May 29, 2024

“In the wee small hours of the morning, that’s the time when you miss her most of all,” goes the song in “Sleepless in Seattle”, and with the cold breeze of the February morning and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air.
“Sleepless in Seattle” is a 1993 romantic comedy film with Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie Reed. It was inspired by the 1957 film “An Affair to Remember”, which was an ultimate favorite of my father. The climactic meeting at the top of the Empire State Building is a reference to a reunion between Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr that failed to happen because the Kerr character is struck by a car while en route.
Sam, a Chicago architect, loses his wife Maggie to cancer. He and his young son Jonah start anew in Seattle, but Sam continues to grieve. Eighteen months later, on Christmas Eve, Jonah calls a radio talk show and persuades Sam to go on the air to talk about how much he misses Maggie.
Annie, a Baltimore Sun reporter was one of the listeners. She is engaged to Walter but feels there is something missing from their relationship. After watching “An Affair to Remember”, Annie impulsively writes a letter suggesting that Sam meet her on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. She did not intend to mail it, but her friend and editor Becky does it for her. She then sends Annie to Seattle for the story.
She decides she is being foolish and goes to New York to meet Walter for Valentine’s Day. Jonah flies to New York without his father’s permission, and goes to the Empire State Building in search of Annie. Sam, distraught, follows Jonah and finds him on the observation deck. Meanwhile, Annie sees the skyscraper from the Rainbow Room where she is dining with Walter and confesses her doubts to him. They amicably end their engagement.
She rushes to the Empire State Building but is told that the observation deck is closed. Annie convinces the guard to allow her to go to the observation deck and arrives just moments after the doors to the down elevator close with Sam and Jonah inside. The rest as they say is history.
Ahh! Both movies give hope to all who are in love, to be human and carefree – to follow your heart. There is a constant need to communicate how it feels to share in the joys that one finds in living and what it all means to love and be loved. We all seek love more than any wealth, ambition or dream, to relate, to concede.
Love is an act of will, of passionate patience – flexible, cunning, constant. Most of all, it must be based on truth – the knowledge of what we are rather than what we think it is the fashion to be.
Karen Carpenter sings, “Love me for what I am, for simply being me, don’t love me for what you intend or hope that I will be. And if you’re only using me to feed your fantasy, you’re really not in love so let me go, I must be free.”
The sum of it all is that it should be a meeting place, an interacting of nerves and senses, a series of constant surprises, renewal of each others’ moods, and best of all, a steady building from the inside and out, to extend its regions to a larger world where we can freely live and breathe.
Let’s forget the old clichés of jealousy and pride and not to be afraid to stand guard, protect, acquiesce, and even serve. Make such simplicities such as tenderness and care a part of the daily fabric of your lives take some pleasure in the act of adoring, in being content to stay by her side for a fleeting moment, and shielding the nice little lady’s eyes from the sun.
Men willingly die for true unconditional love and at the end of the day and paraphrasing “Milton”, “Better to have love and lost, rather than not to have loved at all.”
Sigh!