Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria
tedwords

Visiting Bob in Hospice, 2017

Old friend, I loved seeing you tonight.

I wish I had been able to talk with you about the times I remember so vividly: the lazy afternoons working on set at Seven Arrows Herb Farm for the Diary of Anne Frank...all those times you'd play the Duke and would say "Howdy pardner" in that slow southern drawl you'd always assume...the parties, playing Tabloid Teasers and laughing until I couldn't breathe, thinking about the ridiculous things you'd say and write (and all those cucumber patch jokes)...all those summer vacations, where you'd just show up randomly and spend a day, delighting the kids (and me, I may add). It was always like Bob Hope coming to visit.

Just seeing you always makes my heart feel lighter and yearn for a simpler time.

But I COULDN'T say them, because every time I'd start, I'd begin to choke up and tears would well up in my eyes. I could barely get "I love you, man" out. Barely. And the words. Fall. Away.

Fall away, but they will always be there. The times I've spent with you are among my favorites. It's true. This is what I wish I had been able to say to you, but who ever does? Who ever can?

Know this, old friend: this energy will always remain. 30 years of friendship. You knew me back when I was a kid. I'm not a kid any more. None of us are kids any more, I guess. Even our kids aren't kids any more.

But that energy is the most important thing in life, right? It's what makes life worth living. The connections we forge. The bonds we make. The laughter we share. Life is not properties and products. That's just backdrop. Life is about the people we are blessed to have around us to fill that backdrop. The players on the stage, dear friend. That's what makes the play worth acting out.

I wish I had stayed longer. I don't know what the appropriate length of time is. But Pauline said she was going and I stupidly said "I will walk you out" and stood up and that was that and...I hope there will be a next time. I want to stay longer.

And I want to say this here.

Thank you for being a true friend, Bob Ryan. A true, dyed-in-the-wool, good times and bad, friend.

Thank you for greeting me with "hello, pardner" tonight. To see your blue eyes light up from a light sleep on the couch meant the world to me. To hear those words from you once again. Uttered so lightly, but touching me so deeply. I don't know if you know how much that means.

And thank you for all the adventures we've been on. There isn't one I don't cherish.

I want to say this while there is still a chance and I'm not getting all choked up fumbling for the right word or looking in the rear view mirror, wishing I had said this for you to hear before it was too late.

Hello, pardner. And happy trails. Always.
Tags: theater
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