If you are like the other gazillion people who tune in to watch “This is Us” Tuesday nights on NBC, you probably went through a box of Kleenex after watching the most recent episode where Randall and William travel back to William’s old stomping grounds. I was doing okay through the first 2 minutes of the show. Well, not really. That’s a lie. I came undone when William’s daddy was singing “You are My Sunshine” to his unborn baby. Why? Because my Mom would sing that song to us growing up. Now that my Mom is in the nursing home and doesn’t remember much, she ALWAYS remembers the words to that song. In fact, her and I sing it each time I see her. I have a very strong emotional attachment to that song. So see why I was already crying?
Things went steadily downhill for me after that. William paying his respect to Jack brought on another round of tears because I secretly (okay maybe not so secretly) have a mad crush on Jack (and tell me who wouldn’t? He has it going on). The sobs really started coming when William was taking care of his mother who was terminally ill. When she said “I loved looking down at you when you were a baby and you were looking up at me. Now I’m down here looking up at you”, I am now crying pretty steadily at this point.
The heart wrenching sobs (and yes I was blubbering at this point) came during the last scene where William says to Randall: “My beautiful boy. My son. I haven’t had a happy life. Bad breaks, bad choices, a life of almosts and could haves. Some would call it sad but I don’t because the two best things in my life are the person at the very beginning and the person at the very end.” Stop right there and let the enormity of those words sink in. I had to hit the pause button because 1). I couldn’t hear the TV because I was crying so loudly; 2). I had to get another box of Kleenex; 3). No truer words were spoken.
The writers were still not done ripping our hearts out. Oh no. They had one more gut wrenching scene up their sleeve. What crosses the highway in front of Randall’s car on his way home? The ducks. The ducks that his father wanted him to see. The ducks they didn’t get to see together. Here I am wailing. Literally wailing. I have the ugly cry. My nose is running, my contacts are so dirty with tears I can’t see, and all I can do is sob.
So thank you to the writers and cast of “This is Us”. I will be back on the couch next Tuesday night with a box of Kleenexes waiting for you to take me on another roller coaster ride full of emotions. In the meantime, I am going to roll down the windows, turn up the music and let somebody else make the bed.