Richard, I Still Love, Love, Love, You

Okay, so I got that out of the way, or maybe not. I may have a fake fan letter in me before I quit this post.  But in the meantime, I have to say something again (that for strangers reading who don’t understand the magic of Richard Armitage fandom) is the massive key to the fandom’s appeal. It’s about the friends.  Oh make no mistake fandom can be a rough and tumble world. A bully or two exists, and sometimes there’s some weirdness, but all of that is eclipsed by some wonderful people, who don’t want to do anything other than be a friend.  Love, love, love that.  It is the stuff that makes the world go ’round.  And all you need is love, and then you can die happy even if you’re old and decrepit, and a lot of other things have gone to crap.  If you have friends whom you love and they love you, that’s enough.  It makes a person rich in ways money can never touch. Money can never touch it…money can never touch it.

During my time as a fan, I’ve had the great privilege and pleasure to become friends with some really fine people.  And if there is anything that I am thankful for the most in my time yukking it up with other Armitage fans, it’s these friends.  They are all unique, but they do share some things in common that I find highly satisfying.  Of course they all like Richard Armitage. Duh. They all love to laugh — a lot. They appreciate good food.  They all ponder much more than their frequent laughter would suggest.  They care deeply about their family and friends.  They all love going new places and meeting new people, so they are not afraid to talk to strangers.  And that’s where I came in.  They talked to me, someone whom they had never met nor even heard my voice. But we had a point of understanding in our being moved by the performances of Richard Armitage and his continued effect on us and why, why, why were we so affected?!

And we still discuss that today after years of knowing each other. I’m not sure we will ever get the answer, and I don’t know that we ever want to sum it up. It’s too much fun talking about it.  In that interest, one of the friends wanted me to see Love, Love, Love. I told her I her I would try, then I wasn’t sure, and then I told her I couldn’t.  I am a tightwad by nature. I don’t mean being stingy with others, but I learned at a young age how to say no. And so I said no to the Richard Armitage play.  I had a business to run and cash flow to worry about and yes, some horrendous medical bills to pay off, so I could not justify taking a trip to New York to watch Richard Armitage in a play — no matter how lovely the thought.

But one day back in the summer, Armitage Besotted called me up and asked again, “Do you think you will come to New York for the play?”  My answer was the same, and then she asked me what would keep me from it.  Most of it had to do with not being frivolous with money, and she said, “Well, don’t even think about it. It’s on me.”  I immediately said, “No, no, I can’t accept that. I appreciate it, but I can’t accept that.”   I was overwhelmed by this. Seriously.  It completely took me aback.  I was not expecting anything like this, and I didn’t feel I could accept. Then I remembered something my father said, “When a person is moved to give you something out of the kindness of their heart, and you know it’s not manipulated, accept it. To not accept it is an affront. It’s saying, ‘You’re not good enough to give me something.'” All of that ran through my head as she was saying this to me, and I was struggling with it because it was such a huge gesture. In fact, I’m still reeling from it and feel a great need to express how I feel about it all:

AB,

This fan letter is for you.

My friend, you will never know how much what you did moved me. I’m just sorry it’s taken me three weeks to talk about it publicly. I do want you to know that even if you hadn’t done it, I consider you a great friend. Whatever all this Richard Armitage stuff is about, I’m glad we know each other most of all.

And whether you realize it or not, God had a hand in it. I was able to facilitate the resolution of an issue that I didn’t even know existed until I was coming to New York. It resolved rather satisfactorily and in a way that I could never have anticipated it happening. God’s hand was all over it. So you and your big heart were a divine instrument. We can talk more about this later.

For now just know that it was a unique experience to be that up close and personal with Richard Armitage’s chest. And how could I not when I was this close to the stage?!

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And thank you for making it possible for me to meet some other fans whom I’ve conversed with online on several occasions and some on many occasions. In particular, thank you for the opportunity to meet Abby aka AwkwardCeleb. We’ve known each other online for a long time but had never actually met until we had dinner before the play. Thank you, thank you! Abby is a sweetheart just like you, and as so many others were who were at our table. I enjoyed you all and wish I could have spent much more time with you!

