A Random Thing to Share….
Last December, Sarah introduced me (Steve joined in later) to the “Stranger Things” series on Netflix. I don’t watch a lot of current television; I do enjoy having an old movie on (one I know, that I don’t have to pay close attention to) while I cook, and Steve and I will watch a movie with or after dinner at times, but that’s it. I had heard this show was really good, however (even from Mark’s film-expert-snobby-friends), so I was happy to spend time with Sarah – home from college for winter break – snuggled on the couch, as we binged our way through Season One.
If you don’t plan to watch it or don’t mind spoilers, here’s a lengthy recap. I can kind of sum it up on my own this way: in a small town, in the 80’s, secretive government scientists set up shop and accidentally blow a hole into another dimension and Something Scary gets through to our world. People start to disappear, most notably a boy named Will, who is part of a group of boys that loves playing Dungeons & Dragons together. Everyone who loves Will is frantic, trying to find him (including the local sheriff), and then a body shows up in a nearby quarry. And everyone but Will’s mom accepts that it’s him, he’s dead. (There’s much more, but this is the part of the storyline that’s pertinent…)
The mom, Joyce? She goes a little crazy. She’s a single parent now, barely getting by as she raises her 2 sons (Will has an older brother who’s an outcast, unpopular in his high school), and her guilt, her dependence on the older boy, and difficult family dynamics are all stirred into that pot. Frantic is too small a word to describe her. In the midst of it all, she starts to notice things – or is forced to notice strange occurrences, which others dismiss – that tell her something more is going on. She starts to believe Will is not dead, but trapped somewhere, somehow, and is trying to communicate with her. Even when presented with a body, she says, “That’s not him.”
She constructs an elaborate system of lights in her home to try and understand the messages she feels Will is trying to send via electrical impulse. Townspeople are shaking their heads, muttering, but she is convinced; she refuses to stop in her quest. A lot of very scary things happen, enough to send any normal person screaming into the next county, but she perseveres.
And, ultimately, she finds him.
I know it’s not the same. But I just kept thinking: she’s how I feel. She’s me, she’s us – the moms whose kids have just sort of disappeared when we least expected it. The moms who refuse to let go of hope that somehow, in some way, we can keep on actively loving them in the right now, not just the back then, across space and time…and they will keep loving us back, and that even though it feels crazy, maybe…maybe there is a way to hear them still.