It has been, every year since 1980.
I was 16 years old, a high school senior. Our winter musical was Fiddler on the Roof. It was closing night. I was in the chorus for most of the play, but during the dream sequence I played Grandma Tzeitl. I had a quick-change in the wings because of it.
My best gal-pal had ushered that night, but the weather was bad on Monday, Dec. 8, so she decided to drive home rather than watch the show. She wished me “break a leg” and departed.
During my quick-change, she was back in the wings, crying hysterically. On her way home, she heard the news that John Lennon had been murdered. Both of us were (and still are) huge Beatles fans. We were devastated.
I still don’t know how I got through my performance. I got back to the wings to do my change-back, hugged my boyfriend who was running the light board, and finished the show.
I have said ever since that part of me died that day. I think it was my first real understanding of mortality.
Sixteen years later, my beloved maternal grandmother, for whom I was named, died on Dec. 8 as well. I was at her bedside.
So yeah, this is a difficult day for me.
This song had just been released in the weeks before John’s death. It will always have a special place in my heart.