Hi everyone! Damianista welcomes you to a NEW Fan Story Tuesday!
Today’s fan story comes from a wonderful reader whom I met under very special circumstances! One morning this summer, and it was my wedding anniversary of all days, I woke up to find out I could not access the blog and got a message from our host service that our website was hacked! You know, there is no dreadful a feeling like knowing your hands are tied, and so it was a horrible day until I was informed by the host later that afternoon that someone on the host service mistakenly marked our website as “hacked” and things went back to normal. But, in the meantime, I got this lovely message.
“Hi, I wanted you to know that your website is not accessible right now. Says “error establishing a database connection”. I don’t want anyone to miss out on your writings, including myself, as they are excellent. Thanks, Nancy”
It turns out Nancy read Fan Fun from its very early days and she was genuinely concerned when she could not access the site. As someone who believes everything (well, almost) happens for a reason, I seriously think the “hack” was an excuse for the two of us to meet! We clicked instantly and, me being me, I kindly asked Nancy if she would like to contribute to our fan story series. Huge thanks go to her for taking the time to write her deeply personal and incredibly lovely story.
It was all set in motion without my even realizing it. One summer day in 2011 our internet went out. Our provider couldn’t fix the problem remotely and couldn’t get a repairman out for several days. As both my husband and I work from home, this was a problem. But we made it through several days at the local library. And the day finally arrived to get our internet back but no repairman! A mistake had been made and our service call was not scheduled. To make up for their mistake, after sending someone right out to our house and fixing our internet, we were offered three months of Showtime free. My husband was thrilled by this offer but, since I watched very little TV (except for Roger Federer tennis, Cubs baseball and March Madness) this reward didn’t do much for me.
When the three free months ended, my husband discussed with me if we could pay to keep Showtime because he saw promos for this great new show.
We had just finished putting two of our children through college and our third had two more years left, so we were counting every penny. But since we already paid for the tennis channel for me, I thought it was the least I could agree to for him. But I never asked him about this “great new show”! I probably wouldn’t have watched it anyway.
The fall of 2011 was one of the saddest times of my life as my sister was valiantly battling breast cancer. I had attended every doctor’s appointment, chemo treatment and surgery in the four years since she had been diagnosed. I really needed all of my energy, both physical and emotional for supporting her which is why my husband never even told me whether or not he enjoyed this new show we were spending our hard earned money on. He knew my world was consumed with far more important things. In early 2012 my sister lost her battle and I felt – what? loss, pain, sorrow. But my own sorrow was nothing compared to watching my 85 year old parents lose their child or my sister’s husband and sons struggle with their loss. There is no way to prepare for how you will feel with a hole in your life.
So how does Homeland enter into this sadness in our family?
As we slowly moved towards healing and finding our new normal, I kept hearing from various people, including family members how much I would love this show Homeland. I love to read and mysteries are one of my favorites and I was told that this show was just like a great mystery. Well I kept putting off watching it. I am, if nothing else pretty stubborn and don’t like to be told what to do! Plus our son was getting married that summer and that was a welcome bit of joy in the midst of our grief.
Finally I found myself looking at a cold and rainy late September weekend with my husband out of town on business and the joy from our son’s summer wedding just not keeping the grief at bay any longer. I heard that Homeland had won all of the Emmys that year and I knew it was time to watch it. I sat down after work one evening and began. I never stopped until I finished all 12 episodes. I didn’t know that a TV show could be so thrilling. The story was fascinating and just like a great book I kept watching the next chapter until I was exhausted and the story was over.
The acting was phenomenal especially this unknown, to me, actor who played Brody. At this point in my story I don’t need to tell anyone who reads this blog about the acting ability of Damian Lewis. He made my heart break for this poor man and then made me think of all of the real life young men and women coming home from war damaged in some way. And isn’t that what art is supposed to do? It reflects our world back to us and makes us think – what can I do to make the world a better place? At least that is what the acting of Damian Lewis as Brody did for me.
Then I did what most of you probably did whenever you discovered his talent – found what else he had acted in and watched it, started paying attention to interviews and anxiously awaited any new work to be released. This admiration for an actor, any actor took me completely by surprise. It is not typically my personality but it happened due in part to the amazing acting talent that was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Each new role that I found seemed to be different from the rest – this is acting; becoming a character and letting us, the viewer into that character’s life and thoughts and feelings. And then I started to see and read interviews given by Damian Lewis – this man seemed so different from most of his characters! He seemed so grounded – in his marriage, as a father, in the approach to life as work AND play.
He comes across as being very confident but also humble and kind. There’s thoughtful intelligence, humor – even directed at himself, and the understanding that helping others is an integral part of any person’s life. He reminded me of the only other “celebrity” that I truly admire – Roger Federer. Damian Lewis is the Roger Federer of acting!!
I’d never say that Homeland, Brody or Damian Lewis healed me of my sadness – only time can do that. But as these two events occurred side by side in my life, they have become, in the words of the wonderful Charlie Crews – connected!
I have enjoyed all of the fan stories on the blog and thank you all for reading mine!