Saturday, July 2, 2011

One of Those Moments Part One

There are certain moments in your life that you never want to forget-- certain incidents that hold meaning beyond your ability to explain.
May 22 was one of those moments for me.

Though it was well over a month ago, I still get weepy when I remember that special day.

To explain it fully, I have to go back.

On Mother's Day in May, Rob's Dad passed away.

It was unexpected and shocking.

The timing couldn't have been worse.  About 2 months before, Rob had been asked to be one of the lead characters in a local production of a musical called Seussical. 

He was asked to be Horton.

We had never seen Seussical and had no idea exactly what "being Horton" meant.
But after I realized who Horton was, it was obvious to me that Rob was the perfect person to play the part.

Horton: The loyal, trustworthy, kind elephant who happens to discover a whole host of people living on a tiny speck of dust. 

After he discovers the dust speck, he places it safely on a clover and commits himself to protect these invisible people from outside peril.

But no one believes that the little people are there except his flighty bird friend, Gertrude.   

Horton is harrassed and mocked. 

The evil Wickersham brothers (Ben and Elijah) steal the speck, and Horton is nearly sent to an asylum. 

But Horton doesn't waver.  In his words,  "A person's a person no matter how small."

Horton is also left to care for an abandoned egg when its mother, Mayzie, decides that she has better things to do than to sit on an unwanted egg all day.

Horton becomes a laughingstock because he loyally guards that egg against all threats.

The elephant who believes in the value of life-- all life.

Life that goes unseen, unnoticed by the rest of the world.

This was the musical Rob was asked to take part in.

It was the perfect part for Rob.  On every level. 

A man who firmly believes that a person is a person, no matter how small.

A man who believes that the unwanted do have value.

A man who just spent the last year bringing home a child who was hidden from the world, unwanted, abandoned and probably would have been aborted if he had been conceived in this country. Rob was the perfect person to play Horton.

But then his dad died, in the same week that Seussical was set to go on stage. 

The day of the funeral was the same day as the final dress rehearsal.

It was too much.  It was over-the-top hard to play a role in a show and sing all of those songs when Rob had just lost his best friend.

But my husband embodies loyalty.  What he had committed to do, he determined to finish. 

So on the day of his dad's funeral, on the day he carried his father's coffin to the graveside, he also showed up for the dress rehearsal.

His loyalty touched every person on stage.  They all knew what had happened, and his presence on stage spoke volumes about his character.

And he gave that show his all.

Every single performance.  He gave it his all. 

And so before the last show, on May 22nd, the cast gave our family a gift.

It contained a poem, a letter and a donation.

Here is the poem, written, we suspect, by our fantastic Gertrude, Lisa Medders (it is sung to one of the songs in the musical):

A "Seussian" Ode to the Nalle family

On the 22nd of May
At Burnley Moran School
With Whos, Monkeys, Birds, a Cat,
And an Elephant about to dip in the pool.
We gathered together to say thank you all,
And to honor our dear sweet family of Nalle.
We thought and we thought about what to do,
To show you how much we all care for you.
And to honor Rob's dad in the special-ist of ways,
With a great gift of love to brighten your days.
From the tallest of tall to the smallest of small,
Black Box families joined together in this Seussical show,
To give this gift in dear Ned Nalle's name
And help you keep chasing "Reece's Rainbow!"

The cast members then gave us a letter that indicated that they had pooled their money and were making a generous donation to Reece's Rainbow in honor of Rob's Dad.
We fell apart. I was the backstage director, and Rob had to go on stage, and we were both in pieces. That gift touched us so deeply.
Plus, we knew something that they didn't know. And it was making us even more weepy.  It was all we could do to wipe our tears, catch our breath and proceed with the show that day.

It was One of Those Moments in time that I never want to forget.

The first moment I just shared. For the next...

Well, you will just have to wait for another day.


  1. What a great man you have:) BTW, Horton Hatches an Egg was my two oldest (adopted) sons favorite book when they were small, it's the ultimate adoption story!

  2. Beautiful post- this is Renee, btw.

  3. Just in tears here... what a blessing! Can;t wait for part 2!

  4. Oh Julia, that's awesome! What a wonderful story. Aren't people amazing? :)

    (Great pics too. Looks like a great play! And I agree - Rob makes the perfect Horton.)

  5. Oh Julia, I love it! Can't wait for the "next" moment! Don't make us wait too long please! I just love your beautiful family. One of these treks to Shriner's we need to arrange a visit.......

  6. Weeping here.

    So grateful you guys have friends who recognize what an amazing family you are!

  7. I'm sorry the timing was so bad, but it looks like it was a great show. Community theatre has been a huge blessing for me, and I've learned that sometimes when everything seems to go wrong is when we get the most out of it. You boys look great up there, you guys are a very talented family :)

  8. Once again your family rises in the midst of all are amazing, especially Horton...

  9. Even though this was untimely; look at the wonderful testimony that came from it! Tears roll down at the thought of the unconditional love that flows from your husbands heart.

  10. I have found 2 horton videos in russian/ukraine language on Youtube, I thought Aaron would love to watch them.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!