Saturday, May 14, 2016

I mean a lot to him

My cousin is a very talented man who has followed his heart and managed to make his career in music. He gives private music lessons to kids and plays in a big band on weekends and, until recently, was a professor at a local university.

For reasons a bit too complicated to go into, we grew up separately, even though his mother is my godmother and we lived not far apart. I'm a little older, and apparently, he always thought I was pretty neat. Five years ago, we had a reunion when his mother returned to Chicagoland for a visit and looked me up. Ever since, he has been very good about reaching out to me. Whenever he plays gigs in my neighborhood, he invites me, and we trade messages on Facebook all the time.

He got a job playing in the orchestra for the touring company of Chicago during its short run here in ... Chicago. This is put him in pretty elite company and he was proud to get the job. And nervous, very nervous. He kept sending me reminders about the short, one-week run.

We've been crazy busy at work and instead of seeing Chicago again (I've seen the play at least twice on stage and then, of course, there's the movie) I really wanted to sleep. Plus, I'm broke and spending beaucoup bucks on a play I know so well just wasn't on my agenda.

There was just something about the way he asked me that got under my skin. And so on Thursday morning, when I found a $30 ticket on StubHub for Thursday night's performance, I snapped it up.

The production was very entertaining. John O'Hurley is a most talented old hand at the role of Billy Flynn, and both Roxie and Velma were very good.

Best of all, in this production the orchestra was on the stage, not in the pit. So I was able to watch my cousin at work all evening.

Afterward he walked me to my train. One of his sons saw the production ... and me. That was it. Not his wife, not his other son (his daughter lives in New York). This is probably because the show was only in town for a week, but still. He thanked me for coming and repeatedly told me how "sweet" I was for coming out. Having someone in the audience there for him was a big deal.

I felt very good about having gone.

So often, when I think about family, it's easy to fixate on what's wrong with my relationships. Instead of concentrating on the love I don't get, I should stop and feel the love I do get.


  1. So glad you connected with your cousin this way. What a great moment to share.

  2. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing your insightful conclusion and heart warming family story.


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