My attitude towards hospitals has change dramatically over the last 5 years. What was once a child like naivete, believing that these clean, organized buildings could save anyone’s life, has been eroded down to something akin to simmering distrust.
Today I got an email from my brother with an attachment that made my heart leap out of my chest.
He passed on a picture from the production company that is handling his wife’s latest TV show down in the States. She’s managed to convince someone in the graphics department to “name” a wing of the hospital after my father, where her drama takes place (trailer here). It’s a magnificent tribute:
My initial reaction was “Oh shit, that’s cool!”
Which immediately turned into “Fuck… No.” See, the memory of my father sitting impatiently in a hospital bed while he was accidentally misdiagnosed of sepsis still offers up nightmares and steep depression slides. Still to this day. After the shock of seeing my father’s name associated with a hospital, even a made up one, left me gut-punched. But after the shock I was quite happy (What can I say? I’m Irish and ex-Catholic, I can suppress with the best of them). The picture lead me to this:
I remembered how my brother was one of the principals on a show called This Is Wonderland, and used his influence to get my father and I background actor jobs during a court room scene. We sat on that set for a good 5 to 6 hours under hot lights and peripherally watched as my brother acted his way through the scene. Near to the end of the shoot the director instructed me to interact with my father, pretending to be examining a legal document. We were exited. After a couple takes we were done.
I know Dad was utterly star struck. And very, utterly, completely proud of Michael. We drove home giggling like teens joking about how we were going to be discovered and our new found fame would garnish us popularity and riches. And boys.
The night of the airing of the show gave us both a wake up call as to how fame is fleeting. All you could see of us in the final cut was fuzzy shots of Dad’s head in the background and one clear shot of my hand. Briefly in frame. Don’t blink. I called Da right after the airing and screamed “DID YOU SEE US!!??” And we laughed.
This memory makes the above photo appropriate for me. It’s pretty amazing and I don’t care if it makes the cut or appears on screen. The thoughtfulness of it is greatly appreciated.