adam to be one of those.

“What will you do once you’re there?” I asked. 

“I will go to calls and auditions,” he said, with his typical, jovial confidence. “It will be hard work at first, but I’m up for the challenge.”

It occurred to me, over dinner, that it doesn’t matter if Adam “makes it” or “hits the big time” –he is pursuing a dream.  Just like I am.

“Adam, what will we do without you?” I asked him.  He laughed.

“That’s what Skype is for!  Besides, I’m only a text away!”

We did not go to Adam’s send off at DMTC.  I am horrible with goodbyes and I never look forward to them.  I have messed up every goodbye that I have ever done. 

After Adam's last performance at DMTC (Music Man)
The truth is, we will suffer his loss greatly – his ever-present optimism and joy are things I have taken for granted.  I guess I assumed Adam would always be there, and now he’s off to the big city.

It would be just like God to hand Adam a role in the pilot of a show that has serious success.  Or give him a great voice-over character, with his Brooklyn accent or  silly laughter. 


This is how you know you love people –when you miss them before they leave.

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