life offers up the most ludicrous, ridiculous situations sometimes.
i’m supposed to be in milwaukee right now, directing “a year with frog and toad” for a great theater company called first stage milwaukee. at the “meet and greet” today i had very little to say, except that one of the things i love most about the original “frog and toad” stories by arnold lobel is how beautifully simple they are.
in the midst of that simplicity comes the difficulty of life.
instead of listening to a wonderful group of actors, young and old, learn and sing the music from the show (which is what i was doing an hour ago) i’m flying home to new york to see my partner rob, and spend a final evening with our dog reggie.
rob called me at 5:00 a.m. last sunday morning to say reggie had lost the use of his back legs, and couldn’t stand up. reggie has had health issues since we moved to new york, but nothing insurmountable. until now.
reggie has been with me since he was eight weeks old. in dog years, he’s now 92. when i went on tour with “mamma mia,” reggie joined me, traveling the country, living in hotels, and seeing more of the world than most human beings ever get to see.
he’s been lucky enough to have had three dads. steve, his first dad, died when reggie was just over a year old. rob’s been his dad since 2000. and me.
reggie and i have been through more together than most people i know. in terms of time, my relationship with reggie is surpassed only by my relationship with my mom and dad. i’ve put him through some tough times. and he’s put me through some too.
reggie’s also been unbelievably lucky to have an extended family like no other. so many people have taken care of him, loved him, stayed with him. picked up his poop. i wish i could name them all, but i know i’d forget that one person, and i don’t want to do that.
in the end, it was rob who carried him down the stairs of our fourth floor walk up, to our friends tim and michael’s waiting car, to take him to the dog hospital, where he’s been for the last two days. reggie couldn’t ask for a better dad than rob. rob has been the one in the thick of things, not only now, but many, many other times. cleaning up. taking care. of reggie, and me.
i’ve said goodbye to my fair share of people in life. my grandma clements. my friend lou hammer. steve. my mom.
this is so, so different. anyone who’s been there knows. anyone who has only looked in from the outside has no idea. none. losing him is like nothing i’ve ever experienced. he’s been my buddy, and my pal. and my good ol’ reggie. and i’ll miss him every day.