Today, Suzette is getting ready for the next scene in her life story and the set is an operating room at Lions Gate Memorial Hospital, in North Vancouver.
You may remember that I wrote about her in a blog last December. Suzette had been rushed to Vancouver General Hospital and was awaiting brain surgery. They had stabilized her condition and I visited her on December 20th.
In the above picture – to the right of Suzette’s face are a number of wires coming out from her head. I could tell that it was serious – but you would never have known from the smile that greeted me that morning. Here is what I wrote about her in my story Do You Believe in Magic?
And if that wasn’t enough to depress even the most cold-hearted – I got a text message from my gal pal Suzette who was in VGH awaiting brain surgery. She was allowed to be home with her husband Myles and Lucas, their 11-year-old son. At least they’ll be together for the holiday season and then Suzette will be flown to Calgary for the surgery.
I went to the hospital last Friday morning and had a nice visit with her. I joked with her that I had always wanted to see how she looked in the morning – but didn’t expect to see all of the wires attached to her head. But she smiled at my suggestion that we pose for a selfie.
“As long as I can wear a hat”, she said. But the hat didn’t conceal the wires, which can be seen in our selfie.
Suzette has been like a sister to me and I love her and Myles very much.
After the Christmas and New Year holidays, I waited for news from Suzette or Myles. But I’m not on Facebook – I deactivated my account a year ago – so I didn’t have the benefit of reading any updates about her. And although the saying “no news is good news” – I was worried about her but too afraid of contacting her, in case the news wasn’t good. So I waited.
However, I’m not good at waiting, so I sent Suzette an email in early Spring – but got no reply. And that’s when ‘the fear’ began.
I finally got the nerve to call Suzette on her cell phone. It rang two or three times before a voice came on the phone – and it was Suzette! But it was a voicemail greeting – so I left her a message. She called me a little while later and we had a nice chat. She told me that she had been waiting and waiting for her surgery and was getting worried that it was taking so long. But finally, she got booked for the surgery on September 17th at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
I met Suzette, several years ago, at an audition for the movie ‘Last Chance Casting.’ She was one of the producers and it was my first ‘big’ gig after my cancer treatments had ended. And that film project was one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve ever had as an actor.
I remember being excited when my agent called to let me know that I had a ‘call back’ audition for this project. When I got to the studio, there were two other actors auditioning for the same role. I knew both of them and we wished each other good luck, although ‘break a leg!’ is a confusing phrase of encouragement.
The film was shot at both Bridge Studios, and North Shore Studios over four days, several years ago and was later featured as a ‘web series.’
Here is a link to the series: Last Chance Casting
So, Suzette, if you’re reading this prior to the surgery today – ‘break a leg!’
Here are some photos I’ve saved of you and the Vancouver Web Festivals – which was the first web festival in Canada. I usually try to be the first to purchase a weekend pass to your festival each year and although you get a ‘pass’ for not having a festival this year – I’m looking forward to your next web festival in 2020 (and so are thousands of other people from around the globe).
By the way, I’m hoping to produce a web series for your next festival in 2020!
And now it’s time to go to my dental appointment with Mouna. What a coincidence – she was the other source of my sadness last December.
UPDATE: September 17th – I spoke to Suzette while at the dentist office. She’ll be getting prepared for surgery at 10:30 AM and the surgery will follow at 12:30 PM. It’s currently 1:30 PM and I’ve got both fingers, legs, and eyes crossed for good luck. But Suzette won’t need luck – she’s a warrior and I know she’ll be okay. But I’m going to say a prayer for her anyway.
UPDATE: September 23rd – I created a follow-up story here: A Happy Ending
Dedicated to Suzette Laqua
Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):
You Are Not Alone – lyrics
Say goodbye to all your pain and sorrow
Say goodbye to all those lonely nights
Say goodbye to all your blue tomorrows
Now you’re standing in the light
I know sometimes you feel so helpless
Sometimes you feel like you can’t win
Sometimes you feel so isolated
You’ll never have to feel that way again
You are not alone
You’re not alone
Never thought I’d find the road to freedom
Never thought I’d see you smile again
Never thought I’d have the chance to tell you
That I will always be your friend
You are not alone
You’re not alone
Songwriters: Glenn Lewis Frey
You Are Not Alone lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Red Cloud Music