I read the sad news about the passing of Elizabeth Sladen this last week and it really was a tough pill to swallow. Sometimes we as human beings take for granted the beauty and routine of our daily lives and never really stop to appreciate who and what we have in our world. And when the passing of a familiar face, a wonderful spirit occurs, we stop, pause, reflect, and move on as it is written in the circle of life. But I would like to stay in this moment for a little bit longer to express to all of you how I came to know of DOCTOR WHO and his greatest traveling companion, Sarah Jane Smith, played so charismatically and boisterously by the beautiful Elizabeth Sladen.
I was just 12 when a neighbor's brother turned me on to the series, which in Cleveland, Ohio that year, began with a story called, ROBOT. At first I was not sure what to expect. And although the props and backdrops looked flimsy at times, the acting was always very good and I soon believed in the surroundings of that other place and time. I soon found that it was truly Science Fiction at its whimsical and imaginative best. Sure there was humor in the camaraderie of the characters, great over-the-top villains and the splash of danger on the part of the writers that was laid along the paths of our heroes to traverse. Yet among all the craziness, was this out-of-place beauty named Elizabeth Sladen, who in the world of the Time Lords, will forever be Sarah Jane Smith. I would tune in each night to see Sarah helping The Doctor save the universe from evil, and sometimes quite simply, its own short sightedness. But, Sarah would bring her own brand of mischief to The Doctor's missions; her inner reporter sometimes getting her into trouble that The Doctor had to rescue her from. But, we always loved her for it.
Alas, Elizabeth has left our world and is now in a better place among the angels and reliving her wonderful memories of life with old friends who went before her. But today, it is still unbelievable that my favorite DOCTOR WHO time-traveling companion has gone home on the shoulder of the Good Shepherd, when she still had so many things to accomplish here on this Earth. There were so many adventures yet to enjoy with her that now will never be. But, now her spirit is at peace; free from the pain of the cancer that claimed her.
There is no rhyme or reason to the destiny each of us owns, but I can say with certainty that Elizabeth followed her heart and her dreams and in the end, left us when she was at her prime of her life, having accomplished something very few only dream about achieving with no regrets. She truly was a one-of-a-kind and very talented and gifted human being, whom from what I have read from other fans, made herself available to people that respected and cared about her, both as a member of their family and as an actress. How many can say that? That is a pretty short list. And Elizabeth surely is on that list.
As Easter Sunday draws closer, I will not mourn and lament Elizabeth's passing with sadness, but I will honor her with the joyful memories of that first time I joined her, Harry and The Doctor on their timeless and spirited adventures and continued to do for many adventures afterward. They were and still are after all, great fun. And they will continue to be, yet now with a little more melancholy thrown in for good measure when Elizabeth again lights up the screen.
Peace to you Elizabeth. You will never be forgotten. How could you be? You have left so many great memories for myself and others to relive over and over again with the releases of DOCTOR WHO on DVD. You also left enough sunshine to push away even the darkest of storm clouds, including the ones that have tried to cast their shadows on not just your grieving family, but also on the DOCTOR WHO fan community these past few days.
Rest in Heavenly peace always, dear Elizabeth. You've earned it.