I was told today that we (meaning Myriam and I) would need to transport two pythons to Santa Maria next week. Needless to say--I am NOT thrilled with this prospect. For those of you who do not know--
Let me put this another way. A few years back when a snake escaped from the Bronx Zoo--I was honestly afraid that said snake would make his way to Long Beach, California and eat me in my sleep. I was a wreck until the cobra was apprehended.
My brother-in-law, David has a pet snake in his condo. Even though I love him very much (David--not the snake)--I have never been to his house simply because of his pet. "Ivan," the name of said snake often goes missing for days. The thought of him just slithering out from somewhere unannounced makes my knees weak.
Last year I had an opportunity to meet Betty White. (BTW--if I could meet ANY person in the world--it would be Betty White) She was going to be at the LA Zoo, and we are members there. Problem was--she was dedicating the new reptile habitat. I just knew that if I went to this event--a snake would get loose causing me to die of fright right then and there. Needless to say, I did not go--forfeiting what might've been my only chance to meet the one and only, Betty White. Here is a picture from the dedication.
I've already had two panic attacks whilst writing this post so I'll proceed with the story. Next week we need to transport these two pythons, and I'm not quite sure what to do. I'm a courageous person and no one can tell me otherwise. I'm also a person who knows and respects my limits. I think that asking me to drive two PYTHONS (not tiny regular snakes) but PYTHONS is a very very tall order. Guess what? I'm going to do it. Here is why:
This past year has taught me a lot about the importance of family. Family is the one thing that people should be able to count on. We've all had ups and downs as far as our families are concerned, but the bottom line is this--we get back as much as we put in. As we each get older--so do the members of our family. Then--before you know it--a whole generation is gone. I'm at the point in my life where I have no grandparents left. Myriam just lost both her maternal grandparents. Time takes us all. So while we still have that time--we need to do what we can for the sake of family.
Myriam (my partner of 14 years) has an uncle who might just be one of the most courageous people on the planet. A decorated war hero, Henry fought for the rights of this country. After returning from Vietnam, Henry developed Schizophrenia. He unraveled very quickly and has been living with severe mental illness for over 40 years. He carries on. Sometimes he doesn't bathe, so eating establishments won't allow him to come in for food. Most people avoid eye contact with him which must cause a feeling a loneliness that I could never explain. Still Henry gets up every day and does the best that he can. He sells do dads at the swap meet or trades his wares for animals. Henry loves animals. They have been his constant friends.
Well, long story short--Henry is now 68 years old has had two strokes and is battling Parkinsons Disease. He's currently in a mental hospital and will probably never be able to go back to his home to be with his animals. While the family looks diligently for a good place for Henry to live and get the care that he needs --I sit helpless with a heavy heart. Myriam goes and sits with him every single day. Tomorrow I will get an opportunity to hang out. I'm hopeful that Henry will tell me about his animals--yes--even the snakes. So--my gift to Henry is this--I will drive his Pythons to their new home and I will adopt his 23 year old Iguana who is the size of toddler. It's family. There was really never another choice.
Please send love to the Gurba family--especially to Henry. Thanks for reading. I'll try to be back tomorrow. I have a show tonight. Haven't been on the stage for a while so I'm looking forward to it. Still in a funk, but am trying to stay as positive as I can.
Until next time--