The Little One is 29 today. Can it be? Heck, if my youngest is pushing thirty, then I myself could be 60. Say it ain’t so!

Called her first thing this morning—got voice mail. In Mexico with hubby—phone off. I’ll canvas, then, memories of my baby—good times and bad—savoring the nector of her ups and downs…and growth.

She was, is and always will be a most emotional lady. Tears, Smiles, laughter, being there…

I remember, for example, the birth by appointment. It would not be her last time late, though it may have been the last instance she’d be induced to do anything. I still hear, too, the comments from EVERYONE through her youth. “…Such beautiful hair…,” they’d say. It must have been. What did I know? To me, hair was hair.

Truth be known, her decades, all three of them, may be summed in mental photos from the shoebox of my mind.

Picture 1 (she’s less than ten):

It’s a video from August, a quarter century gone by. Pulling Michael from the backyard, Jamie from the basement and Rooney from the dog’s cage, we sat, the five of us on a bed.

“”You’re mother and I are taking a ‘time-out’,” I said.

Grim. Our eldest, understanding too well, began explaining to his sisters. A few words in though, Stacy rose silently and left the room, (only to reappear shortly).

“Here,” she whimpered, handing me her picture. “Don’t forget me.”

A low point in my life, to this day: Rooney sobbing, age four… sobbing.

Picture 2 (she’s less than twenty):

Another video. We’re in Mentor—four of us—after karaoke. I’m driving; Rolo’s shotgun and Rooney’s in back with Hannah Duber’s mother. And they’re singing. And singing. And making up words as they go on…and on…and on. Rochelle thinks it’s funny, of course, but she’d been drinking. Did she HEAR Stacy’s voice?

But they’re laughing…and laughing…and laughing. As incidental as it sounds, it is an image I replay…often.

Picture 3 (she’s less than thirty…in fact, I can be more specific: it is September 13, 2009. She was, then, 27 years and 17 days…and she is getting married).

It’s a snapshot, by the way!

We’ll never forget her smile that day. Perhaps that’s ‘cause it hasn’t left.
I’ve known for long that what we truly owe our kids is unconditional love, and wings.
Sensing full well that they’d flee Ohio, flex their muscles and live their lives, I’d only prayed that each, with comfort, would leave the door open. Lord knows their mother and I, each in our own way, have left the light on….

Careening through turnpike turns just weeks ago, I was not only heading to Jackie’s wedding, but tiptoeing through the fabric of MY life. A lot of thoughts float through in seven hours behind the wheel—especially heading east, solo. Memories: of Michael, Jamie, Stacy…The Jersey Girl. Of youth, of time…what was…what is.

Somewhere between Breezewood and Frederick a tune came on my recently-reprogrammed ipod. A song I swear I’d never heard before, it reminded me of Stacy. One line—one line in particular—made me think of her:

“…Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you…”

Perhaps it was a function of the day’s melancholy, but all I think of right then and there was The Little One in the audience at each of my plays. Always. Some of it’s been timing of course, and some of it proximity—but the fact is that the kid prioritizes my flirtation with theater, and somehow, even from Chicago, finds her way to my shows. She knows full well the disconnect: I discourage friends to come as all the while I thrill performing for loved ones.

That’s her way, though. Not just with me, but with everyone. Her friends span the states but they don’t feel distance. Somehow, some way, she’s there…

To laugh, to cry, to smile and to live life being all she can be.

That’s what her mother and I wanted for her twenty-nine years ago, and our prayers have been answered.

She is, to this day, a Super Trouper.

2 Responses to “SUPER TROUPER”

  1. anonymous says:

    well said and oh, so true…

  2. STACY says:


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