Monday, September 14, 2009

Aww man . . .

Patrick Swayze dies

In 1987, in the wake of a failed romance, I wanted nothing to do with watching a romantic movie, much less one with dancing in it. But a group of dear friends dragged me out of my apartment and paid my way into Dirty Dancing. The first few minutes of it confirmed my worst suspicions. The movie was going to be stupid.

Then I saw that face. I am not the sort to go all weak in the knees over a good looking guy, but . . . well . . . that face was different. I was hooked. I took myself back to see Dirty Dancing in the theater, by myself, at least ten times. This is the only time I have ever done this.

Shortly after this, Gary began to come around. A few months later he disclosed his feelings. I informed him that the only competition he had was Patrick Swayze.

Fast forward to July of 1990. Gary and I were still figuring out what marriage was all about while coping with a colicky newborn who typically cried from three in the afternoon until well after midnight. Gary was working two jobs and I was home alone with the baby in a small apartment all day. He typically came in the door late at night, just exhausted. I'd been holding a screaming baby for hours so you can imagine how I was feeling. On top of this, unlike the blissful articles I'd read in baby magazines claiming that newborns slept for most of the day--my son didn't. Ever. All night meant to him was that it was hard to see. On a good one he slept for an hour.

I was grumpy and tired. Gary was grumpy and exhausted. We were broke and arguing a lot. Both of us were wondering whether this marriage thing was a good idea or not.

Gary had a rare night off from work. Someone from church (who must have been very observant because we certainly weren't telling anyone what we were thinking), offered to keep Jeremiah so we could go out. I was reluctant to leave him, but the lady gently encouraged me to spend sometime with my husband.

We went to see Ghost and came out arm in arm and suddenly very aware of the brevity of life. In some respects, I think it moved Gary more deeply than it did me. That night he wrapped his arms around me and held me without complaining when I had to disturb him to get up with the baby. Living without one another was not an option.

Gary said he thought Patrick Swayze was a fine competitor.

We saw City of Joy in 1992. It was based loosely on the true story of a priest named Gaston Grandjean who lived among the poor in Calcutta. The phrase, "All that is not given is lost" made a real impact on me. As my husband put it tonight, if he'd made no other movies, that one would have enough.

Patrick we thank you for leaving us such a legacy, for being a class act, for making us smile and cry a little. I wish you the best in your journey home.

The following video is a clip from "One Last Dance". This is Patrick dancing with his wife, Lisa. I saw this some months ago and was struck by both the beauty and the bond they clearly share.


Scotty said...

Yes, it's a loss for sure, Mary - Ghost is up there on my all-time favourites list for romantic movies.

RIP Patrick.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Hi Scotty. Gary and I still love that movie.