It's not like I ever watched Guiding Light, or should care one way or another about the cancellation of a soap opera. True, it had been on TV for over fifty years, but surely it had long passed its sell-by date. It was the product of another time, and all things are impermanent. Celebrate what was, then move on.
Sure. Except my mom tuned in religiously every day for decades, joined later by my dad, taking an hour off every day to pop open a Grain Belt and watch. Me, I couldn't have cared less, but I have memories of it all the same, a constant droning presence in the background while I was home sick or sprawled on the couch on a summer afternoon enjoying a stack of comic books. It was always there, every day at the same time, its existence somehow comforting.
Dad passed away, Mom passed away, but Guiding Light remained steadfast, a tenuous link, perhaps, but still a daily reminder, a whisper from the past, something I could still grasp, something that was a definite if relatively inconsequential part of my parents' lives. Now it's just another lost piece of the puzzle. Soon it will be gone forever, like the sound of their voices, like their laughter, like their love.
Ah, but it's just a TV show. No tears, and no need to load it with more significance than it can bear. Yet somehow, even though I never watched it, I sense I'll miss it when it's gone.