Until this year, I seldom cried at real life.
Give me a sappy movie and I’ll cry when I’m supposed to. I know I’m being manipulated but I’ll cry every time I see the scene at the end of “Field of Dreams” when Kevin Costner’s character is “having a catch” with the ghost of his father.
I was flipping through the channels the other night and the movie was on. It was the scene where James Earl Jones and Kevin Costner stop to pick up a hitchhiker. As the kid sleeps in the back of the van, Jones asks Costner about his relationship with his dad. Kostner had rebelled against his father and hadn’t had a chance to make things right before his dad had died.
I started crying at that point and cried right through the end of the movie.
Right through to the part where Kostner first sees the ghost of his dad as a strong young ball player with his hopes and dreams ahead of him. Kostner introduces the ghost to the daughter-in-law he would never meet and to the granddaughter he would never know he had.
I heard Kim’s voice echo in my head as she looked at Elena’s coffin. “She’ll never grow up to get her heart broken by some boy,” she said.
As the ghost met the people who had entered the life of his son I wept for all of the things Elena never lived to experience. Selfishly, I mourned for all of the things that I never got to see her experience. She embraced life so aggressively. She would have been fun to watch.
Every once in a while I can feel her on my chest. I miss that most of all. Her head resting on my shoulder, her arms wrapped around my neck, and me giving her a big hug.
Merry Christmas, baby.