With Patti Lupone winning the Tony for the ultimate stage mother, Mama Rose in Gypsy, I had to salute my Mom, Kathy, who celebrated a birthday yesterday. My Mom is not a stage mother, though she always encourages me to Live Out Loud. That was one of the most important messages she told me as a kid, "Live each day!"
Now before you start thinking I was reared by Auntie Mame, let me tell you, my Mom's a smalltown southern CA girl who lived in Austria when she was a child. Her Dad was a pilot and was stationed there. Her mom, my grandmother, said he was a spy and all us grandkids got a kick out that, thinking our grandfather, who passed away when I wasn't quite 2 years old, was like James Bond.
My Mom always speaks very fondly of her time in Austria and I'd love to go there with her some day. For now, she's in Hemet, CA, and I'm here in the Big Apple.
She came to visit me 2 years ago to see me in The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, and I'm hoping she'll be out here again soon. The city fascinates her, though she prefers the hubbub of the small desert town she calls home. I miss her like crazy and spent most of yesterday on the phone with her, celebrating her birthday with phone calls throughout the day. At her office, her coworkers brought in cake and ice cream, and my little brother Sean took her out for pizza and a movie. She even got some long-stemmed red roses from an admirer and had an absolutely joyous day.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!