I spent most of the weekend feeling sad.  Friday was the last episode of One Life to Live, a soap opera that has been on for 43 years.  There are many people who don’t remember a time when Daytime TV wasn’t synonymous with continuing drama.  It’s been a legend.  For the better part of the last decade, very few days have gone by when I didn’t watch One Life.

There are executives who say that nobody cares about these stories anymore.  I say, they’re wrong.  I’ve found a huge community of dedicated, hard-working soap lovers – not just bored housewives.  I’ve written before about the relationships we have with these characters.  We see them more than we see our own family sometimes.  And we know more about them than we do our closest friends.  As Victoria Lord said, matriarch of Llanview, PA, where One Life to Live is set, all we have to do to continue the relationship is tune in tomorrow.  But there will be no show tomorrow.

It has been such an integral part of my life for such a long time.  How will I bear not seeing Vicki and Clint married?  Or finding out if Jessica finds love?  What will I do without Roxie’s rants, or David’s declarations which have kept me laughing so long?  What will happen to John and Natalie now that they’ve finally found each other?  I sigh.

Will it hurt more in a few weeks?  When days and days have gone by and I haven’t had my fix of life in Llanview? I weep for the genre that is dying.  There’s only one soap left on ABC, one on NBC and CBS is hanging onto two.  How long with they last?  When will the plug be pulled on all of them?  What will become of the hard working men and women who have given so much so that I can be entertained every day and fall in love,  be angry, laugh a little and cheer for my faves?  Soap acting is some of the hardest out there.  And so many successful actors today owe their start to soaps, honed their craft in daytime.

I must stop and take a breath.  They are just fictional characters, though they mean so much to me.  I’m reminded of a quote from Maria Nemeth, from her fabulous book, “The Energy of Money.”  She said this: “The next phase of development is learning to say yes to whatever is on your plate and realizing that anything you find in your life today is here to wake you up.”

She’s so right.  I know there are far worse things that can befall a person.  This is a chance for me to practice on something smaller so that the larger ones are easier to take.  I have been concerned about the hole this will leave in my life.  Perhaps that is my wake up call:  To find other things to fill the hole.  New stories I make up myself.  Time for other things . . .

It’s easy to fall into sadness over a loss of any kind.  But if we can see it as another opportunity to accept what is in front of us, viewing it as a chance  to wake up and take notice of all that we can do, it can become a gift.  May we all have plenty of things like this to practice on!

We always have the choice – to wallow in grief or do something about it.  Crying will not bring back what we’ve lost.  Finding a different perspective, when we’re ready, can help us to grow.