In May 2009 my mother passed away. She had lung cancer. It happened agonizingly slowly and unfathomably fast – you know how cancer is. (And if you don't, count your blessings and trust me.)
I don't remember much about that time. It was mostly a haze. Falling apart, going through the motions. Sometimes picking up pieces lying around, step by step building myself up again.
When something traumatic happens, you have a long way coming out of it. When you lose something, you try your damnedest to bring back what was before. (Or at least I did.) You feel if you can get back to what you know, things will be like they were.
You're wrong, but it's a process. Slow process.
I did it. Little by little. When overwhelmed by reality, I retreated to what I knew. Iron Man came out in 2008; that was my familiar ground. (And Firefly.)
Then came the others.
A (new) life marked by movies
It was a long process since 2009. Made some good choices and some bad ones. Became stronger. Smarter. Built a career. Built myself.
And the entire journey has been punctuated by the Avengers.
In 2012, Avengers Assemble saw me living in London. Had a good job (considering the ones I had before) and a nice life.
Age of Ultron in 2015 witnessed my big break in Iceland. Became a writer, met friends. Found a home.
2018's Infinity War marked a high point as my career as a freelancer arrived on steady ground, and my life turned from playing catch-up to planning ahead.
Today, Endgame arrived as I'm preparing to open new avenues and build what I always dreamt of building.
We all draw strength from whatever we can
As I was sitting in the movie theater, it hit me. Not only does Endgame mean the end of an era in the MCU, it also means an end to an era in my life that was framed by the MCU.
I did cry over Endgame. And will be for a long time, if not every time. I haven't cried since my mother passed away 10 years ago.
Sure, you can laugh at me when I get emotional over "just a movie." I don't mind. Part of the new me is Marvel.
(And Iron Man. I'm that guy. It became my brand. I wear it proudly. Always will.)
I don't mind because it means something to me. I don't care if it doesn't for you.
I don't know what the markers in this new era will be. (Although Marvel will no doubt continue to keep me awed and entertained and fall in love with new stories and new characters.) What I do know is that something has ended.
I will always think of the Avengers as a source of where I come from. And I will always be indebted to the people making them for that. ❤️ you three thousand.
"It's always been you."