Blog 1727 – 06.15.2020
Saying “See You Later” Is Still Hard
Yesterday, in a funeral home stateroom filled with people wearing face masks one of my son’s best buddies said “See you later” to his beloved dad. It is a scene repeated often around the world and one that never gets easy, saying bon voyage to loved ones. We all must take the journey and leave friends and family at the dock waving good-buy.
Over the weekend, I watched twice a recently added Netflix movie called The Healer. It is a story of a British twin fellow who just a few years before his thirtieth birthday loses to death his beloved brother. His whole world is turned wrong side out and he remarks sharing the loss, “Charlie was everything to me.” Having lost his life long friend and anchor the young man wanders aimlessly through life, in and out of this trouble or that. He has serious drinking, gambling, and relationships problems. He has also racked up near a hundred thousand pounds of gambling debt and so eminent murder or maiming is in his near future. An uncle he never knew he had offers him a way out, says he will pay off all his gambling debts, but there is one condition. He must leave the country and go to Nova Scotia and live there for a year, 365 days minimum, or forfeit the offer.
A few days into his new life in North America the young man who is turning thirty discovers that he does not only have a gift for fixing electrical things but people as well. This healing gift it seems is a family tradition that skips a generation and must be ceremoniously accepted or rejected one day after the thirtieth birthday of the chosen son. Charlie the deceased twin would have been given the choice, being minutes older, but now the choice has fallen to Alec. After witnessing several healings, one being bringing back the parish priest from a deadly heart attack, the faithless and confused young Alec says it is all too much and so publicly refuses the gift before the whole town at a midnight gathering at the church the day after his thirtieth birthday. Those who he healed stand and thank him and all honor his choice and say that they happily welcome him to stay in their community for he will always be a part of it.
The next day a couple with their fourteen year old daughter outside appear in the uncle’s house, where the once would be healer is living, and ask him to heal the daughter. She was diagnosed with cancer four years earlier and has long exhausted all treatments and is terminal. He asks them to leave, refuses to see the daughter, and says he cannot help her. Later in town, at a cafe, the daughter, Abigail, approaches Alec and says she knows that he is no healer with a miracle for her, but asks him to pretend to try to heal her for two days just as a gift to her parents who have suffered four hospitals and four years of crushed hopes over her case of “marshmallow” the term her favorite doctor preferred to use rather than cancer for her disease. Touched by her determined, Alec reluctantly yields. One weekend of treatment, no promises.
She goes to work with him. His work is helping an attractive young lady veterinarian, Cecilia. Abigail loves animals too so she enjoys that. After work the three are sitting on the dock talking when Alec tells Abigail and Cecilia about Charlie, and how Charlie’s death left his world dark and hopeless. Abigail asks Alec what he thinks happens when we die. He shakes his head not answering and she says, “Charlie must really be pissed at you for thinking he just went poof.” She goes on to threaten to send him a letter from heaven when she gets there which she says will probably just scare the shit out of him. Alec smiles and agrees. Abigail is getting through to him. He has changed his mind and wants his gift back so he can save Abigail. But, rules are rules he is told by his uncle. He even goes to the church and argues privately with God, ending his unusual prayer lashing out, “And Charlie, if your up there, punch this asshole. I want my gift back, now!”
Abigail leaves with her parents on the long seven hours drive back home. Alec is angry not just with God but everyone especially himself. A week or so later Cecilia finds a card in her mailbox from Abigail. She uses it as an excuse to go see Alec, they have not spoken for days. They open the envelope together and read, “Call Me!” (Phone number provided.) They do and hear the good news that after a year of no hope now her marshmallow is in remission and the doctors have a new treatment that they say will knock the marshmallow completely out. The movie ends with Alec and Cecilia kissing both sure he has gotten his gift back.
But, be sure to watch the end credits and see who though not in Alec’s family line was a healer too. He was wider known as a actor but kept his healer gift as well as his philanthropy on the down low. Most people never had a clue of all the miracles he worked till after he moved to a bigger better place. He did not just go poof, none of us do, and if you want proof look at all the smiling faces reflecting his boyish and charming smile.
See you later, Doctor Newman, M.D. And no, he did not star in that film. Gregory Peck and Bobby Darian did, but he did star in many equally wonderful movies.
Your friend and fellow traveler.