The day of the concert in Andrew’s memory is TODAY.
This whole week leading up to it has had all the familiar elements of an eagerly anticipated, major family reunion.
I found myself almost unable to keep up with all the action-thoughts flowing in and out of my head. For a moment I found myself back to when I started the Considering Alexander SIDS Foundation. The beginning of that fifteen year long commitment, started a few days before Christmas, with my family and a handful of neighbors singing carols in the neighborhood. At that time Robert came along in a pram, while Florentina and Andrew sang and carried a donation box. That’s how it began.
This week I have spent a great deal of time emailing friends and friends’ friends letting them know about the concert. I have shouted YES! every time someone responded that they were coming, and gone blah, blah, blah when others said that they had other commitments. Yeah, I’ll admit it, there is a bitchy part of me that keeps scores, what can I say, I am human after all.
But guess what, my amazing cousin Renato who has designed and built more airplanes than I’ve flown on has just arrived from Milan, Italy. Nova, my super friend of twenty-five years and Andrew’s fairy Godmother will be landing at JFK in less than an hour, she’s flown in from St. Lucia where her brand new company, Sacred Cows (named by me while the two us chatted at the Oberoi hotel in Calcutta) is based. She’s left her famous brother former soccer player Keith Alexander to take care of the Sport’s foundation that her company has started, so that she can be here with us today.
Another dear friend of ours and of Andrew, came to my house yesterday laden with cookies and chocolate fudge that she told us, she had baked for Andrew’s concert. Can you even imagine how touched my husband, Florentina, Robert and I were by such a sweet gesture? We’ve decided that we’ll give them out while they last as people arrive. Then there is my old friend Dennis Woloch, who for years did all the art work and graphic design for the CA SIDS Foundation, gratis. I called him on Wed. and when he answered the phone he said:
“Is that E?”
“Yes, is that D?”
“E. did I tell you that I love you?”
“D. did I tell you that I just thought that it would be really nice to have a big beautiful poster of Andrew for the concert?”
“Done. Send me the picture you want and I’ll take care of it.”
(By the way Dennis has done some fancy art work for major league singers like Diana Ross)
Now that I had a poster I realized that I needed an easel, and who better than my artist friend Peter Sis to turn to?
“Oh yes, I’ll look, I might have an old one somewhere.”
The rickety easel is now sitting in my kitchen.
I was also thrilled to hear from a few of Andrew’s Drexel friends that they had a dinner in his honor a few days ago and that they’ll drive from Philly to attend the concert and to give us a book of Andrew’s memories they’ve put together. Thank you guys! And dress up warmly, it is freezing here in the Big Apple.
And then yesterday I looked at myself in the mirror and saw that my hair was a mess. I called the Riverspa, made an appointment and at 3 o’clock I sat down to have a hair cut. It was bit awful because while Angel was cutting my hair I kept crying. Anyway, she did a great job inspite of everything and then….. she gave me a gift of shampoo and conditioner from herself and Heidi the owner (who sadly also lost a son a few years ago), and when I went to pay, they didn’t let me. Well, I just burst into more tears, but my heart was deeply touched. Thank you TO EVERYONE AT THE RIVERSPA!
And I am told that we might have media coverage tonight. And that’s great, because THIS concert, where IPPAZZI will sing and play their beautiful music, will be, as in a tennis match, the opening serve of this new and open dialogue we want to start on the subject of suicide. We are going to shine a bright light on it, so that we can look at it, understand it, look for new ‘cures,’ help people see that it is no different than other leading causes of death such as…. cancer say. And that as all dis-eases they originate from the same place and that treating the symptoms does not address the causes.
Well, I think that this is all, people will start spilling into my house soon so I better get ready, but let me say one last thing; I look forward to seeing you there tonight. Or let me put it another way;
“Be there or else!”
Andrew don’t wince, you know how I am.
Oh, in case you forgot, it’s at The Bitter End on Bleecker street a bit before 9 o’clock.