Costumes encouraged but optional.
Some of you may have read a while back, a post I wrote about Carla Zilbersmith… I went to school with her.
After school, she left for the bright lights and stages of California… she was successful, being both funny and a natural singer/performer… she got married and had a son Mac… and then she got ALS… Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Late last week, her son Mac, who has taken over the writing on the CarlaMuses Blog, announced on Facebook that Carla was nearing the end of her journey…
Carla…”is sleeping now, and likely won’t wake up again. You don’t have to be in pain anymore, Mom.”
I’ve just been looking at their Blog entries, and am stunned at the courage, humour and honesty, with which both Carla and her mature-beyond-his-years son faced down a horrible disease…
It will certainly kill her, but the disease NEVER took the life from her.
Look out Heaven… there is a wild redhead coming your way, and she is gonna cause a ruckus !!!
I’m at a loss for words. For those of you who know me, or have followed this Blog… you know that doesn’t happen much. (For much, read EVER) But, in this particular instance, I know what I am wanting to write about… I am bedevilled by how to express admiration for someone I knew… and lost touch with…
I went to Magee High School, in Vancouver, and a few years ago, we had a re-union. Through that, I connected with some folks, and occasionally get e-mail updates from folks who are better at keeping in touch than I am. (Sorry, Bill !) Turns out that one of the folks that we went to school with, now has ALS… Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Bill’s e-mail was: hey all: Just spent a couple of hours at Carla Smith’s Blog page, and my kids were wondering why dad was laughing out loud and crying… (carla is a couple of years into an ALS diagnosis and the tragedy comedy roll she’s on is wicked) Thought you should know. the song she put up on may 24 was it. “and I’m scared to sing this cause it sounds like such self pity but lets face it, this is shitty, so it goes…” “so this is my goodbye thought you should know…” Thought you should know. So, here I sit on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, thinking about Carla Smith. Dear Bob, It was great seeing you at the Big Poop. (She worked at the Big Scoop, an ice cream parlour) You Toy People are so jolly ! (I worked at a Toy Store) I hope I’ll see you again – maybe we’ll get married and have several small infants who wear clown noses and act silly. Luv Carla Smith The humour in this, being that we barely knew each other, and had probably spoken more at our respective workplaces, that were located across the street from each other, than we had in five years of High School. I haven’t seen her since 1980, after which she apparently took off for the footlights of California… When I got Bill’s e-mail, I went to Carla’s Blog, and discovered that she indeed had the debilitating illness, but that she was still every bit as irreverant, and the same smart aleck… I also learned that since I had last seen her, she had channeled her talents into teaching, writing plays, performing, acting, singing and raising her son Mac… until her disease made her stop. Then, she took up Blogging. http://carlamuses.blogspot.com/ A film producer apparently crossed paths with Carla somewhere along the way, and so Montana Berg and Oscar winner John Zaritsky have made a movie about, and starring, Carla Zilbersmith. the film is Leave Them Laughing, and you can see the IMDB info, here: Leave Them Laughing Film
So now, on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, I sit at my computer keyboard, thinking about Carla Smith, and how she transitioned into Carla Zilbersmith. The Note from her January 19th Blog should give you a taste:
Note: This blog was written and later edited under the influence of drugs. Not necessarily Amy Winehouse level drugs, but enough. If it really is hard to follow, let me know and I’ll be scared straight.
There are so many passages I would choose to select and quote, but I’m sitting here at my computer with tears running down my face at the beautiful expressiveness of some passages, and the bald-faced “tell it like it is”-ness of others. You really have to experience the “aliveness” for yourself. About the only thing I remember from High School Physics is the Law of Conservation of Energy: which says that energy can neither be created or destroyed… it can only change state. I believe that the greatest source of power in the Universe, is the Human Spirit. One of the greatest of those Spirits has a Blog… and her name is Carla Zilbersmith. You should check it out ! http://carlamuses.blogspot.com/