Not In The Script

Tom Poston died Monday night with his wife Suzanne Pleshette’s head on his chest.

“He was just hanging on to get me through this,” she told me. Suzanne had been recovering from tumor surgery, had undergone four separate chemotherapy sessions and was finally able to tell me, “I’m well. I’m healthy. He waited ’til my hair grew back!”

Both Suzanne and Tom endured their respective illnesses while putting on a happy face — personified by the “Medical update” which they sent to me, Oct. 11, 2006:

BAD NEWS

I lost all of my hair

I look like shit

Tom has a catheter in his dickie

We have round-the-clock nurses, a walker and a wheel chair

GOOD NEWS

I’m saving a fortune on bikini waxes

Tom has lost all peripheral vision so he doesn’t know

At his age we’re just glad he

has a lump in his pants

We’re madly in love

And we feel lucky.

AIN’T LIFE GRAND!!!!!!!

She maintained this outwardly happy attitude constantly in his presence — and to the outside world during the months that followed — and up to the moment he died.

I last saw Tom when we had lunch together at Nate ‘n Al’s in Beverly Hills on May 24, 2005.  It was the deli’s 60th birthday party. Our wise-cracking waitress was — Suzanne who berated the order he had made — corned beef on white bread with mayo.

It personified the joie de vivre they breathed as a couple wherever they went. She was putting on a brave act today as she described Tom’s closing act to come…

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