Back in the day, I was a huge Rosie O'Donnell fan. Her TV show to me was comic relief from busy days at home with 4 young children. I loved the way she shared funny everyday events that happened to her, stories about watching TV shows as a child--many which were favorites of my own, & the way she would get star-struck when meeting certain "big name" celebrities on her show like Barbara Streisand & Tom Cruise. She made herself very believable & ordinary.
This was all before her "coming out" as a lesbian, her aggressive dislike of the Catholic church (& other Christians), & the liberal poison she now likes to spew publicly. Once all that stuff happened, the appeal for me was gone, and so was her show. I watched from a distance as she "married" her female lover and attracted controversy after controversy with her big mouth, attacking whatever she felt wasn't on her agenda. Most times I didn't even entertain what was going on in her life, both because I didn't have an interest in reading her books or watching her on TV, but also because I really didn't have the time to follow what she was up to.
So, why talk about her now? I recently caught a commercial saying that she would be a guest on Oprah--another of my former favorite shows. Out of curiosity, I DVR'd the show and finally got a chance to view it. What did I see? Well, while it's the same Rosie that I don't like--the big-mouth lesbian trying to make her lifestyle & choices seem normal and those of us who oppose this alternative portrayed as narrow-minded or holier-than-thou, there was more. Something I'd seen in the past, but was now screaming to be noticed---a very hurt & damaged 10 yr. old little girl.
Y'see, Rosie's mom died of cancer when she was 10 leaving her to be raised by a detached father & grandmother. She often talked about this in the old days of her show, but now it was evident that the wound had never healed--the pain of losing her mom and perhaps feeling somehow abandoned are still as fresh 40 yrs later as they were then. Instead of seeing the funny Rosie or the liberal Rosie, I actually started feeling compassionate about the little girl Rosie who tragically lost her mom--every child's nightmare come true. Yes, it explains alot about her choices & attitudes, but what really rings true for me is how hurt she was and still is! Why had no one helped this little girl heal? Where were the school counselors, the family doctor, the parish priest, the loving extended family, etc. Who was going to help a little girl ever feel loved the way a mother loves a child again?
For those of us with a strong faith, there is the obvious choice--turn your pain to God, join Jesus in His suffering, ask the Blessed Mother to help you feel that nurturing love. How many times have there been hurt children in our lives--whether our own or maybe a niece or nephew, or a neighbor. They don't have to lose a parent to death-- perhaps there's divorce, physical or mental illness, financial difficulties, or abuse. All of these situations can rock a child's world. They need to feel secure, stable, & loved. Perhaps if someone had stepped in her mother's shoes--not just providing a meal, but loving her thru her grief and helped her to heal and move on, Rosie would not be the person we see today, but would be the one that God had created her to be.
Look around, who are the children in your life? Are their needs being met? Do they need some compassion, nurturing, or healing? Let us not allow the busy-ness of our lives to cause us to ignore and push aside the little ones who are lost.