"The hardest part of loving someone is saying goodbye." That saying fits perfectly with the feelings shared by all who had loved Neil Winters, as everyone prepared to say goodbye to a cherished father, a beloved friend, and a special man. And as we bid a fond farewell to the character, we also had to mourn the loss of Kristoff St. John, whose kindness and sensitivity showed through in his portrayal of Neil throughout the years. "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." That's what we need to remind ourselves now, as our tears fall.
It was so sad for Devon, who had finally taken a step toward recovery by taking off the wedding ring given by his deceased wife, to have been the one who found his father dead from a massive stroke, probably caused from high blood pressure, which can be a silent killer. At least Neil's family could take comfort in the fact that he died in his sleep. But Lily had already decided to move away to a whole new life, teaching at the prison, which should help her heal from the loss of her father. Lily and Devon were fortunate to have Neil's calming presence and his wise advice for so many years. Neil was a solid foundation that they always depended upon, and that structure just crumbled away, leaving them feeling sad and so very alone.
The Winterses have been such a major force in Genoa City for years, and Neil's death has created a spiritual hole in town that can't be filled. (And no, not the kind of hole that J.T. was buried in.) And with Lily's departure, Devon will be one of the last Winters family members standing. Even if his last name is Hamilton, Devon was very much a Winters as Neil's adopted son. But Lily and Devon should not blame themselves for their father's demise or feel they had taken their father for granted. It's just a way of life, and Neil would understand that better than anyone.
But it's also very natural that his children and grandchildren would miss the man who had always been there for them. Even when Neil and Devon had battled for Hilary's hand, they had still loved each other during their animosity. Neil's quiet strength always spoke more volumes than any rant by a raving lunatic could. Lily stated that Neil had told her before Society's opening, "I love you, baby girl," and I can almost hear him saying it. That is very much something that Neil would say, just as, when he was talking to someone near and dear to his heart, he would refer to that person as "my friend." Even now, I can still hear his voice using that expression, just as Devon could hear Neil calling him "my man." His distinct voice will always remain in his children's heads.
Neil's warmth and genuine compassion made him influential to not only his family members but also his friends, who were many. Between flip-flopping of falling (or should I say, leaping) off the wagon, Neil and Nikki had always been there for each other to help one another pick up the shattered pieces of their lives, just as Neil had been a great compadre and a brilliant employee of Victor's as well as being "a man's man." Actually, Victor stated during the memorial that because of Neil's honesty, fairness, and integrity, he was one of the few men Victor trusted, and I realized just how true that was. Neil probably knew and cherished that, especially since having Victor's trust was a very rare thing.
Ashley had gotten very intimate with Neil, and it appeared they were going to be a romantic couple at one time. However, that was not meant to be, and I was sorry about that. I was ready to see two very good friends take the next step to working on a relationship built of love. Ashley regretted that and also that she hadn't picked up the phone, just once, to call him. But that's the way it always is with an unexpected death. There are always so many regrets, and loved ones tend to dwell on the "if onlys." If only one could see into the future.
Jack reminded me (and maybe everyone else) that it had been Neil who had come to his rescue and stopped Jack from taking pills after he had learned erroneously that he was not a blood Abbott. Although it was rather curious that Ashley did not apologize for her part in that hoax, it was not all about Jack and Ashley's feud during this sad time. Neil saved so many lives through the Abbott-Winters Foundation and put his heart and soul into the organization's charitable efforts. Neil was remarkable in that he benefitted the lives of so many people in his lifetime, outside of those he loved. As Jack stated, "Genoa City without Neil Winters is just wrong."
The memorial brought back some fan favorites to share their sorrow over Neil's death as well as to honor the man by reflecting on their memories of him. Malcolm was truly a welcome sight as he remembered his brother as a cornball who had always made sense, even if Malcolm was the oil to Neil's water. Olivia, Leslie, and Sofia also returned to pay tribute to the person who had brought so much love into their lives. It was truly a classy tribute to Neil Winters, and he would have been pleased with and proud of their words and their devotion. The memorial was a class act, just like the man himself.
I always liked the character of Neil Winters, even when he went a little off the rails, so I enjoyed seeing clips from the past and listening to his loved ones' fond memories of Neil that they shared at Devon's penthouse. They celebrated his life with no more tears and raised their glasses in a collective toast to Neil. (I thought Jack and Ashley would appreciate my use of the word "collective.") Neil was "sneaky funny" and probably enjoyed watching Victor and Jack bicker over whether Victor or John had discovered that Neil was a rising star in business from up above. Neil's loved ones had their cherished memories of him, which was a true honor to the loyal, caring man that he was.
