Journal Entry: August 31, 2014
I had a good childhood.
I grew up on movie sets. My Dad was a Production Manager back when you broke down a script using colored cardboard strips. Wemoved from New York to Beverly Hills. “Stepford Wives” was in the can but I still got to brush Katherine Ross’ strawberry blonde hair and help her bake cookies in her Malibu kitchen. I loved how her bathing suit bottoms never matched her tops. When my Dad was working on “Murder by Death” he arranged for me to meet Angie Dickenson and Earl Holliman. “Police Woman” was my favorite show and it was a way bigger deal than meeting David Niven, Truman Capote or Maggie Smith. Although it was pretty neat to watch Colombo rehearse the same line over and over and over again.
It wasn’t just me. My Dad brought lots of people up in the movie business. He got them jobs, got them training, got them in the union.
Then the script took a dark turn. An unexpected diagnosis. A first surgical procedure doesn’t go as planned. Lake Arrowhead-chemo-recovery-weekends and my Dad’s healthy vital glow mask the executioner. A Second surgery and still Cancer drills deep and takes root.
All scenes led to that final diagnosis.
Seven days left to say goodbye.
“Did you get the shot?” He asked. From his bedside at Cedars, I could see the Hollywood sign, white against the Indian summer hillside. I held his hand. It felt heavy.
“We did.” I replied.
Cut. Print. That’s a wrap.
That was 1988.
It took a bit of time, but now I can feel into the gift that is my father. Not just my gift–I still get emails, letters and Facebook posts: I miss him every day; I found a picture of him; There was no one quite like Roger.
I can look in the mirror and see him in the round of my face, the beauty mark on my cheek and my dark hair and eyes. His energy courses through my veins as I negotiate with a tough client.
If my father weren’t where he is, somewhere out there, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Who knows, maybe he is here, hovering over my right shoulder as I type.
This is my life.
Happy Birthday Dad.