April 24th, 2014
by Terri Libenson
“Grandma Sophie” is based on my late grandma-in-law. She was still alive when I came up with the character. She lived a full life and died well into her 90’s. Toward the end, she began to experience dementia.
I hadn’t really considered what direction to move Sophie in as an evolving character. I developed her to be a challenging/opposing figure to Jill. Over the years, she’s been that and then some. She has had moments of softening, too, but for the most part she has remained her traditional, feisty self.
Lately, though, I’ve thought more about her, and about her place in the Kaplan family realm. I decided Sophie needs to experience a natural aging progression of her own. After all, if the rest of the characters get older, she should, too. Unfortunately, this means she’s entering a new domain…one of physical and/or mental ailment, and the decision-making that surrounds it. It’s a sensitive and frequently inevitable subject.
This week’s story line is based on that type of scenario. Sophie takes a fall, and consequently the family needs to decide if she should continue to live alone. All we know is that the fiercely independent Sophie will not take to it lightly. Neither did my own grandma-in-law, as well as some of my blood-relative grandparents who also lived independently into their 90’s.
We’ll see how this continues to develop. I’m sure there will be many more “Sophie moments” to come.
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