Reading & Writing

It’s Been a Melancholy Week.

Six-year-old Carrie Fisher watches her mother, Debbie Reynolds, onstage at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, 1963

2016 has been a year of celebrity deaths. I’ve gotten misty over them several times, but I think I’ve only really cried over three of them: first for Alan Rickman, then for Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

Well, I’ve cried several times over Carrie Fisher. Not only was she too young (she was only two weeks older than my mother), but she was a different kind of celebrity–she made her life available to us through her memoirs and even her novels. She was so smart and had a fantastic sense of humor. I loved watching her onscreen but I loved reading her work more. I’d spent countless hours curled up on the couch with her. I knew her better than I know most of my relatives.

And then her poor, devastated mother. I can only assume she died of heartbreak.

A lot of other things have happened this week, both good and bad–it started with Christmas! The kids and I had a fantastic trip to the zoo, with light crowds and very little whining from anyone. I started running again, then I got a knock-out stomach flu and my husband had to stay home to take care of the kids. The girl cut two molars and was super clingy. The boy made progress with his speech and I discovered some good exercises for both his gross and fine motor skills. Like any week, a mixed bag. But I just want to take a moment to remember Carrie, and to ponder the fact that, as a public figure, she impacted me so much. What power there was in her words and performances, in her openness, that she registered in my heart not as a celebrity as much as a friend.


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