I’m a little late but nonetheless I jumped on the bandwagon. I’m not usually one to follow a television series, especially a drama. But a few weeks ago every where I looked I was reading about the highly anticpated return of season three of Downton Abby. I generally love any stories set in that time so it felt like a win-win.
After watching episode 1 of season 3 I was in. I then pooled my resources, got my hands on seasons 1 and 2 and proceeded to watch as if it was my full-time job. Turns out you can get a lot of laundry folded with the right show to keep you on the sofa. Downton Abbey was just the ticket. My family has never looked so fresh, clean and neatly pressed. Turns out the clothes don’t look so bad if not left a wadded mess in a basket.
Plus after watching all those housemaids work themselves silly, pulling my clothes out of my large capacity dryer seems the least I can do. Still, I can’t say I was motivated to scrub my floors but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I am fascinated by this show. The life of the English Lord and Lady. A life where you seem to spend a great deal of time changing your clothes, eating and drinking wine. And the best, they don’t even dress themselves or do anything for themselves for that matter. Needless to say I have spent the last couple of weeks completely entertained by all who dwell in Downton.
Fast forward, with dedication and hard work I managed to complete seasons 1 and 2. After flipping through my DVR, I am officially caught up. Which leads me to Season 3, episode 4.
Spoiler alert if you have not been watching, but I must share this.
After watching the first 2 seasons I was prepared to be mindlessly entertained. And then things got real. I believe it is episode 3 that I thought my place at Downton might be lost. As I watched Sybil labor so painfully and all the talk of preeclampsia, I knew things weren’t going to end well. What I was not prepared for was watching Sybil die. And Sybil’s Mom watching Sybil die. And everyone standing there, and NO ONE doing anything because there was NOTHING they could do. And Sybil’s Mom yelling at everyone to “PLEASE DO SOMETHING, THAT’S MY BABY!” Her calling out for Sybil to “come back” to “just breathe.” Watching her baby struggle for air and turn one horrific shade of purple, then another. And still Lady Grantham continues to beg her baby to come back, don’t go.
I am aware this is fiction. That Lady Grantham and I are more than worlds apart. But there are some things that history and time cannot change. My body felt numb and cold watching this, as I have lived a very similar scene. I was watching my real-life nightmare being played out on my television. The begging, the pleading. The utter despair as you watch everybody around you accept what you refuse to. Reason would have said, SHUT THE DAMN THING OFF! But not always reasonable, I didn’t.
As I watched her talk and say “good-bye” to her “baby” tears streamed down my face. Such a touching scene. But if you have lived a much to similar experience it is almost too much. The way she just stroked her skin, taking her in, to commit to memory every detail of her child. Because, truth is stranger than fiction and you are afraid. Afraid you won’t remember, how they feel, the lines of their face, their sweet lips.
Touching and heart wrenching last night’s episode really hit home. Someone mentioned to “Lady Grantham”, “now that that’s over.” Her reply resonated with me, “when one loses ones child, is it really ever over.” The look of terror on everyone’s face when they realize their new normal that they cannot “fix” this problem. Even the Dowager still tries to at apply a bandage by forcing the doctor to tell the parents she would’ve had no chance of living.
I still have a few unanswered questions about the morning that Madeline died. Some what-if’s and if-only’s. If they were ever able to be answered would I find some relief or would wounds that have soothed somewhat be scraped raw again?
I don’t know why I couldn’t pull myself away once my “escape” became a mirror of reality. But in a way, I think it was a little affirming. Watching so many of my feelings and emotions acted out for me. I wanted to scream, YES, THAT’S IT, THAT EXACTLY HOW I FEEL/FELT.
Truth is stranger than fiction. Always we crave answers that aren’t there and an ending to our pain that might never come. Quite possibly a feeling, experience that the neither the passing of time nor generations can change.