Ever since my kids came along I have become something of a leaky faucet. During my pregnancies I would cry at things like "Emergency Vets" on Animal Planet, I now cry at...well, whatever strikes my fancy.
Some of them make sense: Sad movies, sweet things my kids do, stuff like that. Sometimes I'll cry even just THINKING about these things.
But other times I'll tear up for no apparent reason whatsoever. And I finally realized that it's OK. Sometimes a body just needs to shed a few tears.
Sometimes, too, you need a good belly laugh, which is why I'm re-reading, for the umpteenth time, "The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul" by Douglas Adams. It's tinged with a bit of sadness, however, as Mr. Adams departed this plane in 2001, at the age of 49 (6 years older than I am now!), leaving behind a wife and a young daughter. I think we could really use his perspective today. And, on a personal note, when this book came out I went to a signing he did in NYC, but was too nervous to say anything beyond "Hi" and "Thank you." I wish I'd told him how much I loved his writing, how much it inspired me, and so many other things. As I walked out that day, I told myself that NEXT TIME I would tell him.
Except there was no next time.
I've since been to other book signings. I make it a point to tell the authors, briefly, how much I enjoy their work. I don't want to make a pest of myself, but I think we all like to hear when something we've worked hard on has affected another person in a positive way. Whatever it is.
When I was 15 I went to see a show with a great cast that included Jeremy Brett, he of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" fame. Afterwards I waited by the stage door to get his autograph. He appeared and was immediately surrounded, so I waited my turn. When it came, I said, very softly, "I loved you as Sherlock Holmes." He smiled, thanked me, and signed my program. Before turning away he looked right at me again, gave me another smile, and squeezed my shoulder.
And I drifted away on a moonbeam, having a very Marsha-Brady-"I'll-never-wash-this-shoulder-again" moment. My dad (who'd witnessed the whole thing, along with my mom) said "I think he really appreciated what you said."
I think so, too. But even more, I think he recognized a shy, slightly terrified 15 year-old girl who'd dressed up for the occasion and was working up the courage to talk to someone she admired. And he treated her with great kindness. And I will always remember and appreciate THAT.
Mr. Brett passed away in 1995. (And before you start thinking that I'm somehow cursing the celebrities I meet, I'll have you know I've met plenty of famous folks who are not only still alive, but have reached a ripe old age, thankyouverymuch!:)) So I'm glad I got to meet him and tell him.
I think all of our interactions affect our lives. Some in a big way, some in tiny ways. There are people without whom I don't even want to think about living. Others I could probably gladly do without. But they're all there for a reason. Just as I'm in their lives for a reason.
As Dirk Gently would say, it is "The interconnectedness of all things."