Finally, My Life’s Purpose?
Alan had now become an executive producer of a Universal show called Quincy, M.E. and I was mainly focused on Erika and making the house look great. My parents came down and my father put in floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom and French doors leading out to the pool, while my mother and I painted and wallpapered. I was extremely grateful to my parents for working so hard to make improvements on our house and wanted to tell my father how much I appreciated all his hard work. But trying to talk to him was, as always, awkward. He never wanted to have any kind of intimate conversation with me and unspoken resentments on both sides lingered on and made it impossible for me to have a close relationship with him.
I had a fence put around the pool to keep Erika from accidently falling in. But she was also getting baby swimming lessons from the best teacher we could find to make sure she’d always be safe around pools. All the construction and painting my father, mother and I were doing didn’t hinder my continuous efforts to get acting work and worry about money. I had read the feature script, Count to Five, which Alan had written, thought it was very commercial, and was determined it should be produced. I gave it to my agent and he tried to find possible producers, which he did. But Alan thought he could get a better deal elsewhere and the movie was never made.
My spiritual life at this point was still on hold. You’d think that with all the chaos I was going through I would have finally figured out I needed some direction. Like a lot of people, I would pray for help when things were bad, then as soon as things got back on track I would go back to putting the blinders on, pretending all was well, making bad decisions based on how I wanted my life to be and how others perceived it. Erika had filled the empty hole in my heart and Alan would bring his son and daughter home to play with their new little sister. I was still wary of their mother and worried that she would follow through on her threats, but Erika loved her brother and sister and they needed to spend time together.
I was convinced that there was a purpose for me being on this planet. Not only had my life been saved twice, instinctively I knew I wanted to help animals in some way. I had always thought that someday I would become rich and famous and lend my name and donate lots of money to an animal cause. As for the present, the demands of getting in the trenches and being an actual activist was something I didn’t have time for, considering that I was a wife, mother, actress and mistress of many cats. That’s what I told myself – how convenient.
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