Monday, May 15, 2000

Mother May I



Three weeks ago I took my first paid vacation since 1987. Kevin and Susie and the kids were here to see Susie's dad, Tim, who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. I was invited up to Tim's house on Easter Sunday where the whole family had gathered -- all the Kiley kids except Susie have migrated to California.

On Tuesday, Kevin and his sister Barb (who lives in Santa Monica) and I took Megan, Ian, Molly and Casey to the Santa Monica Pier for the day -- some of us were even brave enough to jump in the ocean. Casey wound up in the water too, but his baptism was unplanned.

Wednesday we left Casey safely with Susie and joined forces with Chris Kiley and his kids, Samantha, Taylor and Andrew for a trip to Disneyland. We rode all of the rollercoasters and other major attractions and kept going until 10 p.m. by which time we were all pretty wiped out. That afternoon, Tim went into the hospital where he stayed the rest of the week.

I spent the next few days playing with the kids in Tim's pool while the grownups took turns visiting the hospital, some of the kids made a visit too. Friday night Tim called his kids in to say goodbye. He died the next night.

They held his memorial service at Forest Lawn on the following Wednesday and had a reception at the house afterwards. I met some of Tim's siblings and heard some funny stories about his first directing job, which he lied his way into, and how he would invite friends to see the Sullivan show and seat them behind whichever celebs Ed was introducing from the audience, so they would be on camera.

Susie and Kevin stayed around a couple more days -- their last night here, we had pizza at Tim's house with Susie's sister Laura, who lives in the guest house. Susie was trying to come up with an epitaph for her dad, but was having trouble finding something appropriate. She remembered one her father had seen and said was his favorite, it read: "See, I told you I was sick."

Last weekend, I went for a hike in Griffith Park with Brian Nesin and his brother Seth and Seth's wife Taunya. We took them up to the Observatory and hiked to the top of Mt. Hollywood. On the way down we decided to take a shortcut, a steep trail that cuts straight down the slope and avoids the long switchback. Tanya and Seth slid down successfully, getting pretty dusty in the process. I decided to try and remain upright and slid most of the way on my feet. When I got near the bottom I thought I could just run the rest of the way. I failed to take into account the large gully at the foot of the trail and the fact that I am no longer 16. I tried to jump the gully, but when I landed I pitched forward, diving onto my right arm and tumbling ass over teakettle. I wound up sprawled like a rag doll in the dirt. I sprained my wrist, bruised my forearm and my hip and scraped up both legs pretty good. I also damaged my ego.

Wednesday I was part of a group that was taken out to lunch by a sales rep from one of the court reporters we use. I had the fish. That night I woke up with major stomach cramps, dizziness and nausea.

By Friday I was barely functional at work. I've spent most of the weekend in bed. I think I am coming down with a cold.

By the way my health coverage started last week.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mothers.

Hope everyone is well.

Love HWD

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