I know it seems so silly to be so stoked to go see someone you don’t know. I have tickets to see Reba in concert on June 26th. Do I know her? No. Does she know me? No. She doesn’t even know I exist! However, that does not make me any less excited to go see her.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been to other concerts. I have gotten excited about other performers. But this one is different.
Even though we have not met and probably never will, even though she sings songs about many things, and even though she was simply playing a character on a TV sitcom… there is a strange connection.
You see, I have been a fan of Reba and her music for all of my adult life, but something changed about 8 years ago. When my husband left me, I, at the recommendation of a good friend, searched for what we lovingly call “mindless TV;” something to watch that can occupy one’s mind without requiring concentration.
In an effort to stop my mind from the spiral it was in, and to perhaps gain some sleep, I would watch TV endlessly. Sometimes, probably more often than not, I wasn’t even watching it — it was simply on. When I couldn’t stop the thoughts of Why did he leave? What did I do wrong? How will I survive?, I turned to “mindless TV.” Believe it or not, it helps. Try it, you will be amazed.
I happened upon a sitcom, just a half an hour long per episode, that ironically was about a woman like me: with 3 kids, like me, whose husband leaves her for a younger woman, like me. You would think that a show so close to my real life would just cause more pain or the pain to prolong. But this show did the opposite. It allowed me that reprieve for just a brief moment in time to focus on this scary-similar, fictitious family and not on my own situation. I laughed, I cried, I got angry right along with Reba. And if I dig very deep, I allowed myself to perhaps hope just a little that perhaps my ex would one day be like “Brock,” Reba’s ex on the show. You see, he was much nicer to Reba than my ex was to me, or still is. He did things that were for the benefit of the kids, which mine did not, and does not. So many years later, I have all but given up that hope.
So as I learned to breathe, to stop crying, to move ahead with my own life, I continued to watch the Reba show. It was a comfort in so many aspects. I had soon watched every episode and began to rewatch many of them.
Through this half hour sitcom, I think I learned that I would and could survive. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just the show; many things and people played a part, but the show was a big part. And although I know it was a scripted part of a character in a TV show, I feel that Reba helped me to survive.
And just listen to the theme song:
My roots are planted in the past, Though my life is changing fast, Who I am is who I want to be. A single mom, who works too hard, Who loves her kids and never stops. With gentle hands and the heart of a fighter. I’m a survivor. –
That was me! That became me!
Even now, 8 years later I still watch the show whenever it is on TV. I actually own every season on DVD. It reminds me just how far I have come.
Reba has many songs that speak to my heart and soul, but that character from that long ago tv show will always hold a piece of my heart.
On the 26th of June, I will be just another face in the crowd of what I am sure will be a sold-out show. But from my 5th row seat, I will be singing my heart out, probably shed a tear or two, and being an ever-grateful fan for something that a big star did without ever knowing she did it – for an ordinary survivor like me!