Whenever I hear the theme music for The Young and the Restless (Y&R), I get a lump in my throat and immediately think of my mother.
I suppose for many, the habit of soap-watching begins in childhood, wide-eyed and seated next to one's mother on the living room sofa. My experience was no different.
My mum grew up in India, in a strict Christian household. Having a pastor/missionary father, she never watched a single film or even television during her formative years, and for a good part of her adult life also (preferring scripture and meditation instead).
However, in the late 70s while on a sick leave from the Toronto hospital where she worked as a nurse, mum discovered Y&R and immediately bonded with the show. A new world had opened up for her.
My brother and I often encouraged mum to take a few moments to herself each day and indulge in a little snippet of the show, before rushing off to her evening shift. We even taught her how to use those old brown-boxed "converters" (circa the late '70s) with the up-and-down button technology.
On those rare days when her days off collided with our P.A days, we'd be seated in close proximity to mum and the television set, alternating between whatever game we were playing and catching glances of the drama transpiring in Genoa City (I tuned in a great deal more closely than my brother). Victor Newman (the "Mustache") always pissed us off.
It moves me to think that the only programs (apart from the news and game shows) that resonated with mum were stories of love, romance and familial turmoil. She gave "Guiding Light" and "All My Children" a brief shot but Y&R was the only one that stuck. The only one she could relate to on some level. It was part of her growth and mine.
Our affection for the show lasted almost 30 years. My mother and I may have missed a few episodes, here or there (or a few years more like) but Y&R is a show we always return to. One that feels like home for us.
Every time I hear that theme song, I think of those sweet days and remember the journey we've taken together, Victor Newman included.