Tonight was the series finale of the show Parenthood.
I know many who watched that show over the 6 seasons.
Those of us that watched it watched the single parenthood of Sarah Braverman with her rebellious daughter Amber and her withdrawn son Drew. The absent father who couldn’t get his act together long enough to stick around. The impregnation of Drew’s girlfriend who had an abortion and of course, Amber’s pregnancy with the post traumatic stress disorder ridden Ryan.
We watched Max Braverman with autism. Kristina Braverman battled breast cancer. Hattie was a lesbian. Adam go through job changes. Not to mention Nora who was born in a “late stage” of Adam and Kristina’s life.
We had Crosby who had no worries what so ever who later discovered he had a biracial son; ended up marrying his son’s mother where they had (clearly) a biracial marriage and a second child. Not to mention Crosby’s many attempts (and failures) at his professional career, yet we watched him follow his dreams all the way down to the very last episode of the series.
We can’t forget Joel and Julia who struggled with fertility issues; adopted Victor; suffered jealousy and infidelity; and ultimately separated before joining back together and adopting again.
Lastly, we have Camille and Zeke. The patriarch and matriarch of the Braverman family. They too suffered secrets, infidelity, and not to mention old age and the medical concerns that follow.
I watched all the episodes.
I followed the real life family drama unfold on television, every week for 6 seasons.
I watched my life on television, every week for 6 seasons.
Each one of the Braverman family was someone I knew or something I lived.
After watching this final episode (and of course bawling my eyes out) it made me realize – it wasn’t the show that made us teary eyed. It wasn’t the actors that we have come to love.
It was real life.
What we watched on screen was a reminder of our own personal lives. Our own personal wishes. Our own personal desires.
I was raised by a single mother with an absent father who couldn’t keep his act together long enough to be a dad. I was the rebellious teenager. I have been through infidelity as a child and as an adult.
That was my life.
I knew how those characters were feeling because I had lived the same life.
My tears streamed last night because I never had my dad to walk me down the aisle. I cried because my dad and my grandfather are no longer on the physical earth.
It’s not Zeke or Sarah or any other Braverman that made me emotional – it was my life.
Those of us that watched Parenthood could relate because we felt like we were watching our own lives, our own desires, our own wishes unfold in front of us on that television screen for that one hour every week.
It is the reason we are – and will continue to be – Parenthood fans.