A couple of weeks ago while my now-25 year old daughter was visiting New York City, I was up late one night scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post for an upcoming event that immediately made me contact my out-having-fun-in-the-Big-Apple child.
The event was none other than the 10th Anniversary screening of the movie Twilight in theaters nationwide.
I forwarded the event page to Maria and not one second later she texted back:
OMG. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
That made me chuckle, and while feeling a wave of nostalgia, I pressed the purchase tickets button.
She and I are going tonight.
I’m writing this post while listening to music from all of the Twilight movies and as I do so, not only am I really looking forward to this date with my kid tonight, I’m feeling little melancholy about the whole thing.
10 years ago I was only 41 years old. My husband was 45. Our kids were 15 and 16. Our old cat Cosmo and our old dog Maggie were still alive.
So was my mother. But not for long.
2008 was a horrible year. We found out my mom had colon cancer that January. My dad died in March. My mom had about 300 surgeries and spent most of the year in a bunch of hospitals. My sisters and I were run ragged taking care of our parents. I was an emotional mess. My regular life was on the back burner and even though I have no regrets in taking care of my parents, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my husband and kids and normal every day life a lot that year.
I was so busy, I really had no time to even think about anything but cancer and death.
It was rough. At the time, it was the hardest year I had ever experienced.
So one night, when my daughter brought me her copy of the book Twilight and told me I HAD to read it, I told her I had no time for that.
Really?, I thought. A book about vampires? Not exactly my cup of tea, ya know? I thought I would hate it.
I resisted. But she persisted. And one thing I have never been good at is telling my kids no.
So I took the book and agreed to read it so she and I could talk about it.
I read it during my precious downtime–before bed, before getting up for the day and at my mom’s bedside while she slept.
And I BURNED THROUGH THAT BOOK LIKE A FIRE BUILT TO BURN THE REMAINS OF DESTROYED DECAPITATED VAMPIRES.
To say I loved it is an understatement. I finished it in no time flat and went on to read the rest of the series as fast as I could.
It was funny. I would finish a book, go knock on Maria’s bedroom door, she would open it and collect the book I finished and hand me the next one.
My own mother, who was a life-long avid reader took an interest in the books I had at the hospital. I remember keeping her updated on the story I was into. I remember mom being pissed when Edward didn’t want Bella to be pregnant with their baby. Twilight was the last story my mom knew about before she moved on from this world
I just paused writing this and took a look around my room (which used to be my son’s) and looked at the pic on my desk of my kids when they were little when we were at Disney. Then I looked down at my phone cover photo which is a shot of my daughter just a few months ago hugging her dad…
And I’m like–
everything is different now.
My parents have been gone 10 years now. My kids are grown adults with jobs and their own places. My son is getting married next year. All of the kids who grew up with my kids are grown and have taken off. One of them has even passed away. Cosmo the cat and Maggie the dog have gone and now we have Dali and Penny–two of the most spoiled pets you’ve ever seen because hey– my husband and I have to parent somebody.
Speaking of that husband, he’s 55 and I am 51.
And I feel 51. It feels different than 41, that’s for sure.
Anyway, I owe my daughter for turning me on to Twilight all those years ago when I desperately needed an escape.
My Mom ended up passing away right before the premier of the first movie. The time immersed in the book and the movie with my own daughter gave me the only bright spot I experienced that year. Maria and I went to the midnight premier and had an absolute blast. We were so geeked up during our first viewing (we eventually went 10 times total-tonight will make 11), we totally neglected the pretzel bites and nacho cheese we purchased. By the end of the movie, the bites had congealed into a giant pretzel ball that we deposited in the trash.
Maria and I ended up going to every Twilight saga midnight premier together. We always had fun.
When the last installment, Breaking Dawn II, came out, we were there for the end too. And what an ending it was! The whole audience erupted that night, my daughter and me included. That is my #1 all time favorite movie-going experience ever. And I’ll always have that awesome memory of us losing our shit together with everyone else during the epic fight scene.
When the very end of the movie played out on the big screen that night, I cried.
Partly because of the story, but also because it was the end.
The end of something I really loved and got to share with my little girl.
I still get emotional when I see the end of that movie. It always take me back to those days.
Tonight, Maria and I will head to the theater together and go back in time for just a little while. Just me and her and Bella and Edward and Jacob and the gang back in Forks, under a near-constant cover of clouds…
And I’m living for it. Because I love Twilight.
I love the memories.
And I love my daughter.
Here’s the ending from Breaking Dawn II that always makes me a little emotional.