Sara Edwards: “Finding Myself” at 59

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Here I am, knee deep in a dumpster in my mother’s back driveway. Surrounded by a mixed debris of leaves, old newspapers and coffee grounds , I am wearing dishwashing gloves while searching for things my mother mistakenly tossed out. Due to her advanced glaucoma, she somehow mixed in her recent bills, theatre tickets and calendar with the trash.  As I pick through the mess like a tabloid reporter searching for evidence of a celebrity scandal, I find the pile of treasure I’m looking for.

Before that little incident, the house almost caught  fire. This time my 88 year old mother had been warming a donut in a paper bag in her 70 year old oven setting it on broil. Flames were shooting out from the sides of the stove while black smoke spread through the house. I dialed 911 and apologized to the two fully manned firetrucks that showed up that it was only a burning donut.

The firefighters pulled the pulverized mess from the oven and put out the fire. My mother was floating on her raft in the pool during the commotion. She looked like an aging actress waiting for her cue. “What’s all the fuss about?” She said with an innocent smile.

Sara Edwards and Mom Jeane Edwards

Sara Edwards with Mom, Jeane

So this is my life now. At the age  of 59, I’m living in the home I grew up in, taking care of my elderly mother.

And to think I used to be a somebody! Well, at least in Boston I’d get recognized for my work as an entertainment reporter at a local TV station. My career spanned 27 years in that lovely city by the Charles River. I’d interview movie stars like Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. George Clooney would give me a big hug every time I walked in to chat with him about his latest film. Life was exciting and fun. I was on the red carpet at the Oscars and the Emmys. I was SARA EDWARDS, TELEVISION STAR.

But three years ago when I hit my mid fifties, I discovered that I was past my television “shelf life.” I was still single, after a long series of failed relationships that always caved in because my priority was career.  I was also fed up with the snow and isolation that winter can bring . So I packed up my furniture and two cats, and moved back to sunny California to live with Mom and re-invent myself.

Life changed in an instant. It seemed that my mother was waiting for me to come home before she gave up running her own life.

Instead of producing stories about Brangelina and Britney, I produce Jeane Edwards now. That entails paying her bills, and driving her to bridge games, and helping her put on her hair pieces and make up. Gone are my trendy television outfits. My uniform is jeans and T shirts with my hair in a pony tail. I heard Mom tell one of her church friends “Sara really doesn’t care how she looks anymore now that she’s not on TV.”

There may be some truth to that.  For almost three decades of my life I had to look camera ready. I would arrange a week’s worth of outfits so there were no repeats. I spent hours at the hairdresser, MAC makeup counter, and the gym.  I got Botox and had my eyes “lifted” at age 49.

Free of all that now, I feel more relaxed and less “on.”  I am just plain old Sara and pretty happy with that. I am also deepening my relationship with a mother who was always feisty and frustrating.  In many ways, I’m the mother now. Our days together are limited. We both know that. I tell friends it is my sacred task to care for her. I say that on the days I don’t want to murder her.

And something else miraculous evolved at the age of 59. After decades of Mr. Wrongs, I met Mr. Right. The unlikely matchmaker was the caregiver for my Mom’s 93 year old friend Gloria. In her Guatamalan accent Herenia was adamant. “Sara, I clean house for a man who would be perfect for you!”

Though doubtful, I agreed to meet Christopher for drinks at a little Italian restaurant in Pasadena. That first date has turned into the healthiest and most loving relationship of my life.  I finally have the time to invest in someone.  Someone who prefers me WITHOUT make up.

