“A Sorrow Shared Is Half A Sorrow”…
That title is actually from a proverb someone wrote to me on my wedding day, and I’ve thought of it often during this storyline. I’ll tell you the rest of it later.
First, thanks for all of the good thoughts, the calls, the emails, the cards, the tweets, the DM’s, and of course – all the LOVE! I love you all!
I am feeling better every day. Went to see the eye doctor today because the eye that ended up getting infected still gets teary when I do anything that requires focus, but he just said I need to give it some time…our eyes are super sensitive. So, I finally let out that deep breath I was holding…my eye is going to be fine. My biggest problem is that I really am a chicken.
I have to tell you that over the past couple of weeks, I have really struggled with not blogging over this storyline. Certainly I have had no shortage of thoughts about it, but today, I decided that even if I had to blog in 15 minute intervals and take breaks, then I would, because I feel like I might burst if I don’t get it all out. When I don’t “talk” to you guys about GH, I feel like I haven’t really processed it, so even though this story has been going on for a couple of (very long) weeks, for me it’s still “right here.”
And after Thursday’s episode, I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep until I got it all out. If you can say nothing else about this storyline, you must admit that the actors have really dug deep and given their all. I won’t comment on the flow of the story, or what seem to be the missing days onscreen, as I try really hard to stay positive, but I will comment on what will matter to all of us for a long time to come.
First, let me just say that like most of you, I think Steve Burton and Jonathan Jackson have been doing a phenomenal job with this storyline. As both of them are fathers, I cannot even imagine the thoughts that race through their minds while acting out such a sad storyline involving the loss of a child. Tony Geary has made me want to strangle him one minute and feel sad for him the next, and Laura Wright has also done a really wonderful job showing her struggle between love and guilt. And as always, our beloved Kelly Monaco never fails to move me, and sometimes even without saying more than a few words. *Applause* for all!
I sometimes think about my soap-watching history, and think of big moments I watched with my mom as a kid, and realize that I came to understand some tough “life lessons” from soaps before my mom had to struggle through the tough conversations with me. As I watched the day that Carly asked Jason for Jake’s kidney, I cried because I was so angry at Carly. I must have muttered the word “selfish” aloud, because my Vanessa, who is all but 9, gave me a hug, then looked at me and asked, “But wouldn’t you do the same thing for me?”
I must have blinked at her like a fool for a full minute, and then I really started to cry.
Why? Because when I thought about it, I realized that I would. In the moments where I would have to weigh being selfish or insensitive against saving my child’s life, I’d choose my child’s life EVERY SINGLE TIME. I had to thank Vanessa for helping me to see past a character I’m quick to lose patience with, like Carly, and realize that if it were my daughter’s life hanging in the balance, my love for my best friend would have to come second. I also had to thank GH for the great moment. As tough as it has been to watch, accidents and tragedies do happen.
When I look back at the beginning of this storyline, I really struggle with a lot of different emotions all at once. So much has happened, but I haven’t really felt it all at once. Do you understand what I mean? For instance, I have struggled almost every day with crying in one scene, and then being taken to a completely different place emotionally in the next. Like watching Lucky and Luke in the throes of devastation one moment, and then watching Suzanne apparently take out The Balkan. Today, I was sobbing as I watched Jason struggle with his sense of loss one moment, and then had to listen to Brenda laughing and discussing wedding gifts as though she has never even heard Jason’s name, and he had not just put his whole life on hold for her for the past eight months!
If GH was trying to remind us that even in the face of life’s greatest tragedies, life goes on, ummm…mission accomplished. I just wish that the people Jason has sacrificed so much for over the years, could have sacrificed just a little discomfort or inconvenience to be there for him, as none of them knew that Jason would not attend Jake’s funeral ahead of time. I hope Jason can perhaps move them all down his list of big priorities now.
Which brings us to Jason’s decision to not attend Jake’s memorial. What a hotbed of controversy that was, huh? Twitter was AFIRE with heated debate on both sides, and as usual, that brought out the UGLY in some people who just couldn’t grasp the idea that Steve Burton is NOT really Jason Morgan. That always bugs me the most.
But, back to Jason. Of course, my opinion is only my own, and I am positive that many of you will disagree…and that’s okay. I love hearing everyone’s side on big issues like this one. As for me, I actually completely understood Jason’s decision to not attend the memorial, and like Sam, I respect him for it and would have stood by him. Let me explain why…but we have to go back a bit.
When Jake was hit and found by Liz, she immediately called Jake’s father, Lucky. It doesn’t matter whose blood ran through Jake’s veins, because Liz’s immediate and only reaction was to call Lucky. Now, thanks to what seemed like random scenes several weeks ago when Liz broke the law to call Jason to advise him of Sam’s pregnancy test, we know that she does know how to get in touch with Jason. It’s not that she didn’t have the number, or didn’t dare to call Jason. She just didn’t think to. Lucky called Jason. Liz didn’t call Jason because she didn’t feel the need to share her heartbreak, fear, or devastation with Jason.
Why? Because quite frankly, Liz has never felt the need to share Jake with Jason at all. For all of those who are suffering from selective amnesia and say that Liz tried to share Jake with Jason, I beg them to step out of their denial and go back and revisit that history. Did Liz want to share a bed with Jason? Yes. Did she want to share lonely nights with Jason? Yes. Did she want to share stolen moments with Jason, while not having anyone know what she was really doing while her boys were at Gramm’s or daycare? Yes. But go back and watch. Even when Liz and Jason were “together”, Liz only shared funny little anecdotes or a stray picture with Jason. She wasn’t sharing Jake with Jason, she was only sharing hers and Lucky’s experiences with Jake. To me, that was always more cruel than not telling him a thing.
Now, I know there are some who want to focus on the couple of times that Liz got brave and declared her willingness to risk it all to be together with Jason, but really, those moments never lasted more than a shift at the hospital! The one time she got him to propose, Michael was shot, and then almost immediately, Liz was telling Jason that she could never forgive herself if anything like that happened to one of her sons. Jason didn’t even get a glimpse of Jake. Then the second time she decided she was willing to take a chance six months later, she hurled her phone across the room the very first time Jason called and said he couldn’t make dinner, much like she hurled the vase of flowers after reading those paternity results on Thursday. Again, she didn’t ask Jason to stop by when he was done “doing what he does” so he could kiss Jake good-night! She didn’t even offer to let him talk to Jake on the phone like many of us do when our husbands are stuck at work. How was that sharing Jake?
Once again, however, she vowed to fight to be together after Jason’s coffee shop was burned down, she traipsed all over town to make sure the Russians knew exactly who she was and how they could use her against Jason, and then ended up needing to leave PC with her kids and Sam in order to be safe. I know I don’t need to remind anyone how that turned out. I’m not sure about you, but when Liz came running out of that cabin screaming, “Jason, you go find MY baby!”, I didn’t really get the feeling that she was sharing Jake with Jason then either.
Following that, Liz told anyone and everyone that would listen that she didn’t really even “know” Jason, therefore couldn’t really be in love. She moved on after Jason promised not to call anymore, and paid for her house, and set up a $5 million trust fund, but she kept sharing Jake with Lucky, and never even sent Jason a discreet Christmas card with Jake’s photo. Even when she blew the money on a crazy ass investment, and poor Jake was left with no college fund, she didn’t tell Jason. How is that sharing?
Then, as if Fate was giving Jason a preview of what was coming, Jason had to watch his son get run down by a car at the Carnival, had to help dig him out from under a carnival tent, only to hear Liz tell Jake that she and “Daddy” were both there as she hurried off with Lucky and Jake towards the hospital. Even at the hospital, Liz was nothing less than dismissive of Jason as he struggled to deal with almost losing his son. “I’ll let you know what happens.” In other words, don’t hang out here – we’ll call you. Even when they knew something, it was Lucky who found Jason to let him know Jake’s prognosis, as Liz was reacting to the news by fantasizing about Lucky’s brother. Was that sharing?
Liz never shared the good times with Jason, and she never shared the bad times either. Liz never shared Jake with Jason at all. The night at the hospital after Jake got hit this time, Liz never once thought to call Jason, even though she had no idea Lucky had “shared” the news with Jason. When she saw Jason, she asked when he had gotten there, but never once apologized for not calling him.
She did however, share her regrets with Jason, and immediately started to apologize for letting Jake get out the door while she was distracted. Even there, in front of Jake’s room, she said to Jason that she and Lucky had not yet seen Jake. She didn’t ask Jason if he’d seen him, or even if he wanted to. She didn’t seem to be sharing even her grief over their son with him at all!
I, like many of you, reacted as though I’d been slapped when Liz hauled off and slapped Jason. I totally got that she was probably still in shock over losing her son, and before that moment, I had cried for Liz, I truly had. Yet, perhaps what stung me the most about that slap was that it didn’t really seem to come from the fact that Jake’s kidney was needed. Maybe it was just me, but the fact that the devastating conversation about donating Jake’s organs had already been discussed with Liz and Lucky, including the fact that the gift of organ donation could help save other lives, made me flinch when I heard Liz screech at Jason that he could not use Jake for “spare parts.” That had to hurt so much more than the slap!
Perhaps if her grief had come through in shades of pain about not being ready to take that step, or not being able to face that finality yet, I could have sympathized with Liz more. However, that’s not what I heard. Instead, Liz was seething at Jason because he was, in her own venomous words, “A selfish bastard.” But what shocked me most, was what followed. Liz accused Jason of: “CHOOSING not to parent Jake.”
Ummm? Is it me? When exactly did JASON choose that? I don’t ever remember Liz giving him another choice BUT to walk away, at least not one that he could live with! She had barely told Jason about Jake’s paternity before she asked him to act like he hadn’t heard her say it. And then to follow that up with, “Just like you chose not to be with me.” That’s where any warm and fuzzy feelings I entertained for Liz turned ice cold. She wouldn’t even share her feelings about Jake with Jason. Just her clouded perceptions about how their relationship had gone down, and the loss that she and Lucky felt, the hole they would be left with. I’m sorry, but whether Jason raised Jake or not, he loved him, and felt the loss like a parent. How dare she?
