Lain's Log

It's Been A Hard Day's Month

October 19/12.

Has been a whirlwind couple of weeks with more time devoted to worrying than working or writing. Back around October 7th, it was the calm before the storm. My Mum-in-law of 29 years was in hospital, fighting lung cancer. Many meetings were held to settle arrangements and the four devoted Bornstein kids took turns at shifts, watching over her at Sunnybrook. - Here, I'm hanging out with downtown Toronto pigeons.

At a certain point, there's only so much which can be done. My body decided it wanted a break from the running track for a while to opt for walking around the neighbourhood, thinking, taking in the crisp, fresh air,

and gorgeous fall colours.

My Mum-in-law was moved to Sunnybrook's palliative area, where she received extremely attentive care, and I was able to have a final visit with her and exchange loving words. She seemed to rally a bit on this particular day - (the same day my sister, Carrie came to see her). Somehow, Carrie always has a way of making a person feel better. Wish I had that remarkable skill.

One Friday, I took all to myself - (an early birthday gift day just to unwind and relax). Travelled all over town, got lost using the GPS, (directionally-challenged, as usual), but still had a lot of fun,

shopped, enjoyed Chinese food, - won ton soup, an egg roll, lemon chicken, sweet and sour sauce and chicken fried rice,

then energized, tried on some frill-y items from La Senza - beautiful, (and now, all mine)! It was a happy day in the midst of a sea of sadness. Later, attempted to find something bright and new to wear for Auntie Ray's Celebration of Life but didn't end up zeroing in on anything perfect.

My sister, Carrie (musical director for the Celebration), came by our house to work on her Sondheim song Anyone Can Whistle, with my daughter, Kate, accompanying her on piano. 

I think I heard the rehearsal four times, each time more beautiful than the last. Carrie's voice is just so stunning and Kate did a fabulous job on piano for her.

Carrie got through all of the travel and rehearsal despite having broken her toe, wearing a massive borrowed airboot and carrying a cane. She was as cheerful as always and never complained. (FYI, the painful break happened when she suddenly smashed her toe against a metal IKEA stool in her kitchen). Fun? Wow.

After Carrie took off, Kate, and my son, Max, practiced THEIR number, City Love by John Mayer. 

Kate says she chose it because Ray adored city life - especially Toronto.

October 13th finally arrived. Auntie Ray's Celebration of Life at the Women's Art Association, (three months after her passing). Guests were greeted with this sight - colourful flowers, memory cards and a pumpkin - wearing one of her famous large orange hats!

My cousin, Kevan Staples - (Ray's son), was the M.C. He was thrilled that our beloved Aunt Leslie, (now 96), made the trek from Lindsay to T.O. with her daughter, Georgia, to pay tribute to her last cousin. It was great to see them, (along with Georgia's husband Bob)! Has been years since we've all gotten together.

Kev was a terrific host and made the most heartfelt speech about what life was like as the only child of Ray Staples. Wish I had the script. He explained that she described her attempt at motherhood as sublime neglect, but admitted that "neglect" was something all of his friends envied! (He could do whatever he wanted, and DID! - including becoming a rock star).

Kev introduced Kate and Max (on bass) for their song, which went over so well. (check it out).

And then Kev introed Carrie and Kate's version of Anyone Can Whistle. (Grab the Kleenex for Carrie's fabulous high note). She didn't think she could do it with all the emotion, but as ALWAYS, she did, and I'm so proud of her.

With Carrie at the Celebration. Hundreds of pics of Ray's 92 years of life behind us.

The boards represented everything Ray loved most - family, friends, careers and homes.

Portrait of a young Ray painted by Uncle Ev, who was her husband for 62 years.

Our family/friends, Mary Spence-Thomas and Franc Mosbaugh wrapped up the performances,

 with their fabulous version of What a Wonderful World. Listen in here.

Carrie (centre) poses with some of the out of town guests - (left to right) - Martha, Johnson, Patrick Boyer and John.

Love this. - "Celebrity roadies" Ray's nephew, Paul, plus Kevio and Franc. They not only put on the show, but packed up the gear too!

Max and Kate got lots of compliments after their performance. Kate is wearing brightly coloured earrings which were a gift to her from Auntie Ray. We were ALL encouraged to dress colourfully, and if possible, to ditch ALL the beige in your house (as Ray often said), and paint it something brighter that will make you happy!

My cousins insisted I take a stunning arrangement of Ray's flowers home to my house. So pink and pretty. All in all, it was a day like no other to suit a woman the likes of whom we will NEVER see again!

