SCREEN TIME: Elizabeth and Gracie

“My love of watching tv started when I was a young child. In the summer evenings, I would come home after swim team practice, get ready for bed, and then lay on our living room floor with a bunch of pillows and blankets and watch Nick at Nite. Then, when I was around 10, my older brother moved out and I got his bedroom which included his old tv. Unbeknownst to my mom, I would often sneak watching it late into the night. A bad habit that I never corrected.

 

The Family Stone is my favorite type of movie because, even though it’s a movie, something at its core feels so authentic to me. It has humor and romcom elements, but it’s also about a family with a lot of love and the usual dysfunction, working through their own mess with relationships, illness, sibling rivalry, and so on. Throughout the movie (spoiler alert), it becomes apparent that the matriarch of the family, played by Diane Keaton, is battling cancer (again) and is dying. I know the reason I watched The Family Stone more than usual this past Christmas is because my mom died of cancer over the summer. This was our first Christmas without her. Many in my situation might intentionally not watch a movie about a dying mom, but for me, this year especially, it was what I needed, and it helped me on my healing journey. In the final scene, everyone gets back together for the following Christmas and Diane Keaton’s character is not there, because she had passed. The last visual is a picture of her as a young mother and it’s placed in such a way that you know she’s there in spirit and watching over her family. I always feel at peace at the end and it reminds me that even though things are different now, they’re still good.” - Elizabeth 

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Elizabeth loves a clean, white, simple space to decompress from her day-to-day work inside a hospital as a social worker. She had the room re-painted from a bright and bold green to this soothing off-white and has slowly been adding wall art that centers around providing a peaceful environment. A fabric art piece bought at her favorite neighborhood shop, In Watermelon Sugar was chosen for the calm it brings her. Laying on her unmade bed (sheets were getting washed) with a laptop on her smaller dresser is a form of relaxation in the midst of the pandemic. Her furry friend Gracie is technically her roommate’s pooch, but she has been won over from a cat-lady to a dog-lover. A colorful wardrobe overflows her closet and adds a lived-in vibe to her otherwise plain white walls. She has multiple glasses and travel mugs scattered through her space keeping her well hydrated. And don’t be alarmed by her beloved doll, Big Baby, sitting on a pillow by her feet. She’s been through a lot, much like Elizabeth. Having survived a fire to her childhood home, Big Baby has been shorn, laundered, and well-traveled through many of Elizabeth’s life trials. Her mawmaw’s mirror served as a reflective angle into her deeply entranced screening of The Family Stone. Yes, she still watches DVDs.