Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles ★★★★

With all the (wonderful) antics that come before it, the ending John Hughes gives us is really a thesis for what Thanksgiving is. Family, loved ones, friends, those who have no one, this holiday is about being there for somebody, being there with them if possible, communing; and doing no matter what it takes to do this. I know this is being tested for so many this year and so, as long as we're practicing it physically or in digital theory, we're still practicing it. Be with the ones you love, the ones you care about, the ones who need someone to be with them however you're able to. Gluttonous amounts of food or not, that's all that matters today.

My viewing of this was interrupted about halfway through by the call from my mother's facility informing that she had passed. The Hospice RN had told me earlier in the day she was in a state of "actively passing" and it could be a matter of minutes, hours, even a day possible. My wife and I had left about 9, so we could go home and finally put our kids to bed (who were refusing to bed for my wife's dad until we came home). I had been with each and every day this whole week, as had my kids and my wife on most days as well. We sat around crying, talking, praying, laughing, apologizing for things in the past, listening to music telling stories, so it did not break me that I wasn't with her in her final moments. She had been awake for bits during the week, opening her eyes, even saying my name a hoyle of days ago, but by the day of her passing she was already far gone, almost comatose, just the shallow rise and fall of her chest being the only sign of life. We all walk that final walk alone whether we're holding a hand on the other side or not. I have peace and I know she did too. That's all that matters.

I imagine if I had finished this film before that call, I might have read that ending on a more shallow level - a facsimile conclusion to a farcical story - but it just ran over me like a train. I cried. I never expected to cry at a John Hughes film. Never... And maybe it's just the circumstances surrounding my viewing, but I tend to think there was a pretty great writer and director finding the true essence of a scene, a moment. That final scene hurt in all the best ways.

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