December 12, 2015

An Affair To Remember: Epilogue


Tiffany with her adored pup Murray.


Editor's Note: Please pardon the long sabbatical and apologies for leaving a multi-part series dangling for so long. Also, narrator shall henceforth be known again as 'GSL' with The Confessions of Mossy Kade resuming soonSinatra Doctrine has been imposed...and yes we will toast his 100th tonight.

Click for Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Tiffany Ann Makaus died this past August 6th at age 46. The day she died, her close friend, and my once semi-betrothed called to break the news. I was driving through heavy traffic and just let the call go to voicemail assuming she was calling after hearing the news about my book series at very long last finally getting completed and didn't even listen to the message thinking she was only reaching out to rekindle something I had long since moved on from. I heard about it from 'Terry Drama' at a party he was hosting at his local on August 8th. He assumed I already knew and it felt like some vital organs had been ripped out..

Tiffany (on left) entertaining in her Gold Coast High Rise. She always had a party from her balcony during the Air & Water Show with The Blue Angels waving at guests during one of their flybys.

 There were two special trips I was going to make once I had a hardcopy of Book 1 to present. One was to see Delightful Deborah in New York and the other to see Tiffany in Denver where my little brother and family also live. I was going to present Book 1 as a continuation on our wonderful night at The Four Seasons back in 2010. During those post Opera drinks, I gave Tiffany a peek at my master plan and loved seeing her eyes dance and smile beam at my audacious ambitions delivered in cocksure bravado. She loved hearing it almost as much I liked saying it although she understood I was dead serious about the main points. After that night she had to return to LA where most of her banking duties kept her but maintained her Chicago apartment. I later heard she was under the false impression that I was trying to rekindle something with the once semi-betrothed...so she kept her distance although I thought she was seeing someone. I often did wonder at what might have been.

Tiffany was a Star at the 12th Night Masque a Chicago institution since 1905 founded by Billy Gamble of the Proctor & Gambles with our mutual friend Dante serving as Grand Vizier for several years.


I had been thinking about meeting Tiffany again all summer as illustrations were being finalized. I wasn't really concerned about the romantic possibilities only finally starting to deliver on what I had previewed five long years ago. I also couldn't wait to tell her I was going to do a story featuring her and her adored pup Murray and was going to debrief to discover a little anecdote or scenario and with that same cocksure bluster tell her I was going to make Murray an International Superstar with dispatches from my book tours: "Tiffany, Murray is a smash hit in Pittsburgh; he's going to be hard to live with....Don't even think about taking Murray to Hotlanta without wig & sunnies.."


Dante & Tiffany. Tiffany always raved about what a wonderful loyal friend Dante was and he reminded me that I included him in my leather bound Book Bequests upon departing for the Army. I had Tiffany forward him Dante's Inferno which he had just packed for his move out to LA for screenwriting duties.
The only way I could keep focused on doing this children's book series was casting it with people I liked and cared about and drawing from actual backstory. I wanted them to ring true and be special to those I included. They would also mean much more to me if I knew someone I cared about felt connected to stories that drew peals of laughter from children and were included in those special bedtime moments between parent and child.

Tiffany right before she died.


My Book Launch Party was this past Wednesday. I tracked down Tiffany's great friend Dante asking him to stop by and wanted to hear more about Tiffany. I don't know Dante well but remember that first night Tiffany and I met at how she raved about what a wonderful friend he was.....one of those very few that will actually go out of his way for someone. Dante is in the middle of a big life transition and in the process of moving out to LA with a new opportunity as screenwriter. He stopped in for a few minutes to tell me of Tiffany's last days and he was nearly as blindsided as I was. Tiffany was never the type to make a big production of her troubles. I told Dante I wanted him to collaborate with me on a book with a young Tiffany and her pup Murray and we would use the philanthropic proceeds to do something special to honor our dearly departed friend.



17 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you finished the story but I am terribly sorry about how it ends! Tiffany and I share the same middle name and birth year! I am very sorry that she is gone from this world. What a beauty, what a talent, what a personality! Gone way (way!) too soon. xx

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  2. She looks so special and what a loving, wonderful tribute! Congrats on the book launch!

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    1. Thank you dear Wendy and Tiffany was a treasure.

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  3. Replies
    1. Very sad and only a handful of her friends knew.

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  4. I see your tender, sweet heart on the page, and wish you a season filled with such friends as these, and such happy memories of all the precious agos.

    rachel

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    1. Thank you Rachel, you would have loved Tiffany; very down to earth and devoted to her family. She would have loved the way you write too!

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  5. Such sadness and at such a tender age.

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    1. CD, my plans were to lure her back to Chicago.

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    1. As that last pic shows Jen, she wasn't going to let a horrible illness negate her great capacity for uplifting companionship with dear friends.

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  7. Although I never had the chance to meet Tiffany I vividly remember your time with her which lasted for years. I was always pulling for each of you. My impression of her was that she was lady-like and an old fashioned charmer. I was stunned to hear of her untimely death and have been sad since. I appreciate your tribute.

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    1. I do remember you were a big fan right away. There was very little actual "time with her" probably not even 20 hours total as I was lying low these last few years dealing with all those book setbacks and delays.

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  8. Oh wow, it seems like a wonderful family party. All these pictures are so adorable. I also want to host family holiday event but not at the home. I would like to host it at some outdoor Chicago event space. If you have any venue suggestions then please provide!

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  9. Definitely check out Millenium Park as they have ice rink, massive Public Space Artworks, with numerous options close at hand to warm-up in such as our wonderful Art Institute.

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  10. Definitely check out Millenium Park as they have ice rink, massive Public Space Artworks, with numerous options close at hand to warm-up in such as our wonderful Art Institute.

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