My apologies for not getting in touch with you sooner. While I was about to say things have been quite busy, I realized to whom I am writing and humbly choose to retract reference to my schedule in this letter.
By now, my dear friend Brenda Dale, known to most as The Lady Chablis, has formally made your acquaintance. I have no doubt that you and your staff have been watching over her for some time, keeping her out of harm’s way when necessary. Clearly your decision to take her home is one that I respect, but in all honesty, I wish she could’ve stayed with us, with me, a bit longer.
Heaven is filled with a multitude of charismatic personalities and beautiful souls. I have no doubt that in the short time she’s been with you, Chablis has made herself well known to her newest family. As you are already aware, her time on earth was hers. As her friend, I witnessed the tumultuous times as well as many occasions where she experienced great joy. More importantly, she shared that joy with those who loved and admired her.
She was always a gracious houseguest with a refined palette that included Cheetos and vodka. It was the time spent with her in private that, upon reflection, opened my mind and heart to the unlimited possibilities life has to offer.
I would not be speaking out of turn, nor would it be a surprise to most that her time on earth was not always marked by an angelic status. She was a rebel and a rogue. She was authentically herself long before her decision to walk the walk as a transgender woman was so widely publicized and supported.
With no disrespect in regard your role in the inner workings of Heaven, I can only imagine that Chablis has already shaken things up a bit. If she hasn’t worked this dying thing into her newest act high above us all, I’m sure she’s not so secretly plotting creative dominance over the performance stage in your realm.
Upon her passing, as is often the case with those who’ve realize celebrity status, many stake claim to knowing her and being her friend. You are certainly in the best position to understand that very few of us were lucky enough to have been given permission to get beyond the walls, the sarcasm, the wit, and the sass to meet the lady behind “The Lady”.
While it would stand to reason that I got to know her both through writing my book, of which she was a large part, and during our run as co-hosts on what could only be described as a roller coaster ride of a radio show. The real moments of clarity and love often came unexpectedly. The late-night phone calls, the late-night munchies, and the rare but cherished moments when she would take my hand for no reason, say nothing and simply smile in my direction.
You have your hands full, but if anyone can handle her, I have no doubt it’s you. Thank you for taking her into your fold, thank you for allowing her to touch my life, thank you for creating her so perfectly imperfect, so fragile, so strong, and so undeniably human.
When you see her next, please send regards from her “Wamma”, and let her know that more than a decade of friendship was never taken for granted. While I trust in you fully, I must admit that I have no idea how Heaven will ever be the same. Perhaps that’s the point? Perhaps when one moves on they are expected and encouraged to continue to bring color, chaos, and their own personal joyful noise to your home. I look forward to a time when I can thank you in person for all that you do. Until then, do what you must to keep the Grand Empress in check…
Your biggest fan,