“The love of my life.” That’s what some say we should hope to find. Typically, I find they are discussing the romantic love we devote an entire lifetime to. Either, being in love, looking for it or fighting to keep it. I have even had justifying, sad conversations about the love of your life already passing by. Your first true love when you are 17 and stupid and let it go. Or 21, stupid and let it go. In the lowest of the low moments, I think I could have just stayed married and been miserable like a majority of people do. That sounds awful, terrible, a waste of time, a waste of life and a waste of love. No one should ever subject themselves to that, but they do. So the question is, the one I have, does “the love of your life”, have to be romantic?
Classic and Sci Fi movie lovers along with the entirety of popular culture learned this week of the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Fisher passed away on 12.27.16 and Reynolds on 12.28.16. For me personally, I am also facing the birthday of my oldest daughter on 12.30.16. I was shocked when I heard of Fisher’s death. I had recently listened to her interview on NPR with Terry Gross A few things stuck out to me in that interview, but the main one being how Fisher has become a beside caregiver for her mother through her recent decline n health. During the interview, Fisher talks about a period of her life at 19 and the relationship she had at that time. She was also filming Star Wars and the relationship she discusses is the affair she was having with married co star Harrison Ford. She kept a journal of her time while she filmed Star Wars. Her last book, The Princess Diarist has many excerpts from this journal. During the interview; Gross asks Fisher to read from the book how she described the relationship with Ford during this period.
GROSS: In your journal that you kept during “Star Wars” you write a lot about your relationship with Harrison Ford. And I want to ask you to read an excerpt of that journal. This is where you’re describing how Harrison Ford was like a fantasy for you, but the fantasy did not always work out. And it was – you kind of projected a lot onto him, so if you could read an excerpt for us.
(Reading) We have no feeling for one another. We lie buried together during the night and haunt each other by day, acting out something that we don’t feel and seeing through something that doesn’t deserve any focus. I have never done anything quite like this. I sit patiently awaiting the consequences. I talk, walk, eat, sleep, patiently awaiting the consequences. How can a thing that doesn’t seem to be happening come to an end? George says that if you look at the person that someone chooses to have a relationship with, you’ll see what they think of themselves. So Harrison is what I think of myself. It’s hardly a relationship, but nevertheless he is a choice. I examined all the options and chose the most likely to leave no emotional investments. Never love for me, only obsession. Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.
I have looked back on my relationships, recent and prior to my marriage and recall them as extremely formative and scarily similar to what she describes above. “If you look at the person that someone chooses to have a relationship with, you’ll see what they think of themselves.” I haven’t been seeing myself in a very good light if this is the case. Attributes like dignity, responsibility, honesty and devotion are becoming very, very attractive.
Following the news of their deaths, I wanted to hear from Reynolds so I found another interview. During the interview regarding her recent memoir “Unsinkable”
I was reminded and just as shocked to find out that Reynolds first husband Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher’s father, left the family to marry Elizabeth Taylor, Reynolds best friend. Over the years Reynolds attempted marriage two additional times with Harry Karl (1960-1973) and Richard Hamlet (1984-1996). During the time of Reynolds relationships, Fisher has the affair with Harrison Ford. She then is married to Paul Simon for one year (1983-1984). She was also briefly engaged to Dan Aykrod. She then had a child with Billy Catherine Lourd in 1992. Lourd left the relationship to be with another man. Fisher had a very successful professional life not only acting, but writing eight books and producing films. She unfortunately struggled with drug use and mental illness becoming an advocate in these areas. Many called the mother/daughter relationship complicated but at the end, they proved to be a tremendous support for each other. Fisher talks about being at her bedside in recent interviews and Reynolds was supportive of her daughter. Son of Reynolds and brother of Fisher, Todd Fisher is quoted saying that some of Reynolds last words were of Fisher; “I just want to be with Carrie.” Is it possible to die of a broken heart? I believe in this case, it was. All of this, topped with a year that was far disappointing on so many levels-multiple celebrity deaths, an election that makes many of us question the sanity of the American people; no matter what side you are on, but I have had a discovery thanks to the this mother daughter tragedy.
I have participated in many discussions regarding a full life. In my life, I don’t define its success by being in a current and more than likely disastrous romantic relationship. People in marriages, either visibly or internally shake their head at me…most of the time. However, let’s pose a question. Looking back on the timeline of Reynolds failed marriages, and Fishers failed relationships along with her mental health status and substance abuse, is it possible that the men in their lives were to root of the estrangement? Was the battle based in the nonrecognition of the true love of their lives, eachother?
I will continue to respect myself and the relationships I have with men, but after this deep moment of thought and reflection, I may join the realization that a man will not be the love of my life and enjoy that the loves of my life are already in my life. Present and accounted for are my children. Two delightful young ladies who I adore. The heart of this mother is full of these children’s love. My family. The gift of good parents is a blessing not to take lightly. A brother and now a sister in law that’s presence is a joy. Their love and marriage was one of the best things of 2016. My girlfriends. I will admit, in the past year I have neglected these ladies. One of my resolutions will be to spend more time developing deeper relationships with my group of female friends. As I look back, I was devoting more time to men and received no benefits from my devotions and these women are still here even though they have been neglected. My bromances. My sweet devoted male friends. So much they know, so much the honor and so many times they have kept me from the edge of insanity.
After that kind of acclaim and review, now you see why I am more focused on a truer love, a force that defies romance, men and women. So, here’s to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher and all the other single mothers successfully surviving in their Motherhood. They were complete and were given the gift of “the loves of their lives” when Carrie Fisher was born to Debbie Reynolds. The thoughts of I am not complete until I am remarried is so 2016.
Please watch the tribute below and remember their love.
May the Force Be with Us All.