Three weeks ago after a short, yet seemingly long, and valiant, battle against cancer-while also struggling with another disease robbing his eye sight-my friend laid her 28 year old son to rest in a quiet graveside service. Saturday night was different. Saturday was a celebration and tribute of a young man's life. A young man who dripped musical theater talent. A young man who was remembered in Broadway fashion.
It was in that Broadway fashion, that many of his best friends and mentors eulogized him...I mean celebrated him; in song, by singing songs that said something special about him. Like "Till Him" from The Producers. He had always envisioned himself playing the part made famous by Nathan Lane. "Till Him" was a perfect song for a guy who was remembered as an encourage-er of others. He made those that felt lost find themselves through theater, made them a part of a tight knit "family." So "Till Him" was nothing short of a perfect selection to convey the message
No one ever made me feel like someone
Life was really nothing but a glum one
My existence bordered on the tragic
Always timid, never took a chance
Then I felt his magic
And my heart began to dance
I was always frightened, fraught with worry...
I was going nowhere in a hurry
He filled up my empty life
Filled it to the brim
There could never ever be
Another one...like him
... Thank you, Max. I sang it for you. I sang it because I'm your friend
He was a young man who, with a friend and partner in crime, started up a community theater company. The original cast of the company's first production reunited at the church on Saturday to sing the final tribute and the song "Happiness" from You're A Good Man Charlie Brown. I was driven to wells of tears in my eyes when one of the young men singing found it hard to carry on, as the song neared the last verse of the chorus.
It was a beautiful celebration of a life once lived. We all could only hope to be loved and missed by so many. He was a baby who smiled ear to ear on the day he was born. To see that picture proves he was a little man full of love for life. It also proves to me, that while we are here on earth we should find our passions and loves, embodying that love, that zest-- and really live! The guy with the jazz hands.
He was Vince.