The World Turns

“Good night.” With those two words yesterday from Dr. Bob Hughes, “As The World Turns” ended its 54-year run.

Although I hadn’t watched the show in decades and didn’t know the recent story lines, hearing that “As The World Turns” was ending gently stirred my subterranean grief. That is, it made me miss my mom even more.

ATWT was my mom’s show. She shared it with the woman, all but a family member, who cleaned our house and sometimes babysat me. And they shared it with me. I knew all about Bob and Kim and Lisa back in the day.

While I don’t remember this particular day, my mother told me I was sitting on her lap, where she was feeding me, when Walter Cronkite broke into a broadcast to announce that President Kennedy had been shot.

I want to call my mom and L.P. and say, “Can you believe `As The World Turns’ is ending?” They are both gone, though, my ATWT buddies. It’s as if a friend of theirs has died and I can’t tell them about it.

I’m not alone in these feelings. A visit to an ATWT-is-ending message board on a soap opera forum brought the discovery that many people have memories of moms, grandmoms, great-grandmoms and aunts watching this show, and they all tie the show, and its loss, to those women.

One guy(?) wrote that his grandmother had been a big fan and died before he was born, and he felt like he should watch the last episode for her. Another writer said her grandmother, who suffered from dementia, had thought the characters real and talked about them at dinner as if they were.

ATWT, its characters, became part of the fabric of people’s families.

Alas, TV networks and advertisers don’t keep shows around just because they evoke powerful connections to grandmothers who have died. So Kim and Bob and Lisa and John have taken their last turn on that globe.

Good night, ATWT. Nice knowing you.

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