The Home & Family cast and crew came together on set in our beautiful backyard this week to share our loving memories of one of our own, director William (“Will”) O’Hara. It was a simple tribute to a kind, gentle, caring, fun-loving and talented man.
With the help of a chaplain once on staff for an earlier version of “Home and Family,” and soft music in the background, we lit a candle and shared – a prayer, pictures and memories of this wonderful human being. We were so blessed to have Will’s father join us via Facetime. Tears flowed and laughter. When the time felt right, we said a closing prayer, hugged and comforted one another before drifting out of that space. What remained was sacred silence.
It is the memory of that silence that is with me today. It is as if I am on pause, awaiting either a re-dedication to the life I live or a shift. I am in the midst of the mystery, in the moment.
What stands out for me is the sense of community, of home and family, built upon shared experiences, values and goals, the support of “loving mirrors” in those around us, shared beginnings, shared endings. Breaking bread together. Crying together. Laughing together. Building together.
Of all the things I do or have done, it’s the community here that stands out. I am so blessed to be part of this home and family. The work we do touches so many more people in a positive way than I have been able to do on my own. We are engaged with our audience. We welcome them. We play with them. We are beyond scandals and harsh discourse in the outside world. We are a safe place, like being home with loved ones.
At its essence, it is this sense of being at the center of life with faith, love, caring and hope that energizes this community. Family extends into community, centered in space (spirit unspoken). We experience the broad spectrum of emotions, emphasizing the positive, supporting one another in the face of negatives. It is day to day life. It’s not always pretty, often dysfunctional, yet we serve our community, our audience. We help them live, laugh and learn. We serve the desire to care for loved ones and bring joy and well-being into our homes. And in the process, this extends beyond our small space on a large television lot to help others care for, support and bring joy and well-being to their families as well. When I signed on for this show, I thought it would be just another project. Nothing provided a hint that it would become such a major expression of my “why” in writing and speaking or that it would help me live my dream.
In the silence, saying goodbye to the young man we called Will in this life, I give thanks for his part in this community. I am inspired by his example of giving and caring beyond himself. And I embrace the ongoing expression of his spirit in all our lives.
May you find this spirit of community in your lives too.
I believe in you,