Which Fairy Tale Reflects You?

Several years ago, when my father was seriously ill, my sister took leave from her job and came to keep us company in the long hours of hospital waiting rooms and eventual  final care. On one of those long vigils, my sister and I discovered that we shared the same favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. We each had a tape of the original old French version and I was on a quest for the remake with George C. Scott.

I had read somewhere that you could see more clearly where you were in your life by identifying with your favorite character in your favorite story and, more importantly, where you are now in the story. Much to our amazement and delight, she readily, without the least hesitation identified with Beauty and I, just as strongly, with the Beast.

My single sister had taken a leave of absence from her job several states away, using all her vacation and sick time, to come to care for our father. She did that every year for many years...and still does for our mother. She was,and is, indeed, Beauty. Willingly and with more laughter than tears, my sister empowered and devotedly loved our parents . My father would say, "She lights up the room when she comes in" and it was true.

I was Beast. Always clumsy, not knowing what to do, fretful, weepy and generally being more in the way than anything. I am good at waiting. I can wait in cars, doctor's offices, and hospital waiting rooms for hours and have sometimes for days with patience and a supply of black coffee....so I waited. Like Beast, I could try to please, but mostly achieved awkward bullying with persistence.

As my father was dying, my sister, Beauty, was in the fairy tale at the place where Beauty came to be imprisoned by the Beast to save her father. I, Beast, was in the tale where I lay dying...having lost all hope. My father has been gone eleven years now and my mother plans to join him in a matter of months. Beauty and the Beast emerge again...where are we now...

Where are you? Choose a story, pick the character you identify closely with, and then decide where you are in the story. Share if you like.

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