#14 Vernon My Love, Come in from the Barn

A few years ago, she did a musical playing a woman with Alzheimer’s. Her character was mostly comic relief – gags about forgetting and misreading situations. She had one solo; one moment where we go into the character’s head, as she pleads for her mind to not fail her now. She calls to her husband, who she has been saying has gone out to the barn, to come on in – she needs her husband now, her rock to steady her failing mind.

As you can probably guess, her husband died years ago. But to her, he’s just gone out to the barn, and will be back to save her any moment now.

She killed me, playing that character. Every time, that song absolutely ruined me. Even though I knew it was coming; even though I knew the clichés it was playing off of -the way she performed it. Earnest, vulnerable, yearning, desperate – and just a little bit knowing that her husband wasn’t going to answer her call.

“Vernon, my love, come in from the barn.”

I can’t even type the words without hearing her voice; wishing I could stop the play to answer her myself. That I could save her. That I could come in from the barn.

This woman still moves me to my core.

{originally posted as a countdown to our silver anniversary}

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