From Perri, a new piece in the Wall Street Journal about Shakespeare and Sheila:
But the person who should have been there with me to stand and cheer was gone. If my mother had been there, she would have insisted on waiting out the rain.
She would have watched “King Lear,” as I don’t quite watch it yet, as a play about what she most feared, and what she lived with every day. She would have watched the blinding of Gloucester through eyes that saw only blurs and shadows and shapes, listened with her hearing aids, as the cruel daughters disparaged their old father’s mind in language no stronger than the angry words she often applied to her own mind and memory.
And she would have gloried in the wet victory of making it through the whole play, scoring free tickets on a summer night—beautiful or tempestuous—and the collective audience triumph of sitting through the storm for Shakespeare’s sake.
Such a tone-true tribute to Sheila and her struggles with the growing infirmities of age. I remember how much she loved Shakespeare in the Park with all of you. She would DEFINITELY not have let the rain deter her. I am reminded of Josephine’s recent post on this blog, following Perri’s essay in the New York TImes: “No one would have been prouder of my mother’s piece than my grandmother, no one would have been more certain that the right way to be remembered–the only way to be remembered–was in words and writing, no one ever took more joy in her own writing and the writing of her friends and family.” I am glad to think of Sheila again tonight and to be reminded of her fierce love for the written word and for her family – whose love of writing is her greatest legacy.