The Birth of the Accidental Caregiver
About a decade ago I'm pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles when my friend Tom answers an ad on Craigslist to be a caregiver for a 92-year-old woman. He gets the job, moves into her house, and tells me about this "amazing" woman he's living with. One day he says they need another caregiver, and asks if I'm interested. The answer is easy: no. I came to Hollywood to be an actor, not a caregiver, and besides, I'm not even remotely qualified, I'm medically challenged, and, like any actor, exceedingly self-obsessed. But he insists I'm the only person he trusts to do it. Since I'm a loyal friend, I agree to meet her. But that's it. A harmless tea. I'm not promising anything.
After that tea, my life was never the same again.
Maria never got to read the book, but I know she's well aware that I share with audiences what they could never get from any movie or history book: her peerless Joie de Vivre that will be a part of me forever.