November 21, 2012

Watching Parenthood

The TV show Parenthood is killing me right now.

Like bawling my eyes out just about every time Adam and Kristina are in a scene, killing me.

If you don't watch this show, it is about the Braverman family, consisting of the parents/grandparents, their four kids and their spouses, and the four kids' children. The oldest of the four, Adam, is married to Kristina and they have three children.

This season, Kristina is going through breast cancer. They are portraying Adam and Kristina's experience in just about the most REAL way I have ever seen on television. Because it's so true to life, it's hitting me hard.

Mark points out that he doesn't have cancer. I point right back that it doesn't flippin' matter. Major health problems are major health problems. I just KNOW how it FEELS.

This couple reminds me so much of me and Mark. The feelings that are coming up for them are the same feelings we often have or have had. The episode that aired last week hit so close to home.

In one scene Kristina calls Adam and complains about having his mother there helping her. But it's not really about how her MIL is helping so much as she needs the help in the first place. She's just angry that she can't do everything herself right now. You see Adam on the other end of the phone just listening to her. All he says is I'm sorry and I love you. Because that's all he can say.

In another scene Adam's brother Crosby takes him out for a beer. Adam tells Crosby about how a neighbor came up to him the other day and said something like "God doesn't give you more than you can handle". Adam then says to Crosby, "Like that helps me watch my wife suffer!"

Cut to me, sitting on my couch, doing the ugly cry.

Even now, I'm getting teary writing about it.

People mean well. They want to help. They want to do or say SOMETHING that will somehow lift the burden from you even just for a moment. I get that and it's so nice. Believe me, those dealing with health problems do appreciate the effort.

But sometimes there just isn't anything people going through things like this need to hear besides, "I'm sorry" and "I love you". A lot of times, that's enough.

The person going through it doesn't want to be treated differently, and the person who loves them just needs to know you're there.

Being the spouse of someone with health problems brings this show so much closer to my heart. Having lost a friend to breast cancer does too. Watching it hurts right now. But I have to keep watching. Somehow it's....cathartic or something. It's identifiable. And it's being very well done.

So I guess every Tuesday night for the foreseeable future I will clutch a pillow and a tissue, nodding knowingly, and crying along with Adam and Kristina.

This is one of the best scenes so far.

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