Monday, April 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye

US Navy 020620-N-1110A-503 Father hugs daughter goodbye before deploymentArguably, my favorite installment of the classic Muppet movies is 1984’s The Muppets Take Manhattan. In this movie, Kermit and the gang are portrayed as recent college graduates who have finished a successful run of their college play (“Manhattan Melodies”). Upon the suggestion of an audience member, they attempt to take this play to Broadway. After a series of doors slammed in their faces (despite considerably more effort than displayed in the original The Muppet Movie, where a single incident of allergy-inducing animal strong-arming got Kermit and his friends past secretary Cloris Leachman, and into the office of producer Orson Wells, who promptly agrees to prepare “the standard ‘rich and famous’ contract.”), the gang decides that they must part ways while Kermit attempts to continue trying to get the play off of the ground on his own. This leads to my second-favorite song in the movie (my favorite being the dream sequence that first introduced the world to the Muppet Babies concept): “Saying Goodbye.”

I had to take an emergency trip up to Northern California this past weekend. My paternal grandfather had a heart attack earlier in the week, and his condition deteriorated to the point where I needed to go up and say goodbye before it was too late. Although his final passing is still yet to come (there's no way to tell if it will be days or weeks), I was thankful to have that opportunity. While I was returning home, this song from the Muppets was running through my head. Even though their "goodbye" was in an entirely different context, it somehow seemed appropriate.
Saying goodbye. Why is it sad? Makes us remember the good times we've had.
This was undeniably true for my family. In the midst of a depressing situation, we nonetheless enjoyed the opportunity to gather together and share stories. I definitely found out a few things about my grandfather that I had not known before. For example, I knew that he was a navigator during World War II mapping flights. My dad shared a story that he had only learned during a WWII reunion that he was privileged to attend with Grandpa. One of Grandpa's comrades told of a mission during which they were running low on fuel, and weren't sure if they could make it to land before they were forced to crash into the ocean. Grandpa had the pilot fly higher so that they could get above the clouds, which enabled him to get a reading from the stars that allowed them to course-correct so they could make it to Australia (the nearest landing point), and they were indeed able to do so safely. We need to share more stories like this!

For those of you who believe in such things, your prayers during this time are appreciated. I may be a bit slow about updates for a bit. I'm only now getting around to updating the data pages with all the news that came out of BotCon while I was away. If you see some information there that is either missing or incorrect/incomplete, please feel free to drop me a line. If there's something on this list that I haven't yet gotten to, those updates are especially appreciated. Thanks!

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