Just as we mourned the loss of Neil Winters on Y&R, we also grieve the passing of Kristoff St. John. It's only fitting that a special tribute is being done for the actor, as the cast, crew, and fans alike are all missing a genuinely talented and gifted man, who had some tough times dealing with the loss of his son. Go with God, my friend, because I know that your place is in heaven now, reunited with your beloved boy within the pearly gates.
Sometimes it practically takes a brick falling on someone to get them to wake up and see the truth, and Kyle finally was able to pound it into Summer's head that he loved Lola. Sheesh, the heart necklace should have already given her a clue, but Summer would only see what she wanted to see. She yelled that Kyle broke her heart, but what did she expect when she knew he was marrying her "to seal the deal"? Summer knew Kyle had only agreed to marry her to secure her liver for Lola, so why on earth did she believe that would change? It never made any sense.
Summer had become almost embarrassing in her insistence that her marriage to Kyle would work, no matter what her lying eyes kept telling her. I guess she's never heard of the saying, "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was." I have had that quote on a scroll hanging on my wall at work since going through the divorce of my first marriage 34 years (and several jobs) ago, which helped me get through one of the toughest times of my life. You can't force someone to love you, and no amount of Summer's championing her marriage would make Kyle love her and forget Lola. The harder she tried to hang onto to him, the more he struggled to free himself. Kyle only felt more and more trapped all the time.
As much as some soaps try to indicate otherwise, most people can't just turn their love on and off like the faucets for tap water. And it's not that Kyle was running hot at some times and cold at others when it came to Summer. He truly cared for Summer, but he was in love with Lola. Summer should have realized how strong Kyle's bond with Lola was when she saw Lola wearing the heart necklace she had thought was hers. At the Society party, Summer held on tightly to Kyle's arm, which made her appear very insecure. Her desperation was showing as she saw Kyle's gaze constantly go to the lady of his dreams. Unfortunately for her, Summer's gift with Kyle of a knife to Lola did not sever their relationship.
While Kyle came off like a cad by pursuing Lola while he was still married to Summer, Nick should have been angry with his daughter. If Nick really wanted to protect Summer, he should have encouraged her to release Kyle from his contract of marriage with her. Kyle had bartered his heart to secure Summer's liver, which had been unrealistic, since emotion was a factor in their agreement. It was not a body part for body part trade, which would have been easier to pull off. Kyle couldn't promise something he had no control over. Nick should have known that more than anyone and should have tried to persuade Summer to hang onto her dignity and self-respect by letting Kyle go.
So, Jabot will be facing new competition from Ashley's company, Abbott Exchange, which she named as a tribute to her father's legacy. Hopefully, that means she's in Genoa City to stay for a while. Jack looked like he was eagerly awaiting any challenges his sister had to bring his way, and Ashley appeared to be happier than she's been in a long time. This sibling rivalry was just heating up, and their professional and personal competition promised to be filled with some crazy twists and turns, which both players seemed to be anticipating. Although Jack and Ashley called a truce upon learning of Neil's death, the Abbotts (blood and non-blood) are back. Thank goodness.
Hooray; Victor's back, but his "cockamamie" all-business-all-the-time story just didn't quite ring true. Victoria, Billy, and I were all on the same page about that. Still, I don't believe it involves another woman. No, something else must be going on...but what's this about a psychiatrist's bill? If not Victor, just who was the patient?
Ahhh...it's already happening! Tessa is already starting to take over all the storylines. First, the camera seemed to be focused more on Tessa than on Abby shortly before Society's opening. And then, Tessa suddenly became Lola's advisor on her relationship with Kyle. And then, Tessa was suddenly everything Neil, once she and Mariah learned he had died. The next thing you know, Tessa will be Victor's new confidante. Hey, maybe she's the patient for the psychiatrist bill. Really, where will it end?
Hey, I thought Arturo was already gone. Or maybe it just seemed that way.
Lola reflected with Rey and Arturo at the Society opening that their mother used to say, "Don't let those society types get to you," yet the three of them seemed to be doing their best to be one of them. I guess the current Rosales motto should be, "If you can't lick them, join them."
Devon observed that even with all his money, he couldn't buy what he wanted the most -- time. That is a truly precious possession that comes with no price tag, so we should try to remember to never take it for granted.
Mariah recollected that Neil had once told her, "Not choosing is the same thing as not living." Neil Winters must have made some right choices then, because all his loved ones claimed that his life had been very meaningful.
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