Yesterday, the world learned that you had passed away. My husband sent me a text message of the news. Honestly, when I read it, I couldn’t respond.
As Anne would have said, I was in the depths of despair.
I know you were an actor for most of your life, but the only role I know you for is that of Gilbert Blythe.
I first saw Anne of Green Gables when I was in fourth grade. I remember watching it thanks to my third grade teacher loaning my mom her VHS, saying that she thought I would like it.
Like doesn’t begin to express my feelings for the movie. For Anne. For Marilla. For Matthew. For you.
I sat close to the television, knees to my chest, captivated.
I would go on to watch the Anne movies hundreds, if not thousands of times. One summer I think I watched it every morning. My parents would go to work and I would be transported to Avonlea.
I took my VHS sets of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea with me to college.
And you, Gilbert Blythe Jonathan Crombie, were the first boy to steal my heart.
The way your eyes twinkled at Anne when you pulled her hair and called her carrots.
The way you stole her dance card.
The way you clapped over her performance at the White Sands hotel.
The way you loved her, through it all.
Thank you for the way you brought to life the Gilbert I read of in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. You embodied him like no one else could.
Jonathan, you and your Gilbert, will always be a part of my childhood story. Honestly, you’ll always be a part of my life story.
And, in a few years, I can’t wait to introduce my little girl to Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe.