I’d love to say that I come from a perfect family, but I’m a realist. I know my family can be dysfunctional. This is not to say that I don’t love my family, or that we didn’t have some wonderful “Leave it to Beaver” times, because we had some of those moments, too. The key is, to accept all the moments, and I’m grateful for them. They are a part of this journey called, Life.
Now, onto the celebrity portion of this post. You see, some celebrities have actually taken a part in my family life.
Let me explain.
For the most part, I’m not a fan of celebrities. I refuse to use the word “star” when referring to them. They are human just the same as any one of us, but many of them see themselves as more important than those who don’t share their fame.
When I was a child, there were certain TV shows that helped me through some tough family times. One in particular will forever be in my mind and heart.
The Dick Van Dyke Show.
I can’t express enough how the humor from that show brought joy to me as a child. It lifted my spirits. It gave me hope. I grew to love Rob and Laura Petrie as if they were my favorite aunt and uncle. When I became an adult, I grew to love Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore for portraying them so well.
When I grew up, I married into an entirely different kind of dysfunction. I knew how to handle the dysfunction I was used to, but this one threw me for a loop. Again, it’s not to say that my new family didn’t also have wonderful “Leave it to Beaver” moments. I just didn’t know how to fit into an unfamiliar way.
Along came another TV show to help me through.
In this television show, I felt like I was looking in a mirror at one of the characters. I even heard her speak lines I used on my own in-law family. The name of the show …
Everybody Loves Raymond.
The Barone Family became my family. They supported me through my marital journey in life. They taught me about the people in my new family and how to take our situations more lightly. They got me to laugh at myself. I grew to love the Barones like I love Rob and Laura Petrie.
So, last week when I got the news of Doris Roberts passing, I cried. I thought it was odd, because she didn’t know me. I didn’t really know her. I don’t cry over celebrities passing. I didn’t understand why it moved me, until I did this analyzing and dissecting.
Marie Barone was my family, and I love Doris Roberts for portraying her so well that it helped me in my own life.
I actually didn’t think of Doris Roberts as a celebrity. I heard her say to a group of acting students once (and I paraphrase), “You have to make up your mind what you want out of acting. Do you want to be famous, or do you want to be an actor?”
Doris was definitely an actor. She certainly didn’t seem to seek fame. She aged gracefully because she stayed true to herself and her art.
Update: Since I drafted this post, we lost another celebrity who impacted my life. I saw his movie on one of my first dates with my husband. My friend and I use one of his hits as our theme song. May Prince and Doris rest in the peace of the eternal Oneness.
Do you have a favorite TV show? Can you relate to any fictional characters? Have any characters and their portrayers moved you?