This week’s movie of the week is… The Kid!
I’ll cut right to the chase. Eleven years ago Joy and I experienced the loss of a child. Miscarriages are something that can’t be fully appreciated without experience. Joy called me up at work saying that she thought she should go to outpatients because she had been bleeding. We went. The doctors wouldn’t say for sure whether or not the baby we were expecting would make it, but they decided it would be best if they sent us to the hospital in Saint John. Joy went in an ambulance and I drove our car there. What a lonely ride that was.
The doctors there did finally give us the news that Joy had had a miscarriage. We pretty much had guessed this and prepared for it, but it was still terrible news. News we didn’t want to hear. I remember that one thought just kept going around and around in my head: “I didn’t even get to find out the sex of the baby!” I felt so robbed. Not only did I lose this child, I didn’t get to know him/her. I couldn’t know what s/he looked like, let alone the the sex was.
They told us that Joy would need to spend the night there in the hospital. The picture is as vivid in my mind now as it was while it was happening. Joy and I both lying on a single hospital bed sleeping. And though we slept we were mourning together. We just lost a loved one whom we’d never met. We didn’t know what to think or how to feel. The next morning I called a friend who was a minister. I told him what happened and asked if he could come see me. I still can’t believe the answer. No, he had to be at a staff meeting. From there I went to McDonald’s for breakfast. Joy insisted I go. She always knew how much I loved eating breakfast and how much I loved Egg McMuffins.
Wow… and I thought the car ride was lonely. I sat there looking around at fellow hungry customers as they sipped their coffee and crunched on hash browns. I looked at the teenage cashiers and the middle-aged woman mopping the floor. None of them knew what I had just been through. But there was something about that breakfast that was special. I had just experienced loss and now sat alone, but as I explained in an earlier post, those hard times in life may be sad and trying, but they are a part of your story. They are yours and no one can change that.
Since that day I have thought of that child often. One day I told Joy that we should have named him/her. I suggested Micah, a name I had always liked and since I knew a girl by that name in high school and since there was a male Micah in the Bible, I knew the name would fit either way. At first I thought it was odd that I would often feel like I miss Micah. How could this be–I hadn’t held this baby in my arms; hadn’t looked upon her face; hadn’t tucked him into bed. But then my daughter Erika had said to me one day, “Daddy, I miss Micah.” I guess I’m not so odd.
In The Kid, Charlie Chaplin again does what he does best. The only actor from the black-and-white days of cinema who truly makes me laugh out loud is Chaplin. I had only seen this movie two months ago. Yes I laughed, but I was moved by a scene in which Chaplin’s “Tramp” character is being separated from “the kid.” It’s very sad to watch and I have to say that the child really impresses me with his acting ability. So now you know the connection. Thinking of that scene brought Micah to my memory. So Micah, my little one, Daddy hasn’t forgotten you. I loved you when you were a tiny bump on your mother’s belly and I love you now.
Congratulations The Kid. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Brigette Helm. She has an important role in Metropolis and communicates emotion so well. And she does so without the luxury of her own voice.
Best Actor: Charlie Chaplin. Sorry Buster Keaton. You are truly one of the greats, but Chaplin is the master. Watching him eat his shoe and perform the dinner roll dance (which Johnny Depp mimicked beautifully in Benny & Joon) in The Gold Rush alone makes him a runaway winner.
Best Quote: “There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.” – Maria in Metropolis.
A little over a year later I went back to that same McDonald’s for breakfast. I looked across the counter to the young woman who asked for my order. I gave it to her, and then while she mashed the buttons on the cash register I said, “I just came from the hospital. My wife and I just had a baby. I have a son now.”