The sweetest soul...
It’s been five years since my mom passed away. The last few years of her life, she was pretty much housebound. She worked puzzles and did crosswords and crocheted. But every afternoon, the television went on. The Guiding Light was her favorite soap and I do believe she came to think of the characters as extended family.
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When I saw this week that the actress who played Nancy Hughes, Helen Wagner, died, I was instantly transported back to the afternoons when I sat with her laughing, grumbling, clucking our tongues at the stupid, exasperating, often inexplicable antics of the Hughes family. For fifty-four years The Guiding Light provided excitement, romance, adventure and escape to my mom and her friends. Just like the characters in a good book, the characters in The Guiding Light took on lives of their own. They became real.
My mom had the sweetest soul of anyone I ever knew. I was with her at the end and although I don’t have her unshakable faith, I know she went peacefully because she was a believer. Now I can imagine she and Nancy Hughes and Bert Bauer and the villain everyone loved to hate, Alan Spaulding, sitting together over a cup of tea, discussing the crazy things their kids did, both the real and the on-screen ones, and comparing life in Springfield and El Cajon.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom