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Hyperion June 12, 2001

#47 Love Story

I know I promised you a manifesto on the Death Penalty-and believe me; you will get it-but I want to talk about something else right now. Earlier this evening I returned from a trip to visit my family: more on them in a minute. I sat down to talk to my roommate, and I started watching this movie called Love Story with him. For those of you born after 1970, Love Story is a film about two people from different ends of life’s spectrum, who fall in love, surmount obstacles, Yada Yada Yada. Apparently this was a huge film in its day, and it certainly is interesting to watch the two main characters, as first they cannot stand one another, and then they cannot stand to be apart. The boy (Oliver) comes from old money, and when his marriage plans to this poor girl (Jenny) are made known, Oliver has a falling out with his father and couple has to start out life without much at all. Later in the movie, Jenny gets sick, and Oliver needs $5,000 (which would have been quite a bit back then) to pay for the medical bills. Oliver goes to his father to ask for the money. In a scene that was almost painful to watch, Oliver refuses to tell his dad that Jenny is sick, and instead lies about “getting some girl in trouble.” The sadness here is that you want Oliver to just tell his dad what is going on, and then his dad would put the past behind them and they could comfort each other in a time of hardship. But, neither character is willing to budge, and they part as strangers once again, faces each filled with pain. The Dad does not find out Jenny is sick until much later, and then it is too late.

As I was sitting there watching this, I could not help but feel sorry for these two. I cannot imagine anything sadder than a parent and child so distanced that they refused to speak. This weekend, I was up in Ohio for my sister’s high school graduation. My parents are moving out of the country this week, and on top of that, my brother is graduating from college in a few days. That is a lot of stress on one family. And yet, I am so glad I went. My family is not perfect. We don’t always get along, and sometimes we say things that are hurtful. Nevertheless, we are family, and we always come back to try again.

At the end of that movie, Oliver’s dad comes up to Oliver at the hospital to say he is sorry. Oliver tells him that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Well, folks, trust me, love means saying you are sorry over and over and over again. I know I have screwed up countless times, but I was always sorry, and my family was always there for me, no matter what I had done.

Think about your family right now. I know they too are not perfect, but do you at least talk to them? If not, go talk to them. I don’t care if you have not spoken two words in ten years. Go speak those words now. We do not choose our family, and I suppose at times we wish that we could choose a different family. But despite those times, your family is your family; make sure it stays so.


June 12, 2001


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