Home > Thoughts > To East Texas and Back…

To East Texas and Back…

So, I think I have had one of the best-last 5 days ever!


It started on Wednesday. I left Lubbock on Wednesday morning for Dallas, bright and early. Or rather, muggy, drizzly and early. What awful weather! It rained and drizzled until I made it past Eastland. Blah. The drive was uneventful at best, but it reminded me how much I love road trips, especially solo ones. I listened to music, watched the road go by and thought about everything. It was nice to unwind, and it was nice to have some time to myself.

Once I got to Dallas, I drove to the house where I stayed all last summer. It was SO nice to see Tom and Joann and Jojo. I had missed them all so much, and I had missed the area as well. Compared to Lubbock, it’s amazing. I mostly read that day and spent some time with Jo until we all went to dinner.

The next day, I slept in, took my time getting ready, and hit up the Grapevine mall. Although it’s not as fun going alone, I enjoyed walking around and looking at everything. Surprisingly, I was able to refrain from buying anything. Back in the village, I ran around to a few different stores. I was mostly whiling away the time until it was time to leave for… (ba duh duh duh)…


RENT!! Oh. My. God. It was AMAZING. I can barely believe I saw it again, especially with Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal. Once I finally arrived at the theater, after my “trusty” TomTom got me lost once or twice, I went inside and got through where they scan the tickets. I decided to go ahead and myself some Rent goodies, and went to the merchandise counter. After I picked out a lovely T-shirt and backpack with a program that detailed the history of Rent, I walked over to somewhere I could sit and organize everything I was trying to carry in my hands.

And then I realized I had lost my ticket.

For a minute I panicked, then found someone and explained my situation.  I told the woman I knew I was supposed to sit in the balcony but didn’t know which section or seat. She was so nice, and found an available seat in the balcony for me. Luckily, that seat turned out to be about ten times better than my original seat. 🙂

The play was incredible. I had heard about Rapp and Pascal, read Anthony Rapp’s memoir, listened to the soundtrack, watched them perform on YouTube, listened to “What You Own” (their signature song) billions of times, and was so excited to actually see them. The moment Anthony walked out on the stage, the theater erupted. It took five minutes for everyone to be quiet, and another five to be quiet when Pascal came on. I was completely in shock that I was actually there. Once the play began, I sat in my seat, entranced, not thinking about anything else. They went through the first three songs, and I was slightly annoyed because the lights were still on in the theater. Then, the third song ended…

And the theater went pitch black. Then every single light on stage came on at once, in a brilliance that is hard to describe. Everyone on stage is in motion, running for their spot and the singing begins and the dancing begins. The play had officially started, and the song “Rent” (one of my favorites) blasted throughout. I was absolutely in awe. This play never ceases to amaze me, and for some reason, I absolutely adore it. I don’t think I will ever tire of it. (The really sad thing is that as I am writing this, I am watching the play on my DVD.)

One of the best parts of the play was watching Anthony Rapp. I had read his memoir, and I felt as though I had something in common with him: Rent is something indescribable to him, the same as it is to me. In his memoir, this play allowed him to express something he could not. He said he put everything into each performance, and that was so evident when I saw him. He loves this play, and it seemed he strives to make each performance special for the audiences. He never stopped moving. He danced all over the stage. He sang his heart out, and made it fun for the audience. He was, without a doubt, the heart and soul of the play. The best part was his obvious passion. It blazed off the stage and hit you in the face. It was incredible.

I had seen the play last spring in March, when Mom took me to New York for spring break. It was fun to see who had joined the tour from the cast I saw. Surprisingly, there were actually about four or five.

I am so grateful I was able to see this play, especially since Rapp and Pascal were in it. I think I’m also glad I went by myself. No one else really understands how I feel about Rent; no one else I know well enjoys it as much as I do. I think honestly if I’d taken anyone it would have ruined it for me because I know I would have just worried the entire time about what they thought.

I love Rent.


On a side note, I read an amazing book while in Dallas. It was called The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block. I was a little dubious about reading it, because it was about Familial early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. But it turned out to be so wonderful. The author described those who had Alzheimer’s as being in a place called Isidora. It is a beautiful place; a place where no one remembers anything, but are content and can still communicate. They communicate through touch and feelings, and do not have to know words. It is perfect there. The way Block described it reminded me of the perfection and contentment of the Garden of Eden.

So that is what will get me through the remainder of this horrendous and painful disease. This is what I believe: The mind of  my beautiful, vibrant, sweet Mimi is in Isidora. And she is still these things and more. She is happy, content, loved and still alive. Her body has just remained with us. But she is OK. In fact, she is great; no longer a prisoner to a brain that can not function anymore. She is free. And when her body is released for good, she will be even freer. This is a comforting thought.

The author referenced a few books he read to get inspiration for his book. One of them was called Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s by Thomas DeBaggio, and I decided I had to read it, if only to gain some more understanding into the workings of this disease. It is a man’s memoir after he was diagnosed with the disease, and it is fascinating because as you read, you are privy to his innermost thoughts and struggles concerning this disease. You can see how his brain has deteriorate, because he repeats stories throughout the book. I love it so far, but it is difficult to read, because now I wonder how Mimi felt when she was diagnosed. I was so young when I was told she had it, and I did not really understand the consequences or pattern of the disease. I feel like I am just now beginning to understand it.


So finally, on to happier things detailing the rest of my weekend.


On Friday morning, I woke up and left Tom and Joann’s, then stopped at my favorite Barnes and Noble and got coffee. Then it was on to Winnsboro. I had so much fun! I spent time with Kasey, and got to spend a lot of time with Thomas’ family also, which was nice. Kasey’s graduation party was so much fun. For some reason, her family’s new house is extremely relaxing. Although we spent the whole afternoon outside, and my hair was a nightmare after, it was a great afternoon. I loved when everyone went down to the pond to fish, and it was fun trying to navigate through the mud. 🙂

Except for that darn june bug in my shoe, it was perfect. I miss you, Kasey!

I think this trip was exactly what Thomas and I needed. Getting out of town lifted a weight from our shoulders. I feel like things changed between us, in a good way. We laughed so much together, and had fun on the ride home, just me and him. He tortured me and kept trying to take pictures of me driving. We talked about everything. He even let me stop in Abilene to see my Grandmommy and Grandaddy and eat dinner with them. Things are amazing with Thomas. I am so lucky to have him, and he makes me so happy.


Life is pretty darn good right now.

Categories: Thoughts Tags: , , , , ,
  1. Natalie
    May 12, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I just read a really good book about Alzheimer’s called “Still Alice.” You should check it out.

    Sounds like a fun trip! I’m so jealous you got to see RENT. It’s here in Austin this week, but the tickets are way more expensive than what I can afford to spend right now. Thankfully, though, Mamma Mia is coming this summer and Wicked comes in August. So I will not be short on Broadway!

    Anyway, hope you’re doing well!

  2. Katie
    May 12, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I should go read that book! Thanks, I’ll look it up.

    I can’t believe Mamma Mia and Wicked are going to be in Austin…that makes me want to go. I’d love to see Mamma Mia.

    Thanks for the comment; it’s good to hear from you. 🙂 I hope unpacking is finally coming together! 😉


    P.S.–Felix says hi!

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