I woke up a little late this morning, dragged myself out of bed, and then started to work. The news came quickly and not much surprise: As the World Turns was canceled on December 8th, 2009. I instantly thought of John Lennon today of course, and a lyric of his as well: I saw the news today, oh boy.
I made myself a cup of tea and looked outside. There was still snow on Mt. Diablo. It’s rare we get snow, so it’s a treat to see the mountains decked out in white. I knew the show was going to be canceled; it was a given after Guiding Light was canceled. Yet like GL, I felt this utter sadness. I knew the reasons why of course: It was on for so long, it was the last show Irna Phillips created, yet I knew the real reasons why.
My grandmother went in the hospital the last time in July 1980. This was when my father would come everyday and he took me swimming. I still have no idea how he got the time off his job, but he did. I went swimming when Mom and Granddad were at the hospital, then one of them would pick me up and I would go visit Grandma. One thing was clear: At 12:30, she had to watch As The World Turns.
We’d watch it together when I would come visit in the afternoons as Barbara Ryan got into a jam with James Stenbeck, Lisa and Kim talking, and Bob Hughes making his rounds. For a while, time stood still. She wasn’t dying. We were just sitting there watching this show, while the nurses came and went, and in the distance we heard doctors being paged.
I couldn’t watch ATWT after she died; while GL was a comfort to me, ATWT was too much of a reminder of her death. It wasn’t until five years later when my mother said to me: “You must tape As The World Turns for me.”
“Kim and Bob are getting married.”
“Are you serious?” Kim and Bob were star-crossed lovers, having an affair in 1972 (the year I was born) while he was married to her sister, Jennifer (my mother swears I’m not named after her). I knew I had to tape the wedding.
It was a grand wedding, characters who were gone for years came back, and I got to see Frannie, who, even though she was "supposed" to be my age, was eighteen (and played by a young Julianne Moore). When Mom and I watched the wedding I thought Oh, Grandma. You should be here to see this.
ATWT is ending in September, 2010, two months after the thirtieth anniversary that my mother looked at her family, said “I love you,” then left us, heartbroken.
As John Lennon would say, the dream is over. Oh boy.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries