NOTICE: YOU MAY NEED INSULIN TO READ THIS – IT IS REALLY SAPPY — CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED
Right now, I’m crying. Not just teary, crying. Right now, the third time I’ve been to this moment. It’s so embarrassing that until I complete this post I don’t even know if I’ll ever let you see it. Why such emotion on a sunny day so close to my birthday? Over a television show? The final epsiode of one that went off the air in 2006. One that’s about witches?
If, like me, you never paid much attention to CHARMED, appearing on the now-defunct and youth-oriented WB – about three sisters who are witches and who have witchy powers including, when acting together with the “power of three”, to best Ultimate Evil (I know, I know), let me tell you a bit about them. I’ve written about them before – when I first found them two years ago and again almost a year ago, after a wedding whose ritual reminded me of theirs, even though in theirs families gather from across the divide between living and dead. As I wrote then:
On my favorite guilty pleasure, Charmed, rituals of birth and marriage are attended not only by those who share the lives and loves of the Halliwell sisters (yeah they’re witches and their story spent 8 TV seasons enchanting us all) but also by those who came before. They summon, “through space and time” all members of “the Halliwell line.” Surrounded by these translucent figures of past
generations, today’s Halliwells celebrate marriages and new arrivals. Those fully and those ephemerally present conclude together “blessed be.”
What does this have to do with Jewish weddings — or any other terrestrial weddings for that matter? A lot. Eight years on the air, the longest running show with female leads, it dealt often with travel through time and space and dominions never imagined. But when really important events arose, all the magic was supplanted by a single, simple spell that basically –well — brought the family together.
I just looked the show up on Wikipedia and discovered that it went off the air on my 60th birthday – having run from October 7, 1998 to May 21, 2006. My
husband, when he’s in psychiatrist mode, talks about “anniversary reactions” – when we experience deep feelings but can’t quite figure out where they come from. Sometimes, they have to do with the occurrence of anniversaries we haven’t even noticed have arrived. In this case, though, I didn’t know the year the show ended, much less the date. In fact, I was in Paris with my family to celebrate this 60th birthday landmark on that day and didn’t even notice the demise of the long-running series. In fact, I first discovered it, in re-runs, airing as I worked in my office. I used it to keep me company (believe it or not, it’s on four hours a day – two in the morning and two in the afternoon.) Didn’t know a thing about the show or its success.
I got an earful from one of my sons when I asked though, who claimed that the show caused plenty of fights with his (then) girlfriend. Apparently, it was on at the same time as the Simpsons and every week was a negotiation.
But for me it’s somehow more than that. These three sisters, and their powers, are deeply moving. Their battles and solidarity, their humor and courage, their conviction that they could literally save the world from evil (p.s., they did) all resonated in a very weird way. Still do.
Hence the tears. The final episode, as the post-show future unfolds, feels like my own life. Endings. Loving farewells. The (hopefully) gratification of recognizing a life at least partially well-lived. The kids and their kids and an idyllic togetherness among sisters and their husbands and their children and their destiny. A lot to hope for and, I guess, as my own life moves forward, something to cry about.