Sara Edwards and Christopher -- no makeup!Television fame gave way to real life. I’m thankful for my time in the limelight. It’s why I can afford to be semi-retired now. But life is richer. I’m not chasing after Cameron Diaz to ask her what designer she’s wearing.  I’m taking my nearly blind mother to Macy’s to buy the purple shoes she wants. Then Christopher will meet us for lunch. Life is good.
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Sara Edwards Sara Edwards (1 Posts)

Three time Emmy-award-winner Sara Edwards is a familiar face on the entertainment scene! An entertainment reporter for over two decades, Sara has talked to A-list celebrities from coast to coast. Covering stories on film locations and every major red carpet including the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Emmys, Edwards has established a national reputation. For over a decade, Sara was the entertainment reporter and film critic for 200 NBC affiliates across the country while also the arts and entertainment reporter for WHDH-tv in Boston. She has interviewed some of Hollywood’s hottest names like Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Richard Gere, and Brad Pitt. Her close association with the arts scene has made her the go-to source for Hollywood information, including insights into Boston-bred celebs like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Mark Walberg. She has contributed entertainment reports to "E" Entertainment, ClearChannel radio stations, and Magic 106.7 radio in Boston. Sara moved to California in 2010, freelanced for NBC and Extra and is currently co-writing a crime novel.


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Article by Sara Edwards

Sara Edwards Three time Emmy-award-winner Sara Edwards is a familiar face on the entertainment scene! An entertainment reporter for over two decades, Sara has talked to A-list celebrities from coast to coast. Covering stories on film locations and every major red carpet including the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Emmys, Edwards has established a national reputation. For over a decade, Sara was the entertainment reporter and film critic for 200 NBC affiliates across the country while also the arts and entertainment reporter for WHDH-tv in Boston. She has interviewed some of Hollywood’s hottest names like Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Richard Gere, and Brad Pitt. Her close association with the arts scene has made her the go-to source for Hollywood information, including insights into Boston-bred celebs like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Mark Walberg. She has contributed entertainment reports to "E" Entertainment, ClearChannel radio stations, and Magic 106.7 radio in Boston. Sara moved to California in 2010, freelanced for NBC and Extra and is currently co-writing a crime novel.
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25 Comments

  1. Arlene says:

    Thanks for a lovely story. Ive never been famous, and I don’t expect to be, but the days ( and nights) I spent helping my Dad care for my Mom are among my most precious. My mom suffered from dementia, and eventually it caused physical disabilities as well. We laugh about some of those days now, but at the time, Mom throwing away her false teeth or eyeglasses, because “after all, I’m dying so who cares how I look” wasn’t so funny. It was difficult and stressful, but looking back in the 4 years since Mom passed away, there was great love and deep appreciation all around. And that is much to be grateful for.

  2. Jess says:

    Dear Sara,

    We, in Boston, miss you a great deal. You were the best that TV offered us and you were always a class act!

    I’m so thrilled that you are happy, healthy and living a beautiful life.
    God Bless.

  3. Mary Mannin says:

    Sara, You and me both; and all day, every day we get to wear jeans. Between 2000 and 2004 my entire immediate family passed away, and then after another five years, the newspaper job. What I discovered is, I like being my own boss, I love being creative, and I feel at home no matter where I go. Living life is a lot different than working for a living!

  4. Loved your article. My mom is 100 and like your mom still plays bridge. I am one of 9, oldest daughter. It is a challenge for both of us but also a rich and rewarding experience. I am living with a blueprint of ageing. My mom was the star in our family. My grandmother took her to California in 1930 and she was signed to a contract with the Hal Roche studios. Story has it, my dad drove from Chicago to Hollywood and offered her a marriage contract instead.
    My husband and I are both full time professional actors living just outside the nations Capital.
    We always have a large gathering for Thanksgiving and I am incredibly grateful to my nieces and nephews for sharing their life with my mom, their grandmother and great grandmother. One nephew flies his family of 5 from Florida just for the day.
    So happy to hear of your supportive partner. My husband was in Vegas for the first 6 years mom was here. (doing Phantom of the Opera). We are all learning to adjust to each other and it is a pretty amazing journey. So grateful for his understanding.
    Wishing you all the best as you navigate each day.

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