“You’re Gonna Make It After All” Was Just a Theme Song But Mary Tyler Moore Was The Real Deal

Mary died today.
The same Mary whose prayer I tacked to my bulletin board on Bay Street.
Whose words I recited during the winter the furnace broke
And in that summer when I was living in buckets of my own sweat.
It was the phrase I kept close when relatives asked who I was dating, 
When other people I loved changed the subject life upon finding out that indeed, life was hard.

The theme song was my armour.

I guarded it close during every move, maintenance fiasco, career victory, abrupt life halt or slow personal decline.
Those five little ingredients to heaven.

And yet, they were also a lament to what I was given.

They were my defiance when I was told to do everything. 
They were my exit when I was told to keep going because that’s what’s done. 
And even when I was told to be patient, to keep to that forward, if long, road to making it, I jumped off and realized:

This was just a theme song.

Mary’s life
Mary herself
She was the real.
All this time, I thought she was what people said about her.
But it was her path
Her personhood
That was always so much more.

So, to my friend, who did the awkward laugh at Chuckles’ funeral, who became Associate Producer despite feeling herself a secretary and who dated casually, but remained single and wise-

I thank you for your pure heart. For showing me I don’t have to be “The Mary” or “The Rhoda”, I can just be me.

And that is perfect.