Opinions Soaps

A Requiem for a Jolie Fan

For me the most precious part of my One Life to Live experience will never end with it’s cancellation. The marvelous friendships I’ve made will live on.

On March 5, 2011, my dearest friend Kendal Elliot passed away quietly in her sleep at 36 years of age from heart failure. Her friendship is, was, and always will be a treasured gift that I would never have known if it weren’t for John and Natalie, and for that I owe you both my deepest gratitude. To make a long story short, we had one of those bizarre message board “friendships” for a couple of years before we met face-to-face for the first time in April 2006 while on a crazy mission to find out if John and Natalie would reunite during May sweeps. The mission ended in abject failure because Melissa, as always, was tight-lipped and refused to reveal anything. Out of that failed mission however, Kendal and I struck up a friendship that transcended its all too humble (and slightly humiliating) beginnings. Honestly, it was the closest thing to love at first sight I’ve ever experienced, and we often joked that if we had one iota of lesbian tendency we would have lived together happily ever after.

Over the next almost five years, Kendal and I talked nearly every day, sometimes for hours at a time, sharing all the joys and annoyances and tragedies of our everyday lives and we laughed all the time. We had the same twisted sense of humor and we could laugh about anything from a traffic ticket to our dogs’ antics to something the kids said or did. I was with her shortly after she brought her infant son home. I was with her when her father was hospitalized in the days before he succumbed to his illness. She came and worked in the concession stand for my son’s football games and visited with my family. I became a part of her family, and she became a part of mine and I remain close with her sisters and her husband. Friends are the family you choose. Kendal was the closest thing to a sister I will ever have and although our friendship raised many an eyebrow when we explained how we met, we always accepted it as a completely unexpected treasure that was more precious because of its unlikely origins. Everything in my life was improved because I could share it with Kendal. All the colors of the world were more vivid. Other than my husband and my children, Kendal was the dearest person in my life.

I am really struggling with this loss and Michael Easton’s borrowed words were such a comfort: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened” — Theodore Geisel Although I must admit that over the last few years our interest in the show waned, the news of cancellation still makes me sad for all the people who will be out of work and the end of an era. But Kendal’s three year-old son and Lilah Easton’s birth and my son’s graduation from high school all remind me that life goes on, and I will focus on my gratitude that the show existed at all, and because it did, I received this most incredible gift. Truly one of the most profound experiences of my entire life, and I’d never have known it but for a shared affection for John and Natalie. So thank you One Life to Live.

T. Bills
Senior Editor, TVSource


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