… i don’t believe in much … but sometimes there’s diva so quickly … (sorry Mr. Williams)

In the words of Mr. Tennessee Williams – sort of – “Sometimes there’s Diva so quickly.”  Yes, just when you feel you are at the bottom, a musical theatre diva rushes in to save the day and make you believe again.


When I was a child, the family would gather at my grandfather’s house in Libertytown,  the house run and kept up by my aunt, Sissie, who gave me musical theatre and books and taught me early and lasting lessons about the meaning and cost of faith and unconditional love.

My sister died last month.

libertytown coverSundays. They’re terribly difficult for my Mom, especially since my sister, Peggy, died. So, today, I picked my Mom up and we drove through our old neighborhoods, through Libertytown and the now decaying, declining, decrepit Libertytown house, and on and on, to Oak Orchard Road past the house where I spent my first eleven years, and a million (it seemed) other places she – my wonderful Mom who has of late taught me later lessons about faith and unconditional love – once lived or where people she knew lived; we toured the landmarks of our lives.

Then we went to the country restaurant at which she said she wanted to eat today. While sitting there, she pointed to her sweatshirt and said, “Do you know where this came from?”

Sundays. You don’t know my Mom, but that sentence – since Peggy died – is the introduction to a Peggy story and tears. Peggy had bought my Mom the sweatshirt she was wearing, in fact, Peggy bought her two of them because my Mom couldn’t decide what color she wanted.

“She always did things like that.” My Mom said. And cried. And told me that last night as she had been heading for bed she broke down again. It happens a lot at bedtime.

I don’t cry when she does this. I want to be strong for her. I want her to know she can cry as often and as much as she needs to when she is with me. But, it is – sometimes – very difficult to hold it together – for lots of reasons and today I was having a horrible, horrible time because I found out that someone I really liked, really thought – well – in any event – they are returning to Texas, were leaving today, and, anyway – I was sad about that too and …

My phone buzzed. It was a Tweet notice. And here it was:

  1. thank you again, lovely Charlie. xo

Yes, Miss Betty Buckley, genius actress of theatre, especially musical theatre, brilliant cabaret artist and loving gift to the universe, somehow chose that moment to AGAIN thank me for my blog about her from November 9 (CLICK HERE TO READ). How amazing is that? I must have called out to the universe and Miss Betty Buckley felt it and responded with kindness.

I believe in almost NOTHING anymore. I don’t believe in god. I don’t really believe in love (or, I am trying not to) and I certainly don’t believe in ever after or happy endings. I don’t believe my friends will always be my friends. I don’t believe I can be trusted to choose who to love. I don’t believe I deserve love. I don’t believe it all works out in the end. I don’t believe in karma. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe in anything . . .

. . . except, MUSICAL THEATRE and its DIVAS. Because – despite my MiracleCharlie sobriquet, I have experienced damned few miracles, damned few even good moments of late, but there, today, when I thought I might just collapse into sorrow, my phone vibrated with the brilliant loving Light and Kindness of Miss Betty Buckley.  And, as fate would have it, I had explained previously to my Mom how much Miss Buckley’s Tweet originally had meant to me – and how kind she had been to me in New York after “Sunset Boulevard” and how much Peggy had loved “Eight is Enough” (she named one of her sons Nicholas because of it) and so – Miss Buckley’s Tweet gave me an interruption to distract my Mom from her sadness.

So, I believe in Musical Theatre. And its DIVAS. Its goddesses. And, once again, I am grateful to the inimitable and amazing Miss Buckley for rescuing me from my sadness.

2 thoughts on “… i don’t believe in much … but sometimes there’s diva so quickly … (sorry Mr. Williams)

    • Thank you. Miss Betty Buckley has always been a magical presence in my life. Musical theatre is my Catholic church – sometimes I try to get away but I can’t escape. It had me at “Oz” at 4 years old. I am a cliche.

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