Da Doo Blog

A March 14 Thing

March 14 will ever be a blue day in our home.  It will ever make me stop and think.  But the truth of the matter is, it is a day like any other.  And I miss Howard, as we all miss those we’ve loved and lost, at odd times, when I’m laughing and want to share what amuses me, when I see a great movie that I know he’d like, when I see a musical that I really don’t like and everyone else does and I need him to tell me that I’m crazy…or maybe that I’m not.

At the moment I miss him a lot because our mom is failing and I am dealing with big decisions that I really want to discuss with my big brother.  A few months before he died, Howard said to me, “I’m leaving you Mom.”  I rolled my eyes and thanked him snarkily.  It’s okay, he gifted Mom to me snarkily.  She’s not always been easy but she’s always been Mom and always the subject of endless fascination and frustration for my brother and me.

It’s been so long and yet if feels like yesterday.  I can’t believe that I’m more than twenty years older than my older brother.  He stopped aging at 40 and I carried on for both of us.

I hope for all of you that your siblings have continued on as they should – maintaining the proper birth order distance established by your parents all those years ago – that your brother who’s three years older is still there, three years older than you.  That your sister, the one who irritated you no end, is still five years younger, still just as irritating

And if you feel up to it, and the stars are in alignment, and March 14 happens to make you as sentimental as it makes me, go ahead, and give your brother, your sister or both a call.  Call it a March 14 thing.

 

 

 

 

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Posted on: March 13th, 2015 by Sarah Ashman Gillespie 12 Comments

12 Responses

  1. Georgina Warren says:

    You are doing a real good thing here Sarah. We are all grateful for this opportunity to share these memories with you. I admire you for having courage to carry your brothers enormous legacy, it’s a story well worth telling, I hope someday a biography can be written about him and eventually a film about his life. These experiences of our Ashman give us all the courage and motivation to pursue our dreams. I can also understand though that to the rest of the world he is a legend, but to you, he was simply your beloved brother and I’m sure there have been times when you would have traded that legacy for one chance to be with him again. We all wish it could’ve been that way, not just for his songs but for you too. Keep sharing for you are special and beloved.

  2. Lorraine Danza says:

    Sarah than you for sharing your stories of Howard with us. He was such a gifted man and musical theatre will never be the same without him.

  3. Howard Ashman will be missed dearly man losing some at a very young Age at 24. At the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts and Saenger Theater in New Orleans LA, United States were I’m from their doing the Smash Hit Broadway: Beauty and Beast.

  4. John Musker says:

    Sarah: Beautiful post. I always think of Howard on this date. And ironically, given the close of your piece, the youngest of my 5 sisters, Maureen ( Mimi) who is alive and well and whose birthday is March 14. Sorry to her your Mom is having difficulty. I will send some prayers in her direction..

  5. Lighthoney says:

    You are such a great writer. Your post makes me burst into tears! It’s my great joy to know Howard as the greatest artist of my life, and also glad to know this blog a few hours ago. I’m so grateful for all your work here..

  6. Gerard Pauwels says:

    It is incredible that 24 years have passed. I knew Howard at IU–he directed me in a play. Colleen and I tried to stay in touch after he left–holiday cards, occasional visits when we got to NY. Went to see him when “Shop of Horrors” was running in the East Village,etc. Lost touch when he moved to L.A. and saved Disney. He was not only one of the most creative, but one of the kindest guys I’ve ever known. Time may ease the pain, but I know it doesn’t heal the heart. My condolences.

  7. Jan Bulla-Baker says:

    As a freshman at IU, I worked on the tech side of Of Mice and Men and remember Howard cast as the old man, handsome he was and would have been. Think of him often, mostly from a song.

  8. NANCY PARENT says:

    HI SAR:

    SUCH A LOVELY BLOG. IT DOESN’T SEEM REAL THAT SO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED. I THINK ABOUT HIM ALL THE TIME AND SOMETIMES SEE HIM IN MY DREAMS. HE IS ALWAYS SMART, LOVING, AND HOWARD–LOOKING OUT FOR ALL OF US AND ALWAYS KNOWING BETTER. I WILL MISS HIM FOREVER. THANK GOODNESS I STILL HAVE YOU. LOVE YOU TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY.

    NAN.

  9. Jordan Briskin says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your mother isn’t doing so well, Sarah. My sincerest condolences to you.

  10. Amy says:

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  11. Brianna Gallagher says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 24 years. I am still so sorry Howard was not able to share more. His energy is still very much alive, but it’s still not the same thing. Howard passed before I was born and I’m sad that as a lyricist I will never be able to thank the man who has influenced my creative work ethic and inspiration. He seemed like a challenging, but really good guy. I know it will always hurt, but you probably knew him better than anyone else, so you will always have those intimate memories of him.

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