Jude had a four day weekend - Friday they had one of those Teacher In Service days, and today, of course, is Presidents' Day. I overheard a conversation between Jimmy and Jude, wherein Jude informed his father that the quotation mark should come after the word "Presidents" since the day really belonged to all of the presidents, not just the current president. Clearly, the kid is absorbing something at that school.
And that's a lot of time off, time during which we could have been doing something fun. Half the people from Jude's school seemed to be heading off on a ski trip, or Mexico or something. But we're not doing anything. And by not anything, I really mean not ANYTHING. The whole weekend just slipped up on me, and I didn't even realize that it was a long weekend until about Wednesday. Not that we would be heading to Mexico anyway, because a) we're half broke and b) Jimmy teaches on both Friday and Saturday. But still.
And then lots of weird and stressful things happened.
First, on Thursday afternoon, while I was driving around like a madwoman to auditions and committments, I got a robocall from Jude's school, saying that due to police activity in the area, the school was under lockdown, and that nobody should come and pickup their kids until the LAPD had declared the area safe. I kid you not. I was nowhere near the school at the time, but when I called Jimmy, I found out that he had received the same robocall, and naturally, his response to the school telling him NOT to come and pickup his child because of police activity was to get into the car immediately and drive down to pickup his kid. Because really, there was POLICE ACTIVITY. Gotta love that in the man. Turns out, some nut had shot his wife and set the house on fire, which had nothing to do with the school, but the LAPD was just being overly cautious.
Then, I went to the most horrible and emotional funeral I've ever been to in my life. The son of one of my old friends from college had died of a heroin overdose. It's just so tragic, that it's really hard to write about. The service was at a mission down on skid row, a place where this young man had found help and solace, but clearly it still wasn't enough to help him get the better of his addiction. I really, truly can't remember ever witnessing grief and anger at such a level as my friend was suffering. I so wish I could help her, and give her strength, but really, what can I do? I am extremely thankful that our other friend, Wendell, and I could be there for our grieving friend, and I'm extremely thankful that Wendell was there for me, because this was a neighborhood that I would NOT want to have been walking around in by myself. It was everything that you would imagine Skid Row Los Angeles to be. And let me throw out an "Hallelujah" to the people who work at this mission, it's hard to imagine the level of commitment and faith that they have, ministering to the MOST downtrodden people, people who truly have no hope. It was all very, very, very humbling. And I left feeling horribly shaken, and achingly grateful for my child and my family and my blessings.
I left Skid Row and drove to Beverly Hills to help another friend by modeling for her in a fashion show for the clothing line she reps. Irony? You think? I enjoyed playing dress up with my friends Melissa and Laura, but really, I think this would have been much more fun if I hadn't just sobbed for 2 hours.
Then on Thursday night, at about 2:00 am, I woke up and threw up! Over and over. All the rest of the night. I have no idea why. I don't think it was a virus, we've just had this thing sweep through our house, and it didn't feel the same. I think it might be the Trader Joe's egg salad that I ate just before going to bed, which I found out later was one day over the "eat by" date. Eww.
So, Thursday was great.
And then Friday was the day of cancer.
First the good news - after I woke up from my night of vomiting and propped myself up with some Gatorade and the computer, I found out that Amy, who I had asked you to pray for last Monday, came through her lumpectomy with FLYING COLORS. Here's the update which Becky wrote on Amy's blog (Confused? I think sisters get to do that kind of thing) which explains it far better than I could. But it's GOOD NEWS y'all.
Then I got an email about Jude's friend Gus, the boy with the impish grin in the picture on my sidebar. Though he's doing really well, and making CRAZY good improvement, this email was asking for doubled prayers to help Gus's numbers get high enough for him to go back to school. He's been having to take class via Facetime on the iPad which the class bought for him, and he's really eager to get back to school. I have no idea what these "numbers" are. I feel certain that they have been explained to me, but...I'm an actor, these things just whoosh over my head. But I upped up my praying thing there.
Then about a minute later, I popped by What Now and Why? Which is a new favorite blog that I only discovered a few weeks ago. PLEASE check her out. The woman who writes it, Arnebya, is funny and raw and wry and really refreshingly honest. Anyway, she had just written a post titled "Negativity Ate My Positivity Then Belched It In My Face For Dramatic Effect" (and that title effectively defines everything I love about Arnebya) in which she says that she has found a lump in her breast and had to go in for a bunch of tests, and she was really scared. So I had to start praying about that one too.
Then, about 5 minutes after THAT, I got an email telling me that one of my beloved Cub Scout dads has just been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer called Chronic Lymphocitic Leukemia! So I had to start praying about that too.
And I know that because of all this praying and all of my church choir singing, that y'all must think I'm a terribly religious person or something, but really, I'm not so much. I mean it's not like I'm some kind of holy roller goody-goody who just walks around praying all the time. Not me...at all. So this is too much, really. Everybody needs to just GET WELL and STAY WELL.
On Saturday I managed to drag myself out of bed and do something about the semi-squalor into which our home had devolved while I was indisposed.
And on Sunday I managed to get it together enough to host my little writer's group meeting. So far, we haven't done any actual writing, but we're having a lot of fun.
If you've been reading carefully, you'll notice that during Jude's long 4-day weekend. there has been no mention of...Jude. He has been a real trooper while Mama has been running around/vomiting and Daddy has been working. So I promised him that today I would take him to Universal Studios Hollywood. Which is the easiest amusement park around - really close to us, and easy to get in and out of.
I'm sorry that this has been such an incredibly long-winded way of saying that I didn't do a damned thing for four days.
So my weekend in summation - police action, skid row, vomiting, cancer, amusement park. So basically...hell.
How was your weekend?