Love,
Your friend and fellow Armitage admirer

For those looking at that photo, just know I was on the front row (pretty much center) and that the stage was about three feet from my seat, so that the edge of it was eye level, and if I had reached out my foot, I could have touched it easily. In fact, I think I did that just for grins.

I will give my impressions of the play in another post. I look forward to that! But this post is the most important to me.

A Little Story of Will

Life is funny how it jerks you around, but when I look back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are fantastic things I’ve experienced that would have never happened if circumstances hadn’t pushed me. Until several years ago, I was comfortably ensconced in a beautiful little mountain town, raising my children, spending wonderful times with SO, cooking a lot and sometimes inviting the whole town to my house to laugh and eat or to mourn if the occasion warranted, and always having an open door to whomever may need to unburden themselves.

SO and I, who grew up in the city and came from corporate culture, had more or less become part of a family in this little town, and we were loving it. It was the realization of a dream that started when we were both busting our backsides in our 20s and 30s. The plan had been to build a business and make enough money that we could then go and freely do what we wanted. There were two things we wanted: to serve a community and to spend a lot of time with our kids and not necessarily in that order.

Us at 36 with the kids in a shot taken about 2 hours from where we would eventually live three years later:
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Things were humming along nicely in the little town. We had learned to live way below our means in order for our savings to stretch and keep us in “retirement.” We also had a wonderful relationship with our kids and each other (despite our sometimes tempestuous interactions). Two of the kids were successfully doing college with another one getting ready to go. They had also enjoyed running and excelled at it. SO being a running coach was helpful, and we spent considerable time going to meets. It was at one such meet where our son was doing really well when something happened. SO had a pain, and it was bad enough he had to go to the car. This was the guy who usually ran all over a 5K course to keep up with the progress of a race and no obstacle ever got in his way. When he slunked off toward the car, I knew something was seriously wrong. A few moments later I jogged over to see what was going on. His face was deathly white, but he almost threw his stop watch at me and was adamant I watch the finish line.

I reluctantly went back to watch, and as I turned around, he was behind me. Still looking like a ghost and not able to walk so vigorously but trying to make it near the finish line. He didn’t quite make it and had to watch from afar as our son easily came in first. When I turned to say we should go to the hospital, he was stubborn about just going home. Home was 20 minutes away, so we went there quickly. All the way home, I was trying to get him to call an ambulance, but he refused (yep, he’s a typical male). Then as we walked into the house, he stopped and said, “Please call 911!” Thankfully, I had already called them, and they were on their way. SO sat on the local Fire and Rescue Board at the time, and I had actually called the fire chief’s house first, and then 911. They were there lickety split and SO was so anxious to see them that he stumbled into the front yard toward the ambulance.

At the hospital, we of course learned from tests that he had had a heart attack, and they were discussing care flight options with me. Such is the price of living in the boonies — anything really serious goes wrong, and you’re on a plane or helicopter heading for the city. Thankfully, SO’s situation stabilized and he was able to be taken by car to the other side of the mountain. They ran even more tests on him at the big city hospital, and we learned he would not be needing bypass surgery as there was no blockage or even damage to his heart. A miracle. But we also had a bomb dropped on us. We learned he had kidney disease and was a few steps away from dialysis.

We were quickly hooked up with a nephrologist, and a month later, SO was told to get a living donor or get on the kidney transplant deceased donor list. We started the process, and I was not a match, his sister was not a match, his parents were too old, several friends were not a match. Our children volunteered to give their kidneys, but considering the family history, we told them it was best to hang onto theirs — they may need them! The work began to get him on the deceased donor list. This took a year and was quite a roller coaster ride. But even while this was being done, I and other family were working to find him a living donor. Meanwhile, his doctors had told him to do everything possible to stay off of dialysis, and as a result, he became too weak to do much of anything.

All of this was going on a few months after I started this blog. Tomorrow night I’ll continue the story.

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