Thursday, January 5, 2017

You're Only As Happy As Your Saddest Child

I hereby offer my eternal thanks to Debbie Reynolds, the recently deceased movie star who died just one day after her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, passed away. As the story goes, Debbie's last words were, "I want to be with Carrie." Not sure if I swallow that one whole, especially in these days of fake-news, but still it's not all that crazy to imagine.

Debbie and Carrie, happily alive.
Face it: Mothers and children have an unbreakable bond. You don't have a creature living inside you for nine months and then simply expel it without some little bits of connective tissue left behind. I mean, did you see the 1979 Ridley Scott film Alien? And that thing was only inside the guy for a couple of days. (Not that I'm suggesting children are monsters but you see where I'm going with this.)

I recently saw a television interview with Debbie and Carrie from a few years ago wherein Debbie tears up at the end, saying, "As a mother, I want to protect my child. Who will do that after I'm gone? I want happiness for my child. I want Carrie to be happy. I can't have that, and that makes me sad." Aha! So there -- it's not just me! My husband, a male of the species, constantly harps (yes, men can harp) on the subject of me being unhappy if my only child is unhappy, claiming that it's neurotic. I say it's biology and that he should stop nagging me (yes, men can nag) to "live my own life" and blah, blah, blah.

Let's be clear: Of course I live my own life. But as someone who is overly empathic, suffering when I hear about the suffering of others, it's worse when it's my own flesh and blood, and the only person who fits that description is my son. Sorry, but that's the truth, and for the first (and hopefully only) time in my life I will employ the trite saying which in this case is quite fitting: It is what it is.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart, Debbie, for chasing down your beloved daughter in Heaven. I trust the two of you are happy there, getting mani-pedis together and playing Canasta or doing whatever it is you Christian folks do to bond.

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