a third act for my dear F


Pacific Theatre cast and crew for their latest production, the fabulous Seafarer.

Once in a while I have the privilege of participating in a donor appreciation night for Pacific theatre. Last night we gathered at the Jones’ lovely home with its delicious red walls and honeyed floors, Richard pouring excellent wine and Maureen handing out all sorts of elegant nibbles. It’s wonderful to meet the other side of the family.

Out of Pacific Theatre’s thirty years of existence, I have been around for twenty four. During that time I have grown to truly love so many patrons and staff and I’ve worked with at least three generations of artists. Maybe I would also love them if this was a bridge club or an accounting firm or a bowling league. But I daresay theatre creates an unusual and lasting intimacy. True stories stay true. Collective grief stays collective. Laughter shared stays shared. And when you have a theatre that does consistently provocative beautiful and powerful work, connections happen and a sense of belonging is created.

pansy-in-the-snow-28754-2560x1600One of these dear friends and patrons got a terrible prognosis today. Cancer. In way too many places. I read the call for prayer her husband put out to friends, and I put my head down at my table and let big splashy tears pour down my cheeks. They are going public with her health because they are rallying for prayer, for a miracle. I feel so helpless in the face of that. I am sure we all do. What kind of humour can I write that could laugh that out of her system? What kind of beauty can I string together so that words could be medicine? All metaphors are trite. I want to tell you: “F” is winter pansy. She is snow drop. She is daffodil and she is tulip and she is bud. She is the kind of person who gets you through the winter. She pops up with such verve, you know, it’s almost damn saucy. Just seeing her makes me smile. Always has, always will. She is wit. She is gum boots and she is also at the same time velvety purple lovely. She is resilient. She is there. When I ask myself on those midwinter days, “Why do I even bother? Who cares about this play? Who will ever come to see this? I should give up.” I put “F” and her husband in the audience. Always. Among a very few others. My audience of “I do it for these spiritual curious intelligent soulful people.” They honestly keep me going. And she probably doesn’t know this. Most great people have no IDEA the impact they have on others. And this is just me who has felt the impact. Imagine those really close to her? Now she’s in the middle of this life plot climax, the doctors are talking about denouement and I want to say NO NO NO YOU’VE GOT IT WRONG – THIS IS A THREE ACT PLAY! So. That’s my prayer, my lovely F. By gum, you’re getting a third act. You are getting a third act. You are getting a third act.images


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  1. Bill Rummel


    When people come together with a powerful good intent, wonderful things CAN happen…. and that’s all I’m gonna say about that…..

    I really enjoyed your stories about your travels with Nora

    Now I’ m off to write my final exams.


    1. Lucia Frangione

      I agree with you entirely, Bill! xo

  2. Sarah Tweedale

    Your words resound with love. Thank you for the way you’ve ‘spoken’. Every word about ‘dear F’ evokes the person she is. We weep and pray and hope together.

  3. Diane Tucker

    F was my first real new friend when we washed up in her church sixteen years ago. I have sung with her in a choir for more than a dozen years (and now she can’t sing anymore). Thank you, Lucia, for capturing her amazing life-force so amazingly. A lot of us are crying about all this today, and praying, and shaking our fists at God and opening our hands to God and praying we can all take whatever comes.

  4. CH

    Lucia — I have known F and her husband for 23 years, and learned of their news the same time you did. I cam across your post totally by accident today; thank you for filling the my void with words I could not have found on my own.

  5. David Pink

    Hi Lucia… What a wonderful story, I feel much the same way about Chemainus Theatre. As for ‘F’ and her cancer I have some info if you can pass it on. My daughter works for a natural supplements company called Purica, one of their products is called Immune 7. I have been told many stories of people taking this in third and forth stage of cancer that have had miraculous results including a terminally ill 3 month old baby with brain cancer that was cancer free after 8 months. Of course they are not allowed to make claims, but we can all share the successes we hear about. Purica.com is the website, products available at most health food and grocery stores. Hope this helps. Lastly, have a fantastic trip to Italy with the ladies.

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