Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I was just watching the movie The Last Song. I didn't know anything about the movie... it just looked like a good clean family movie to watch.

My father-in-law died in an industrial accident years ago, before he was my father-in-law. Our families were friends, so I still remember very clearly when I was told he had passed. There had been an explosion, he was burned badly. He had survived a couple days, but then passed.

In the early days of the TV Show ER, I used to enjoy watching it. My mother-in-law would watch with me. I remember one time the subject matter of the show was a case involving a burn victim. My mother-in-law left the room. She couldn't watch. I understood, but didn't understand what that felt like.

Tonight as I was watching the movie, I found it was about a father who had been estranged from his children. He has them come stay with him for the summer. As the movie unfolds you discover he is dying from cancer. It is still hard to watch that. I find it impossible to watch it - without feeling those feelings all over again. Without looking at the 'reality' of life as I know it.... as my kids know it. Without feeling the pain all over again of my kids growing up without their father. Now, years later, I can truly understand what that must have felt like for my mother-in-law. Why she preferred to change the channel on those nights.

In the movie the older sister comments regarding her younger brother that her dad won't get to see him grow up.

I would just like to disagree with that, if I may. My kids are not the little kids they were when their father passed. They have grown up. They are turning into teenagers, young adults with mature thoughts and decision making power. They have missed the daily interaction with their father. Had he been here, they would have become someone else. But, even though he was not here... I know that he has watched them grow up. He has been there for them in moments he could not have been otherwise. He has not been able to physically hold them or discipline them, but he has been able to help them feel his love for them when they needed it. He has watched them grow up. Death takes away many things, but that is not one of them.

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