Yes. I admit it. Each night, just before bed, I turn on The Golden Girls. I’ve seen every episode, laughed at every joke, but still, like a security blanket to a toddler, the sound of the opening theme song make me feel at home.
What is it about familiarity that makes us feel comfortable? Humans are creatures of habit. We like to visit the same restaurant and go for that old familiar seat. In church, we find the pew we feel has our name on it — usually in the back toward the door.
It’s the familiar that gives us sense of order and peace. It’s The Golden Girls that reminds me of the goodness and innocence in life.
We can all relate to the characters on the show. How many of you have a Sophia at home? Picture It! A grandmother figure, spicy and old world in her views, the Sophia in your life reminds you of a time almost gone forever.
Who’s your Sophia? For me it was my late grandmother. She was a storyteller, had hard-to-believe home remedies for the common cold, and when you least expected it, shared her pearls of wisdom.
I lost my grandmother Rafaela, just over a year ago. In her later years, she didn’t know who her children were. Living in a nursing home, nana Rafaela spoke few words, ate from a straw, and took affinity to a baby doll.
She wasn’t the nana I grew up with but she was the nana that helps raised me and 11 other grandchildren. When she passed away, I was reminded how much we all need a Sophia in our lives.
In a favorite Golden Girls episode, 80-year Sophia meets a new friend, Alvin, during a visit to the Miami boardwalk. She meets him regularly, shares Italian food and swaps favorite stories from their previous marriages.
One day, Alvin snaps, he raises his voice, sounds confused and lost. He can’t remember his deceased wife and cries on Sophia’s shoulder. Sophia learns about his Alzheimer’s, and we, the audience, learn about the fragility of life.
I think of my Sophia often. I think about her constant prayers for her grandchildren. I think of her morning coffee and toast, her cookie jars, her old furniture. I think of her lipstick and makeup, how she got herself worked up just to visit the supermarket. For the Sophias of our time, presentation was always important.
I’ve learned so much about how life’s little things, the familiar things, were so important to the greatest generation and I’ve learned this from watching The Golden Girls.
The next time you tune in, think of your Sophia, and if your lucky enough to have her around, give her a big hug and tell her — Thank You For Being A Friend.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on February 11, 2016.