It was 1994. Ok, truthfully I didn’t actually remember what year it was, but I googled it and now I know. It was 1994. Brad and I accompanied two other couples to dinner and a movie. I don’t have the slightest idea where we ate dinner, but I’m guessing it might have been El Conquistador. You remember, the old location on Waco Drive where Ritchie’s Western Wear is? (No clue why I wrote that since it has absolutely no bearing on the story and I’m not even sure that’s where we went. It just seemed like I needed to name the restaurant.) Anyway, I’m certain we ate first and then went to the movies to see 8 Seconds. I didn’t know what the movie was going to be about, but within about five minutes I was totally sucked in and cheering for Lane Frost like I’d been a bull riding fan my whole life… when in actuality it took me a good while to figure out why the movie was named 8 Seconds. I’m nothing if not quick.
By an hour in, I had the whole movie figured out. Nice guy gets the pretty girl, and they live happily ever after. Destined to have cute kids and great house in the country. Chick flick deluxe. Right up my alley. And then it happens. Lane is speared by the bull. I’m on the edge of my seat with my hand over my mouth, panicked, but yet I know he’s going to be alright because it’s a happily ever after movie. And then the scene changes, and they are carrying a casket out of a church. I lean over to Brad and whisper incredulously, “Did he die?” Brad sternly whispers back – you know, in that ‘Duh and you need to be quiet’ sort of way, “Yes, he died.” So now my whisper is not so quiet because I’m quite disturbed, “You didn’t tell me he was going to die.” To which Brad replies, “I thought you knew. This movie is based on a true story.” I was heartbroken. I had no idea. What a tragic loss. I left the theatre speechless, which is a rarity for me. I just couldn’t absorb it.
The movie really stuck with me in a disturbed sort of way. I bought the soundtrack, and I listened to it until I had every song memorized. With each song I could replay the scenes from the movie, and each time it got to Lane’s Song at the end, I’d have tears in my eyes.
Now, before you decide I’m plumb crazy, let me tell you why I walked down 1994 memory lane today. Well, actually, you’ll probably still think I’m crazy, but I have a point, and I promise I’m going to get to it.
This evening I went to Stephenville and loaded all Cam’s stuff up to move him back home for the summer. I was driving back to Crawford alone, and anytime I’m in the car by myself, I hook up my iPhone to the car radio and crank of the volume. Yes, I know my hearing is going to be impacted by this at some point, but I still like my music loud, and even better when I’m in the car by myself and I can sing at the top of my lungs. My iTunes collection is rather eclectic, and I had it on random play, so after Your Grace Is Enough (Matt Maher), and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye), guess what played? Lane’s Song. And, I got the same lump in my throat that I got back in 1994. Isn’t it odd how a song can do that do you?
So, after I got home and settled down in bed, I decided to see if 8 Seconds was on Netflix. It was. I’m certain it was a sign, and what with the rainy weather already casting a somber mood, I decided to watch it.
Ok. I now know how the story ends, but it still gets me. Hard. Sad. But this time, a different scene from the movie completely captured my attention – enough that I had to hit the pause button and let it soak in.
The funeral is over. Lane’s daddy is sitting in a chair in the living room. His mother is in the kitchen. His daddy begins talking, “I’ve been sitting here thinking, trying to remember, if I ever told him. I told him I was proud of him, I know. That he did a good job. But I can’t remember a single time I told him I loved him.”
When I watched this movie again tonight, I was reminded, and I hope when you read this blog post, you will be reminded, too.
We need to say “I love you” often. We need to show “I love you” often. It matters. It’s worth it. It counts. It makes a difference. Not just with our kids. Not just with our spouses. Not just with our family and friends. With everyone. It’s not possible to say “I love you” or to show “I love you” too often or too much. After all, our Heavenly Father sets the example for us with His unconditional and abundant love.
I think Lee Brice puts it just right in the chorus of his song Love Like Crazy:
And so with that, let me say this… I love you all… like crazy! I mean it.