“Like my mama says, ‘endings are important,’ she always told me that, and I just really feel like we are ending really strong with this.”
~ Jeremy Piven (who plays Agent Ari Gold) on A Final Farewell to Entourage which aired on HBO this weekend
Tomorrow night the eighth and last season of one of Bob and my favorite television shows premieres. We watched the seven previous seasons of Entourage living in our old house on Claremont. So it will be different to watch this one here in our new home on Oakley.
This photo is of my older sister Meg and me with Jeremy Piven, taken at a fundraiser for the Piven Theatre Workshop in June 2006. Piven Theatre Workshop was started by Jeremy’s parents, Byrne and Joyce Piven 40 years ago in my hometown of Evanston, IL. Many famous actors trained at Piven Theatre Workshop before they made it big, including siblings John and Joan Cusack, Aidan Quinn and Kate Walsh.
My sister took acting classes there when we were kids, while I was down the hall, in the same cultural arts center, taking dance classes. So in 2006 when Meg invited me to be her date for the fundraiser, already being a big fan of Entourage and having followed and enjoyed many of Jeremy’s other rolls over the years, I was overjoyed to get to attend the big event with my big sister!
There was a silent auction at the Piven Theatre Workshop fundraiser that night and at one point we were checking out the various items up for grabs when we noticed that one of the fundraiser’s hosts, Jeremy Piven himself, was mingling and making his way through the crowd. Meg and I are not shy and thus it didn’t take long for us to get up the nerve to approach Jeremy and say “hello.” Meg told him about having taking classes at Piven Theatre Workshop years ago and then we were bold enough to ask to have our picture taken with him. I think it turned out to be a pretty great photo of all of us! So when Bob and I watched A Final Farewell to Entourage on HBO On Demand tonight and I heard Jeremy’s quote about endings, I was moved to write this post and share this picture from five years ago, that was taken not long before Entourage’s third season premiered.
Speaking of endings…This past week has been awesome, crazy, exhausting, wonderful, overwhelming and so much more. As many of you know, on Tuesday we closed on our old and new houses and then began to move into our new home. Overall our move went well, despite the fact that we ended up moving on two of the hottest days of this summer, here in Chicago. We love our new house and are so excited to be here! It’s going to take a while to unpack everything, settle in and make it our own, but we knew that would be the case. Little by little, room by room we are making this house our home.
It was bittersweet on Wednesday to say goodbye to our house on Claremont. After the movers had finished helping us get the last of our big furniture into our new place, Bob and I returned to our old house to grab some last minute things and finishing cleaning it. We wanted it to be neat and tidy for the new owners when they move in (who we had a really nice visit with during their final walk through on Tuesday, before the closing and it confirmed how happy we are to have such good people buy our house). Then we returned to our new house, to relieve my parents, who were watching Sean and Abby there.
As a side note, we feel blessed and lucky to have had so much help with our move this week from Bob and my parents, along with other wonderful family members and friends! From moving lots of boxes and furniture in the ridiculous heat and humidity to helping watch and entertain our kids, we are very grateful!
Back to Wednesday evening… after celebrating the move with carry-in from our favorite local Chinese food restaurant, my parents left and we decided to make one last trip over to Claremont. This time with our children to say “goodbye,” once and for all. As Jeremy’s mother, Joyce Piven taught him, “endings are important” and I couldn’t agree more. I wanted our kids, as well as Bob and me, to have one more chance to walk through the place that has meant so much to us over the past eight years.
Abby had spent most of the two days we spent moving from Claremont to Oakley at my parents house in Evanston (which we all agreed would be the easiest for all of us at her age and developmental stage) and thus was not able to witness all of our stuff being moved from one place to the other. Though Abby seemed really excited to return with them to our new house (in fact she kept saying “house, house!” very happily), we wanted to be sure that she understood what was happening. I do believe in the importance of and clarity within endings. We knew that our oldest, our son Sean, got what we were doing, but I still thought he would appreciate this final farewell to the only home he has ever known in his life.
When we arrived at our old house on Claremont, that we technically no longer owned, rather we were “renting back” for the day, from the new owners, it was dark outside. We slowly made our way through the empty rooms of our old home, turning on and off the lights, reflecting on the many wonderful experiences we had and memories that we made there. I got choked up a number of times and Sean was especially sensitive and comforting to me during those moments, squeezing my hand and giving me hugs.
As we said “goodbye” to our “basement of fun” (as he aptly named it after our remodel two years ago) and tears flooded my eyes, our ever growing and maturing son literally wiped away my tears. I thought that was so sweet and kind of him.
Abby wanted me to “hold you” (her way of saying “hold me”) the whole time. It was late, past her regular bedtime, and she was tired. As we moved from room to room she didn’t show much expression on her face. She did seem to be taking it all in and it may have surprised and somewhat perplexed our daughter to see her mommy getting choked up, as she doesn’t see that side of me very often. However, I like to believe that our last goodbye to our old home meant something to Abby too and that it helped her to better understand this transition in our life.
Thank you for reading and for your support, kind words, thoughts and prayers during this huge time of transition for me and my family. It continues to be surreal for me to actually be living in the place that I hoped and dreamed that we would get to, after we put our house on the market last October and then finally went under contract with last month. Though our “forever home” still needs a lot of work, I know that we have the rest of our lives to make it just the way we want. For now, I am content to relish in the joy of just being here with Bob and the kids, as we move forward with this new beginning in our life.
Yes, “endings are important” and so are new beginnings…