Good gods, how much Bill would have loved the amazing Broadway musical HAMILTON. His mind would have been blown, like many others have, and it would really have struck a chord in him. We spoke often of leaving a legacy, of how will our future generations know about all of these things we have done? Even the little, silly things, like making up our weird language and going to see all our favorite bands with our sisters. The big things, like Bill’s being a nurse and meeting his wife in nursing school at UVA, aka “Mr. Jefferson’s School.” His working at Ground Zero on 9/11/01 and being helpful in many ways. As I listen to Hamilton’s cast recording often with my family, i think of how Eliza worked so hard to tell the stories of the people she loved so much and lived long and shared the stories of her beloved Hamilton, or her sisters, or her son she lost so young. She even helped raise money to build the Washington Monument, in honor of the man she knew not only as our country’s first President, but as a family friend. I think also of the man who wrote this show and how he came up with the idea for it while reading Ron Chernow’s amazing bio of the ‘ten dollar, founding father without a father.” Lin Manuel Miranda is a treasure of a human being, in all sorts of ways. I’ve listened to him speak and heard him mention often how every day could be the last. It could just be GONE, over done. like THAT. and it all ties into my brain and back to Bill and and how he inspired me to live every day as if it could be the last. Our RENThead days when we sang NO DAY BUT TODAY at the top of our lungs and slept outside for these cheap front row tickets. How Bill’s eyes were opened wider to alternative lifestyles after seeing RENT with us. How much, even as little kids musical theater had toughed our hearts and souls, as our Mom would be sitting, bawling her eyes out listening to Carousel on the record player for the 8000th time. seeing my first show ever (RENT) and crying so hard I was embarrassed to be so close to the actors on the stage, but after the show and meeting them, I’ll never forget one of them coming up to me and hugging me so tight saying “Oh, girl, I thought I was going to lose my shit watching you cry!!” (The amazing Jesse L Martin). So many musicals in high school in Southold New York when Bill would be in drag for ‘Honey Bun’ or rocking out as Danny Zuko.
listening to and seeing Hamilton inspired me to tell stories again. i spent the other day talking to someone and telling stories about my life and they just kept asking for more.
Now I am writing daily. not here, but somewhere. One day i’ll share more. But I’m telling those stories. About us kids growing up together and going through a lot of different types of things together. About my experiences in my 20’s and the pain I caused people I loved. About my baby girl and the things she does and how she will one day ‘blow us all away’ with the wit and smile and amazing brain. About my life with my husband and how much he’s saved my life, over and over since the very moment we met. About friends that I have so much emotion and love for, that i’m so thankful for and wish I could be with so much more often.
And about Bill, because I lived, he died, and I’m going to tell his story.
Thanks for reading. I know my writing style is just constant words falling out of my head but I appreciate you taking the time to read them anyway. Peace.