I painted this because I felt like the play was about life, you know? And life is full of color. And we each get to come along and we add our own color to the painting, you know? And even though it’s not very big, the painting, you sort of have to figure that it goes on forever, you know, in each direction. So, like, to infinity, you know? ‘Cause that’s kind of like life, right? And it’s really crazy, if you think about it, isn’t it, that a hundred years ago, some guy that I never met came to this country with a suitcase. He has a son, who has a son, who has me. So, at first, when I was painting, I was thinking, you know, maybe up here, that was that guy’s part of the painting and then, you know, down here, that’s my part of the painting. And then I started to think, well, what if we’re all in the painting, everywhere? And what if we’re in the painting before we’re born? What if we’re in it after we die? And these colors that we keep adding, what if they just keep getting added on top of one another, until eventually we’re not even different colors anymore? We’re just one thing. One painting. I mean, my dad is not with us anymore. He’s not alive, but he’s with us. He’s with me every day. It all just sort of fits somehow. And even if you don’t understand how yet, people will die in our lives, people that we love. In the future. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe years from now. I mean, it’s kind of beautiful, right, if you think about it, the fact that just because someone dies, just because you can’t see them or talk to them anymore, it doesn’t mean they’re not still in the painting. I think maybe that’s the point of the whole thing. There’s no dying. There’s no you or me or them. It’s just us.
I like to think that maybe one day you’ll be an old man like me, talking a younger man’s ear off, explaining to him how you took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade. If you can do that, then you will still be… taking three babies home from this hospital. Just maybe not the way you planned.[to Jack]
It feels like all these beautiful pieces of life are flying around me and I’m trying to catch them. When my granddaughter falls asleep in my lap, I try to catch the feeling of her breathing against me. And when I make my son laugh, I try to catch the sound of him laughing. How it rolls up from his chest. But the pieces are moving faster now, and I can’t catch them all. I can feel them slipping through my fingertips. And soon where there used to be my granddaughter breathing and my son laughing, there will be… nothing. I know it feels like you have all the time in the world. But you don’t. So, stop playing it so cool. Catch the moments of your life. Catch them while you’re young and quick. Because sooner than you know it, you’ll be old. And slow. And there’ll be no more of them to catch. And when a nice boy who adores you offers you pie, say thank you.[to Olivia, about dying]
That song. Ah. It made us happy, it made us sad, it made us happy again. The whole human experience just wrapped up in that one song. Hospitals are kind of like that, you know. These bizarre buildings where people experience some of their greatest joys and some of the most awful tragedies. All under one roof. I think the trick is not trying to keep the joys and the tragedies apart. But you kind of got to let them cozy up to one another. You know, let them coexist. And I think that if you can do that, if you can manage to forge ahead with all that joy and heartache mixed up together inside of you, never knowing which one’s gonna get the upper hand… And, well, life does have a way of shaking out to be more beautiful than tragic.
You’re adopted, and we don’t talk about that enough. ‘Cause to me, you are every part my son. Maybe I don’t want you to feel like you stand out. But I need you to know something. I want you to stand out. I want all of you to be as different as you can possibly be. In all the best ways. I love you as much as a human heart can, kiddo. You are an exceptional young man.[to Randall]
You and I? We’re gonna have it all together. We’re gonna have the big moments and the small moments and it’s gonna be one for the ages.[to Jack]
Yeah, but people who really listen, they hear the bass.[Beth Pearson: Everybody remembers the trumpet.]
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We go through this life slowly but surely, just collecting these little pieces of ourselves that we can’t really live without until. eventually, we have enough of them to where we feel whole.
My dad put on a tie every day because he had to. I put one on every day because I want to. It’s important you know that. Maybe I don’t run into burning buildings for a living, but to me, my work is challenging and exciting. I will not apologize for the fact that it’s hard to explain to people.