Monday, May 21, 2012

In Defense of Twilight

On December 3, 2007 our then three-year-old son, Dewey, was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma. We spent the next eighteen months in and out of hospital. It sucked.

As cancer treatment takes quite a toll on your body, my feisty short-attention span but in need of a routine three-year-old took to watching the same movies over and over and over.

Because I can only take “A Bug’s Life” so many times before I want to stab myself, and I needed to be in the room to cater to his needs, I rediscovered my love of reading.

For Christmas 2005, my Darling Husband had given me the seven novels of Jane Austen that were bound in one huge book. I had been slowly picking my way thorough “Sense and Sensibility” after completing “Emma”, when I decided to go ahead and read them all. Once I had finished, “Persuasion” being the last, I had remembered how much I love to read. I started researching books and reading a bunch of things that I had been meaning to read but never had the time to. Now I was making the time.

At this horrible time in my life, reading was a wonderful escape. A chance to live someone else’s life and to be in another world and not have to think about CBC’s and blood transfusions and infection and central lines and hand washing and Neupogin injections and all the joys that come with cancer treatment.

I was extolling the joys of my renewed relationship with books to my best-friend/ex-mission companion and was telling her I was desperate for something new to read as I was just finishing “Scar Tissue”, Anthony Kedis’ auto-biography. She told me she had just the books for me, I could borrow hers, and she would leave them on my porch.

They were the “Twilight” books by Stephenie Meyer. I had heard my co-workers talking about these books, and I have had a fascination with vampires since I knew what they were, (hello, the Count was so fabulous!) that I thought that I would enjoy them.

Did I ever enjoy them! First of all, the story takes place in rainy Washington! Stephenie Meyer’s descriptions of the rain and the moss and the “it’s too green” took me home. Her writing style is very descriptive to the point that I could see everything happening in my head with great detail. I lived in the world of Forks and the Cullens in my head. It was a great place to take me away from the day to day real-ness of my life.

I can relate to Bella in that I too am a total klutz and can trip on a bare dry floor. I too like to live in books and keep to myself. I also secretly thought I was just normal and plain and that no one saw anything special in me. I was so thankful for those books.

Dewey was having a particularly awful day one Sunday during his second bone-marrow transplant just after I finished “New Moon”. He was really tired and just wanted to watch “Toy Story” all day and sleep. I put the movie on a loop and read “Eclipse” in one day.

Fortunately, Dewey engrafted soon after and we were out of hospital for awhile. This was in July and “Breaking Dawn” was not released until August. I had a whole month of waiting to find out if Jacob was going to end up with Bella or end up broken-hearted.

“Twilight” came into my life at the perfect moment. It’s easy to read, romantic and full of wonderful characters. I can just live in that world in my head and escape from whatever it is in my life that is getting me down.

There was a time in my life when I became obsessed with all things “Twilight”, as I have been able to pull myself out of the depression I suffered that comes along with having your child go through cancer treatment and the fall-out that results in your regular life because of it, I have moved on from “Twilight”, obtained a library card, and read some perfectly delicious things. I still pick it up and re-read it from time to time.

The “Twilight” series is the only books I have ever read over and over again. I used to be a one and done type of reader. I figured once I read the book I knew what happened and I didn’t need to read it again, but I watch movies over and over because I catch new things every time I see it, and I love to re-live certain scenes. I realized that I can do this with books too, and have since re-read a few of my favourites; Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to name a few.

I am so grateful to Stephenie Meyer for writing down that dream she had one night.

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