A day and a half later, my lovely Mum-in-law, Jean Bornstein, passed away. The family is broken-hearted. She was the sweetest, kindest, most generous woman you could ever hope to meet.

The funeral was held on my birthday - the saddest one of my life.

Immediate family members were taken by limousine to the funeral home, then the cemetery,

and finally to my Dad-in-law's condo to meet and mingle with relatives over food and to tell endless stories about Jean.

On the way home, had one happier birthday pic taken at Withrow Park.

Max's surprise birthday gift to me was a DVD version of The Beatles HELP! complete with behind-the-scenes funny footage. We share a deep love for this movie, as well as for A Hard Day's Night. Kate's gift was my own domain - - which I hope to use in the near future. My Dad sent me a funny card with some cash (always welcome!) and my bro-and-sis-in-law sent me a card containing a Winners gift card, which I'll have fun spending!

This same unbelievably crazy week, I played Roadie Mum and drove Ghost Daze bandmates Emmett, Max and Charles (plus piles of equipment) in my car to a warehouse on Dupont. Somehow, with the help of GPS and Google maps, we managed to get there during rush hour in about 90 minutes in the rain to set up the gear for a multi-band show scheduled for a few days later.

The warehouse is super cool, just perfect for teen bands. Not only that, the man who owns this, (the father of another teen musician at Max's school - Rosedale Heights), turned out to be Claude Barnes, a former freelance cameraman at Global TV! We'd worked together in the past, but had no idea our kids went to school together!

He agreed to loan out his facilities (complete with Green Screen background) to the kids for free, so they could put on a big rock concert. Ghost Daze (the headliners) were scheduled to perform last. They were all VERY excited about this big gig!

Our good friend and neighbour, Brooklynne, was all set to play guitar and keyboards with her band Creep Creep Beach. I LOVE this kid. Seriously, she is hilarious. I predict BIG things for her!

Here's a look at the rest of the warehouse. (and yes, I'm a really lousy photographer). - But check out the pics anyway.

Cool crapolla.

Interesting items everywhere!

Seamus insisted on giving fellow musician Fox a ride on his back. They were spinning around so many times, I thought they were going to throw up.

While I was waiting for Max and pals to set up, discovered that Claude has been a TV producer for years. He has mega-shelves and drawers filled to capacity with VHS tapes, DVDs and a million other versions of his shows on display - all perfectly laid out. (I hope to bug him in the future to set me up for some TV interviews)!

I know...another useless pic...but, I swear, I could live here. Office, kitchen, everything you could ever want in one place. Claude told me he only hires freelancers he LIKES. No friggin' egos. They all get along, have a great time working and editing together. Sounds perfect.

And he has a fab view from his "VIP"/office/room upstairs, overlooking the green screen stage. Have to say, I LOVED visiting this "set"! Can only hope Max will be making a good living as a musician in a place like this one day!

Somewhere along the line, returning home from all of the above, I was greeted by a bouquet of stunning flowers from our friend, Mary. She sent not one, not two, but THREE cards - for my birthday, plus a sympathy card for the fam, PLUS a card for my Dad-in-law. I'm so lucky to have friends and fam who care so much.

Carrie and Lee's birthday card? - A riot. Knowing what they do about my severe addiction to makeup, (and to cats),  this card was hysterical. - "You know, the secret to staying young is the careful use of makeup..." (the kitty's pink botox-style lipstick is hilarious)....Carrie knows me too well! (the INSIDE of the card says, "Just make up an age and stick TO it!!!") Will do!

Determined to abide by Cayr's makeup card, I endured the whole lengthy shower/hair/rollers/makeup routine in order to drive up to the Shiva house, trying to LOOK like I was OK, even though I was crying on the inside, thru the 2-year anniversary of my Mum's death - October 19th, 2010.

In the meantime, Max and bandmates waited to play the grand finale at the warehouse. I was to pick them (and the equipment) up at about 11:30 p.m. Friday night. Sadly, got a phone call from Max before 11, saying the police had stopped the performance due to the noise by-law and that I had to come get them right away, before they even had a chance to perform a single note. (Could anything ELSE go wrong this week)??
Jumped in the car, drove to the warehouse, - again in the rain, and crammed them and everything else into the "Mum roadie vehicle" by 11:15 p.m. Packed the car to the rafters and got everyone home before midnight. The boys were SO disappointed they couldn't play after all their hard work and rehearsal.

It's been a hard day's night. (week? - month?)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home