I know that Liz apologized for that outburst, and she apologized for not sharing Jake with Jason, but dammit – it was too little too late. As I tweeted last week with an angry, but broken heart, she couldn’t even share the one toy Jason had shared with his son! When Jason handed that toy motorcycle back to Liz, and she actually took it, I couldn’t even look at her anymore. The only thing she was willing to share with Jason were regrets, and Jason had enough of those on his own.
Which brings us to Jake’s memorial.
A memorial is about sharing. You share your memories, your remembrances, and the moments you shared with the one you’ve lost. Jason couldn’t do any of that, and my God, to have him sit there as he listened to everyone else share those things would be almost cruel.
Some have said that Jason should have attended as an outsider, just to honor Jake, like Jax or Carly, or the Scorpios, or anyone else who attended, because for those who are not immediate family, you share in the grief of those who loved the one being remembered. Jason couldn’t do that either. How could anyone expect Jason to walk in there and act like a sympathetic friend while Steven eulogized his son, and Lucky prayed for their futures, and he just sat there keeping it together?
How I wish that before people went off on Jason (or even worse – on Steve) they would stop and realize something very telling. Liz didn’t even bat an eyelash at Jason’s absence. I don’t just think it was the writing, people. It was completely consistent with how she has viewed Jason when it comes to Jake all along: non-existent.
And for those angry that Jason attended Baby Lila’s memorial, and not Jake’s – please. The two situations are nothing alike. Sam shared her daughter with Jason from her first heartbeats to literally her last. Sam shared her baby’s life with Jason in every way possible, even before the baby was physically a part of theirs. Sam had told Jason that even though he wasn’t going to be her baby’s biological father, he was going to be her dad. Jason would share in midnight feedings, see her first smile, hear her first words, watch her first steps. When tragedy struck Sam and her baby, she called out for Jason. They experienced that loss together. Sam shared her devastations and her tears, her hopelessness and her fears with Jason. And when Jason walked into that memorial service with Sam, it was not just to “literally hold her upright”, but to share in Sam’s grief, and in her loss, and to get through it together. He sat in that front row with Sam because he knew his place in Baby Lila’s life – front and center, and that was his place at her memorial as well.
That was not the case with Jake. He didn’t have a place there, and he couldn’t share anything as Jake’s biological father or his dad. That’s the difference. That has always been the difference between Sam and Jason and Liz and Jason. Never has that difference been more significant than now.
Jason said he had only been there for Jake the night he was born, and the night he died. No matter how wrong he was for letting Liz convince him it was the right thing to do, it doesn’t change the fact that he did it believing it was an act of love. I was glad for Jason that this time, he didn’t let anyone tell him how he should honor his son’s memory. For Jason, it wasn’t attending a memorial that he couldn’t really share with Jake’s family. It was spending time with the little girl who will always carry a piece of Jake with her. A child whose life, and that part of Jake, he can always share, because he’s not just allowed to, but asked to.
Just one more difference.
I took the time to call and write to thank the writers for a few things, and will continue to do so in an effort to balance out the death threats from the other side. I really hope you’ll join me.
First, I wanted to thank them for reminding us all that once upon a time, Jason shared the loss of a child he loved with the woman who was willing to share her child with him. So many of the moments Jason and Sam shared reminded me of Jason being there for Sam before her baby’s memorial. This time it was a tie instead of pearls, but the message was the same: Jason had to decide how he would honor Jake. No one else could decide for him.
I also wanted to thank them for showing us ALL once again why a baby for Jason and Sam wouldn’t be about replacing Jake, or about grief, no matter what anyone says. Jason and Sam may have finally realized that LOVE and the SHARING of that love and their lives are the only things we can guarantee our children. Nothing else is within our control. THAT would be the only reason to decide to have a baby, so on that front, Jason and Sam may be the most prepared parents in Port Charles. I’m rooting for them to finally get to experience a baby “conceived in so much love”…not grief, or drunken rebound sex. A baby they can share…
Oh, the last part of that proverb I quoted in our title is…” A Sorrow Shared Is Half A Sorrow, And A Joy Shared Is Double Joy!”
That’s my wish for Jason and Sam, who together, have shared it all!
Lastly, I thanked them for some much needed closure.
Now let’s move on!
Please remember to also call and email to get TPTB to realize that we all believe losing Tyler Christopher in the role he created as our Cassadine Prince would be a huge mistake! Remind them of how many connections Nikolas has, not just on the canvas, but to our heartstrings! Let them know that Tyler’s talent is something we’re not willing to lose without a fight!
General Hospital without a Cassadine at Wyndemere is like hospital without a doctor! (I almost said “A Quartermaine”, but we already have that. Paging Monica Quartermaine doesn’t count!)
I love sharing GH with all of you…