The Monday after Sidewalk is always bittersweet. The weekend was so much fun and jam-packed with things to do. James came into town on Thursday evening, and we went nonstop till late last night for the filmmaker’s midnight breakfast at Rojo. Our short film screening went really great Saturday night and we had a good turnout despite the fact that it was so late. We’ve already started talking with a handful of other short filmmakers in town about doing another local screening in a month or two for those who missed it at the festival, so stay tuned for that information soon.
We saw so many wonderful films, and some of my favorites were from the Shout program – Gayby and Nate and Margaret. I especially loved Gayby because it introduced a lovely thought – that we can redefine what it means to be a family. It’s the story of two long-time best friends, between a single woman and a gay man. They each want to have a child, and have reached a point where they no longer want to wait for “the one.” So, they decide to have one together…the old fashioned way. It is was brilliantly funny, heart touching and real. Who says you can’t be a wonderful parent without falling into the typical formula of a romantic relationship? I don’t know… I just thought it was a great film. If you ever get the chance to see it, you absolutely must. Nate and Margaret also brought up challenging concepts of friendship by portraying an older lonely woman with aspirations of becoming a comedian and her platonic relationship with a young gay man in his early 20′s. They both live in the same building, and are the best of friends. They seem like such an unlikely pair, but they fit together perfectly. I just love it when stereotypes are put by the wayside in favor of true connections. Partnerships, friendships, and love come in many shapes, sizes and colors.
Speaking of love, we laid to rest my Grandmother West this morning next to her husband Howard. It was a beautiful, slightly windy day as we all said our goodbyes at the gravesite. Once the service was over, my dad didn’t skip a beat and took a flower from the beautiful bouquet on top of her coffin. We all followed his lead, and I ended up with a beautiful red rose to remind me of her spirit. Earlier that morning before the funeral we got to see her one last time. As the morning light moved across the church, a beam hit her face perfectly for about 5 minutes. She looked beautiful, even though she was no longer with us. Before she died, she told my dad and Uncle Pat that her favorite dress was in a specific place in her house just for this purpose. After she passed last week, they went to her home to retrieve it… and safety-pinned to a silk and lace gown was a note that said “favorite dress.” I love that story so much. It was a beautiful dress indeed, and as I looked upon her I thought how lovely she looked in it with the sun hitting her face one last time. I will never forget how peaceful she seemed at that very moment.