I'm sitting here watching "Grandma Comes Home" on INSP tonight. I've always felt that Ellen Corby's return to The Waltons was one of the most courageous moments in television history. After the stroke, Ellen could have just given up, but she worked hard and was able to return to the series - a stroke victim portraying a stroke victim. It made the storyline so believable because it was real.
I am so glad she chose to come back after her stroke. That just shows how strong of a person Ellen Corby truly was. She was so young at the time too, I believe 66 or 67.
I love the part when Grandpa is all upset because his Esther wasn't behaving like she normally did. Towards the end of the show, she whacked him with the broom she was using to sweep the porch. He's so happy and yells out Whooopieee!
I think Grandma was happy in her own way. I remember many serious older women when I was young. They were very no-nonsense but they loved their families. Maybe all they went through, the Depression, sons lost in wars, lost babies, etc. made them and Grandma that way. Just watched "The Thanksgiving Story" and when Grandpa squeaks the turkey caller he tells Ben that it sounds just like Grandma!
Unfortunately, I think it's often a part of aging. Moody, lack of patience, constantly negative, self absorbed, that sort of thing. I just don't want to be like that when I get in my 70's, 80's. I don't want to be the person no one wants to be around.
I think Grandma had her moments though. While she was moody and negative, she did care about others, but she liked to play the martyr too. She was very sweet to Maude when she found out that she was going to be alone at Christmas. She and Grandpa went to visit her.
^ I think Olivia (Patricia Neal) held it together pretty well considering the circumstances. There she was, a potential single mother responsible for John's parents and 7 children, no means of income, with her husband missing and possibly dead from a bus crash. That's a lot of responsibility for one person. Olivia was a strong person, but that kind of pressure could easily have brought her to her knees.
Also, the Olivia portrayed by Patricia was quite unlike the Olivia portrayed by Michael.
Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. - Plutarch