It’s amazing to think I met her 9 years ago, when summer theatre was still held in the teen room. Back in the day if Alice in Wonderland where we were both cast as garden flowers with about a quarter of a line each and High School Musical where we composed 2/4 of the “skater dudes”. The next year we moved up a little higher and received parts with names in Treasure Island and Jake and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. The following year is when we really blossomed with our breakout roles of Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King. Not only did we steal the show, but these roles brought us together as really great friends. We continued with musicals, participating in Cats, Mary Poppins, Finding Nemo, Seussical the Musical, The Jungle Book and Wicked. Theatre really brought us together. After our final summer performance I went off to high school and no longer participated in the shows. That was the last time I ever performed on stage.
During the Jungle Book I went through sort of a rough patch, and trust me, apologies have been given out generously. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of but no matter how stupid the thing I did was, she always just said in the motherly tone she was so famous for, “do you really think that was in your best interest?” She was one of the only people to not lose faith in me during that time of struggle and I wish I would have taken the time to make my gratitude known to her.
I recently read a book that taught me a bit about infinities. There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course there is a bigger set of infinite numbers between 0 and 2 or 0 and a million. It just shows that some infinities are bigger than others. There are many days when I resent the size of her unbound set. I would have loved more numbers for her yet I am thankful for her little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She graced us a forever within her numbered days, and I am grateful.
She was one of my best friends. We didn’t talk every day but then again we didn’t need to. She would call me once a week or so to catch up and we were constantly gossiping about which guys we had crushes on. We made time to see each other as much as we could but encountered some road blocks along the way. When she was away for treatments she couldn’t always call but never failed to message me over Facebook a very long and detailed paragraph about how she was doing, always upbeat and always positive. She taught me the power of optimism and what true strength looks like. She is an inspiration to me in do many ways and I miss her dearly. A friend like that is irreplaceable. We had last made plans to see Finding Dory since we were in Finding Nemo together. Although she is no longer able to come to the theatre physically, I know she will be there in spirit. As reads the Irish blessing, “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sunshine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”
I believe she is with us all everyday. Her mothering nature wouldn’t allow for anything else. Her love radiates upon us all and she is a constant reminder of the beauty and fragility of life. She was always beautiful to me before the cancer and long after she has gone. We are never truly without her as a little piece of her lives within each and every once of us. May she be remembered for her beauty inside and out, her strength, her sass, her talent and her grace. I will never say goodbye to her, I never have, like it has always been and will remain, it’s a see you soon Pumbaa.
Love always, Timon