An open letter.
To the Management, Cast and Crew of The Wizard of Oz.
Thank you. I imagine you all know the role you play in bringing joy to those of us lucky enough to sit in the seats of the beautiful theatres you play, allowing us to escape, even if only for a short period of time from our everyday lives — into your world of artistry, light and imaginings.
What you couldn’t have known on the night of the 19th of January 2018, was the family of three who sat in seats 26, 27 and 28 — row L, were a family of 4 until the 31st of August last year, not quite 5 months ago. As that is when my husband Brendan, the father of our two 14 year olds, died from cancer. He was 45.
Rainbows had been a symbol of hope for our family throughout his treatment, all of which he received in Sydney, a 4 hour drive south of our home on the Mid North Coast, and we would receive photos on social media every time a friend, neighbour or family member saw one. Each rainbow was sent in the hope of keeping his and our spirits high, through what was the toughest time of our lives.
So it wasn’t surprising but was most definitely a blessing, that on the morning of Brendan’s 46 birthday, not quite two months after losing him, that tickets to your show were left on our doorstep anonymously.
The trip to Sydney to see the Wizard of Oz was the first time the children and I have visited the city without him, in their lifetime. If we hadn’t received tickets to your show I am not sure if I would ever have returned to the beautiful city of Sydney, as too many of the memories I have from our time spent there over the last three years of Brendan’s treatment, are devastating.
We know that he rests now, somewhere over the rainbow, as he has sent a rainbow to us almost daily in some way or form, from the beautiful natural bow over our house on the afternoon that he passed to tickets to your show on his birthday and many others of all shapes, sizes and creative invocations. Rainbows make us think of him, and when we do our dreams of being close to him really do come true.
On January 19, my children and I enjoyed being in your audience very much and just by spending that time with you all, you have helped us to create a new and magical memory — in doing so you each unknowingly supported us as we took another step forward in our grieving and healing process.
So again, thank you, we thought you were all wonderful and we absolutely loved the show… especially little Toto. It was us you could hear whistling loudly when you each came out for your curtain call.
Callie, Baden and Tyra