Today my gratitude is a bit weird.
Because it’s got to do with death. Death has been creeping into my thoughts.
A person doesn’t have to die for you to think about death. I think at a certain age we start to think of it more and more. Hell, with all this coronavirus around us, it’s a wonder that we don’t talk about it ALL THE TIME.
Past trauma can remind you of death. The process of life can remind you of death… it is guaranteed we will all end up there at one point or another.
Sometimes for me, just the simplicity and beauty of life can remind me of it.
Today though, it was death that reminded me of death.
My mouth dropped open when I heard the news that Kelly Preston, John Travolta’s wife, had died on July 12th following a 2 year private battle with breast cancer.
She was 57.
Floored, was an understatement. Even though I saw it on a reputable news network, I had to look it up to confirm it was true. I watched the news report on it later that night. Tears welled up, my mouth turned downwards.
It was so unfair.
Did I really know Kelly Preston? No, not really. I knew her as Avery in Jerry Maguire, one of my favourite movies of all time. She plays the classic high-brow, over-achieving, sexy, sassy and totally bitchy fiance to Tom Cruise’s sports agent character.
She played the role so well, I almost forgot it was Kelly Preston. In real life, she seemed so sweet, happy, her face was so gentle. I knew she and her husband had lost their 16 year old son to a seizure, and they had been able to have another child some years later.
John Travolta’s wife.
Maybe it was because of him that I liked her so much. I grew up loving John in Grease… another one of my fave movies of all time. Scenes will play, and I will recite, word for word from that movie.
I know there has been a lot of scandal surrounding them, especially John over the years. I know there was speculation about their relationship, and I know the way John was perceived in his younger years started to change drastically, for the worse, in these recent years.
But today, all I could think of was his tribute to his late wife.
All I could think, was how they had experienced so much pain, to have to lay their child to rest, and they got through it, somehow.
All I could think, was how their relationship stood the test of time, through scandal, through sadness, through HOLLYWOOD.
So many relationships out of there don’t last months, let alone years and years and tragedy.
And it just makes me want to cry.
These stories are sad. They are true. They aren’t taken from a movie, and then lo and behold, surprise miracle cure! The person is alive again. They beat the disease.
They beat the bastard cancer.
Some real life stories do take a turn of events, like in a fairytale. Many don’t.
Today, after hearing the sad news of Kelly Preston, I hugged my daughter, tightly.
We sat on the couched, rolled around and tickled each other, and I didn’t mind one bit as our heads collided, my nose bumped hers, and she swatted my kisses away playfully.
I didn’t mind it at all.
Because I had someone to hug.