On Father’s Day Weekend

Angel’s Rest, Pearisburg, Virginia

I’ve loved every minute of every hour I’ve spent doing theatre.

Three-time Primetime Emmy winner and recent winner of her first Tony for Best Actress in a Play for her role in A Doll’s House, Part 2, Laurie Metcalf, was born on this day in 1955.

My acting career will never be anywhere near as prolific as that of Ms. Metcalf’s, but I understand the sentiment.

The more involved I am in theatre work, the more I want to be doing.

It’s a struggle because for the past nine years I’ve been identifying myself as a writer (not just someone who wants to be a writer), and I find that there’s just not enough time in my life for two second full-time jobs.

When I’m active in the theatre, as I currently am, then my writing suffers.

Oh, Publisher’s Clearinghouse, you know how to solve this.

Instead, I’m working through my Self-Journal (I get no reward if you follow the link, but check it out), to prioritize my time and my goals.

True, my script sort of crosses both worlds, that of writing and of theatre, but spending time on the stage or directing as I have in the last few weeks takes time away from that.

Still, the script is almost ready for others to read. I have a compelling story to work with. What remains to be seen is whether I have compelling dialogue presented in a way that won’t make folks leave at intermission.

The story, as you may know, is that of my grandfather’s (my mother’s father) experiences in WWI. While we entered that war toward the end, the loss of American life was great, and my grandfather did not escape before being hit with mustard gas. That was with him the rest of his life.

Come see the play when it’s staged. And, it will be.

I never knew that grandfather.

My father’s father passed away when I was ten years old. He spent the last seven years of his life bedridden and with dementia. It was only in recent years that I learned how long that actually was. My childhood memories of him, even though I couldn’t have been much more than three years old, are still vivid as we would talk “around the mountain” to where his sister lived.

As you’re reading this, I’ll be driving back to that mountain this weekend. My cousins annually get together on this weekend for a family reunion. We started doing that a few years back when we realized that the only time we were all getting together was for funerals.

While there, likely on my way out of town on Father’s Day morning, I’ll stop by the cemetery.

It’s hard even to write this, but there I’ll visit the graves of my father, my grandfather, and my stepfather who we lost just last October.

My screen gets a little blurry event as I type. I miss them all.

I know they’re not really there. I have a faith that tells me they’re in a much better place and that gives me the hope that I’ll one day see them again, along with the grandfather I never knew.

But, they’re not here now when I need them to be.

That’s why, as well-intentioned as my own boys may be, Father’s Day is not one of my favorite days.

At least this year I’ll be traveling and won’t be in church where the Father’s Day sermon generally gravitates to how we’re all not holding up our end of the bargain.

I digress.

Then again, if you’re a preacher, think before you speak on Sunday.

It’s always good to go home for a bit. But the older I get the more I realize how temporary things really are. If there are regrets it is simply that I didn’t fully appreciate things when I had them.

This weekend I will savor the moments. I will cherish the memories.

Happy Father’s Day.

Country singer Billy “Crash” Craddock was born on this day in 1939.

True story: I also didn’t appreciate country music when I was growing up.


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