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Young and beautiful and full of hope

My granddad’s funeral was held at Our Lady of Lourdes, the Catholic church of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, the small coal-mine-adjacent town where my dad grew up. But it was also the place where my parents were married, almost forty years before. I was there before, most recently when my grandmother passed and I attended her service, but that was before we lost my mom.

My dad pointed to the insignia of the cross within the circle in the tile before the altar, where they stood during the ceremony. Where they promised for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. Strange to think that here we were, forty years later. Without her. To think of her then, so young and beautiful and full of hope, was too much for me. I cried.

I felt weird about it. A little guilty. I probably should have been thinking more about Granddad. But everything I knew about him just made me happy for him instead of sad— he had ninety-two happy, healthy years, surrounded by the love of family and friends and not even much in the way of sickness until the very, very end. Thank Jesus he lived such a life! I didn’t want to think people believed I was so sad for his sake when it was really because of my mother.

My dad hugged me. “It’s okay, Phoeb.” “Forgive me, but it’s not Granddad.” “I know.” He took my hand. He knew, because he was thinking of her too.

My cousin Meryl had been given a family wedding album from Granddad’s house. She originally thought it was her mom and dad’s, but was confused when she opened it. “What is Mom wearing?” I asked, without looking, “Does it look like a furry hood?” “Yes!” she answered. I laughed. “That’s my parents’ wedding.” Apparently my mother decided that her bridesmaids would wear cranberry dresses with fur-trimmed hoods, because winter of 1975, I guess. I can think of no other explanation.

There’s some wonderful pictures in there. The church still all done up for Christmas, because they were married two days after. My dad at twenty-three, with shaggy hair, an enormous mustache, in a champagne suit and cowboy boots. My dad’s wonderful aunt, also named Joann, with hair all the way up to Jesus. Dad’s little Italian grandmother, Mama Nonni, almost as wide as she was tall, guarding their money purse like a pitbull. All four of my grandparents in truly hideous seventies finery, all pleats and pastels and big permed hair. Dad says there was a lot of family on both sides, but he mostly remembers how quickly all of his family fell in love with her, took her in and made her theirs, because they could see right away how good she was.

I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

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About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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