"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true,
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you..."
- Stephen Schwartz, "For Good"
This year began on Cloud Nine for me, marrying my longtime sweetheart.
But from that cloud I could see all sorts of changes, people coming into and going out of my life, like my dear friend Robert Pesti Terrell, who passed away on January 3rd.
Strangely, another friend, Margery Beddow passed away on the same day.
I worked with Margie last Fall on the Off Broadway revival of Charles MacArthur's 1940's comedy, Johnny On a Spot. She and I shared a dressing room, and we both came on later in the first act to spice things up, so we had plenty of time to chat.
She was Gwen Verdon's understudy for Bob Fosse's production of Redhead, and she toured as Lola in Damn Yankees, among other shows, and was a dedicated friend to both Gwen and Bob.
In another strange twist, my Great Uncle George Thoemke, who was born on January 3, 1922, passed away last weekend. He was an amazing man and like a grandfather to me since both my grandpas died before I was 5.
This pic was taken in 1999 with his wife, Gladys, on the left, and my Mom on the far right.
Uncle George served in WWII and was a great fan of the film Saving Private Ryan, because he felt it fully captured the horror of the war, especially the scene of storming the beach at Normandy, because he had done that himself.
He lost 2 of his fingers "when a German mortar shell exploded just a few feet in front of me." He detailed much of his life in a family memoir called "A Barefoot Boys American Journal." I'd love to see this little novel fully published. Perhaps one day...
All of these people, even though they have moved on, are still an essential part of my world. They helped me become who I am today through their gifts of love, support, guidance and encouragement. And though I am sad at their departure, they will always be a part of me.
Life is funny, because as some people move out of your life, others come into it.
On January 12th, my niece and nephew were born, Anna Joy and Benjamin.
What a privilege it is to be a part of their lives, to be their Aunt Laura and Godmother.
I love this picture of Rob and Anna. She was so alert for being 5 days old - lifting her head and reaching out to touch her Uncle Rob.
These people are all a vital part of me. They are forever in my heart, and they go with me everywhere I go. I am so thankful for each and every moment with them!