Happy Birthday Miss Mae aka Rory aka Crista Caerleon

August 7, 2014

We were the Gilmore Girls Revisited

I remember when Crista first died, I told everybody who would listen that we were the Gilmore Girls, she and I. I was desperate for people to understand how every Wednesday night for one hour, we lost ourselves in the identities of the mother and daughter TV characters, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore.

Here’s how it worked. I live in the Northern California foothills and Crista lived an hour away in the city. Each week at the appointed time, we’d watch the program and then, during commercial breaks, we’d discuss by phone what had just happened.

We related our lives with theirs. I was Lorelai. Crista was Rory. Never mind that I was old enough to be Lorelai’s mother and Crista was old enough to be Rory’s mom.

Crista Slide Collage JPEG

I think we liked being younger versions of ourselves. It seemed to promise us more of a future together, a fact that grew more important as cancer stole my daughter’s life.

By the time the network announced unexpectedly that The Gilmore Girls would conclude its run in two weeks, it was obvious that Crista’s time with me was also at an end.

The news of the program’s conclusion hit us hard. It had a weird, otherworldly feel about it—a kind of art imitating life.

On the day of the finale, I had to head up the hill for the night. I leaned close to Crista and whispered, “Honey, do you want me to call you tonight for The Gilmore Girls.’

Her voice was tiny and weak. “No,” she managed.

“Okay, sweetheart.” I kissed her ravaged cheek. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

At eight that night, Crista’s husband telephoned. “Crista’s been waiting for you to call her for your program,” he said.

He handed her the phone, and we stayed together that way, losing all track of the miles between us. We watched together and bid our alter egos farewell. And then we said goodnight, knowing that something mystical had occurred.

If Crista was to die, and there was no question about that fact, it seemed right and fitting that the Gilmore girls should also meet their demise. There should be no “them” without us.

And so they did. And so she did.

Even now, on the sixth anniversary of Crista’s death, I still find myself wanting to say to anyone who will listen, “We are the Gilmore Girls. We always will be.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mom’s in the world.