************* (I own nothing on this blog)
overhearing a conversation between strangers in which they’re saying something completely wrong and you really feel like correcting them
He’s a man of many names: Papa to me, my sisters, and a few cousins; Grampster to a few other cousins; Grampa to another cousin; Dad to my dad and his siblings, siblings-in-law, and wife; and Mr. Nelson to the small army of former students from Randolph High that constantly write to him on Facebook. He was Don to my grandmother, or occasionally Donald.
Tragedy struck my family earlier this year. Papa was sick around Christmas and had to be hospitalized. I hadn’t seen him in a few months, since I live in Los Angeles and mostly make it back to Massachusetts in early autumn/late summer and for Christmas. My sister and I visited with him on New Year’s Eve. He was doing okay, thankfully, and was at home again. I didn’t get to see my grandmother because she was already in bed by the time we got to the house. I told Papa and my aunt and uncle, who were there as well, to give her my love. I told him I’d try to come home to visit again soon.
A couple weeks later my grandparents received a call.
Papa had been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer that had metastasized to his liver.
The news was bad enough, but there was more in store for our family.
The next day my grandmother had a heart attack and never regained consciousness.
She passed away nearly a week later, after emergency surgery and a stroke. At some point she wasn’t getting oxygen to her brain and that left her with basically no brain function. My grandfather and my dad and his siblings were with her when she passed.
The family was in shock. Everything happened so quickly. Nana had always been the head of the family, the venerable matriarch of the Nelson clan, and without her there was an enormous hole in all of our lives. The family flocked to Brockton, Mass., all twenty or so of us. We came together to remember her and support Papa.
I don’t know how long my Papa has, but I want to try to give him something special. Into the Woods is one of his favorite musicals and it’s being turned into a movie! I can’t describe the overwhelming sadness I felt when he said he didn’t know if he would live long enough to see this movie.
Into the Woods is slated to come out on Christmas and it’s currently listed as in post-production on IMDB. I don’t know if there are any screeners or if the film has even been completed yet, but I want him to see the film if at all possible. I think it would make him happy even though he has so much on his plate right now. He lost his wife of over fifty years. He’s undergoing chemotherapy. He’s been in and out of the hospital these last few months and each time makes me more anxious to try to get this done. I decided to write this open letter in the hopes that someone might be able to help me out.
Please share this on Facebook. Reblog this on Tumblr. Tweet links to this post. Help me try to get the attention of the people who might be able to make this happen.
I really want this to work, but I need help to make it happen! I’m planning on using the hashtags #saydonnelson and #intothewoods on Twitter. You can follow the twitter account here:
If you’re curious about the name of this blog, you can find the explanation here:
Feel free to drop by and say hi! I’ll be posting pictures, telling stories, maybe getting some of the other family members to share some of their favorite stories about this amazing man.
Thank you so much. Any and all help is appreciated.