Monday, January 25, 2010

All My Children

Erica, Erica, Erica.

That's what my Mimi used to say every day.

No, none of us had the nickname Erica. She called my Mom by her given name "Marilyn", she called me "Jeannie", she called my sister "Melanie", and she called my brother "Jamie". None of us were Erica.

There was only one Erica in my Mimi's life, and she was a large part of it for decades. Erica, on the soap opera "All My Children" - a show she watched every weekday of her life from the first showing so very long ago. Much of that time was sitting in her living room on Pell Street in Paxton, Illinois, and watching a small black and white box with rabbit ears on top.

Once she came to live with us, after my Boppie's death when I was 13, Mimi and Mom (Marilyn) made it a daily ritual to settle onto those gold crushed velvet couches and watch Erica and her extended family and friends in living color on our console TV.

Erica lives on, literally. She is older than me (young, really) and is sharing a bed with men 30 years her junior as if that is normal. How do I know this?

I work from home. And I start the morning with a cup of tea and Good Morning America...or the Today Show...or some local news channel. And....

Sometimes the TV stays on after the morning news, Reg and Kelly, The View, etc...and guess what follows - even though the sound is almost always muted - yep - All My Children.

Personally, as opposed as I am to soap opera's, and 60 year old women climbing into bed with 30 year old men, I think a dose of All My Children might be good for all my children. It would make our "family drama" seem like a piece of cake.

It didn't really take a soap opera to realize how fortunate I am, and we all are, in spite of the drama and anger and hurt and mistakes and healing that has gone on in the past 20 years or so, it just took time and a historical perspective and a more realistic view of all the so-called perfect families around us.

So, with everything in perspective, I am grateful for our relatively sane and normal and functional family, and for all my children. In the end, we love each other, in spite of each other. And we love others. We are kind and we aren't hateful. We are good people.

And just like Erica (without the sex scenes), we are gonna keep on keepin', and we are family, no matter what other people think, no matter how tough things get, and no matter what drama enters and then exits our lives.
Thank you, Mimi.

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