Richard, I truly hope you have a terrific NYE, shared with people you love.
It’s New Year’s Eve. Coincidentally, it’s also the 30th anniversary of the night my husband and I got engaged. I still remember the taste of the Cherries Jubilee, the warm tartness of the fruit meshing with the sweet chill of the vanilla bean ice cream. Benny hates cherries, but he knew I liked them and would enjoy the dish. There was the flash of the simple round solitaire sparkling against the black velvet of the case and how he carefully slid it on my finger. His celebratory punch in the air and the exultant “She said, ‘YES!'” that he shouted in the parking lot of the Montgomery restaurant as we headed to the car. The mix of euphoria and nerves as we embarked on a new chapter in our lives.
That eatery down at the historic Union Depot is no longer in business. We are still here, older, heavier, less hair in some places and more of what’s left turning white fast; hopefully, we are also wiser and stronger (if not physically, then in spirit and soul). We’ve had our ups and downs–in recent years, a few too many valley experiences, perhaps–but “here we stand and here we’ll stay,” to paraphrase Elsa in “Frozen.”
This is a collage I made of photos of Benny playing with our great-niece Zoe during our family celebration down at Orange Beach before Christmas. It was so wonderful to see everyone, share hugs, memories, play Dirty Santa, sing carols along with the radio, enjoy my sister’s good cooking. But these moments captured below are my favorite moments from the entire weekend: Benny playing with four-year-old great-niece Zoe.
This is a 55-year-old man with a troublesome shoulder who isn’t accustomed to roughhousing with kids (he had to break out the Ben-Gay cream when we got home Sunday night). But he’s been making generations of Killough women happy–yours truly, our nieces and now our nieces’ children.
He says he’s not sure he’ll be up to it for the next generation, but I can easily imagine my white-haired fella giving small people rides in his wheel chair if it comes to that.
He is awfully easy to love. Which reminds me of another tall, blue-eyed, smart, talented, sweet-natured guy (who also has fetching nape curls when his hair is longish!) who is so easy to “crush on.”
On Christmas Eve this year, my husband and I went to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It took me a few days to formulate my thoughts and reactions to the film.
Richard as Thorin in his kingly attire in a behind-the-scenes still.
I am not going to write a formal review this time around; there are already plenty of those out there by fans and critics alike.
Suffice to say I thought Richard was brilliant. My heart ached along with Bilbo’s and the dwarves as this individual they had pledged to follow, one they so admired and loved (both because of and in spite of his personal qualities) became, as my husband put it, “well and truly the mayor of Crazy Town.” The anger, the paranoia, the vulnerability exposed as he descended into the madness caused by dragon-sickness brought back both memories of my own father suffering the ravages of vascular dementia, and of my dearest Sir Guy. Yes, my buttons were being pushed on several levels.
The moment I will never forget is Bilbo cradling a dying Thorin, unwilling to believe his friend would soon be no more, and how beautiful Thorin is in those last moments, redeemed, at peace, acknowledging what should truly matter to us in life. More parallels with Sir Guy and his “good death.”
Bilbo and his final moments with Thorin. From Pinterest.
It did not make it any easier. I had started getting upset when Kili and Fili perished–so young, too young!! I knew it was coming (although not how, as I had avoided being “spoiled”) but it was still painful.
Biting my lip, I was trying to fight back the tears as Bilbo cried over his slain friend. I felt Benny’s hand patting my knee and glanced over to see the kindness and concern in his sweet blue eyes. He gave me a sympathetic smile and that made me feel better even in my sadness. He didn’t tease me about my tender heart. He simply understood.
I am not sure I can express how much that simple gesture meant to me. And I thought about all the times Richard has signed autographs and posed for photos and carefully considered questions posed to him, how gracious and affable he manages to be even when he’s tired, jet-lagged and probably done one too many press junket interviews. He cares–he cares about his family, his work, his co-workers, his fans, people out there in need.
I truly believe RA is a kind and compassionate person–my kind of fella. All the physical beauty and extraordinary talent and potent charisma aside, I believe Richard Armitage is a good man. And that is a large part of what keeps me coming back. Hey, I am a happily married, middle-aged lady who harbors no illusions that RA and I are going to be an “item”–as if!
But someone who is so gifted and blessed and still humble and grounded, a man who is trying to make his patch of the world a better place to live–I can heartily support that!
Richard posing with some cosplayers.
Meanwhile, back to BOFTA. There are things about which I could quibble. The battle sequence went on too long IMHO (as did the barrel ride scene in the last installment) and I still think someone loves CGI a little too much. Just because you have the gee-whiz-bang technology doesn’t mean you need to keep pulling it out of the hat. I do think it can get in the way of the progress of the STORY. Also, we saw this installment in 2D, as opposed to the 3D HFR in which we saw the previous films. Not having seen BOFTA in 3D HFR, I don’t have a good point of comparison for this specific film, but Benny and I discussed this and we felt we didn’t miss out on the overall cinematic experience of BOFTA by seeing it in a traditional format. In fact, I think I felt less distracted. I do think it was fashioned to be a good link to the LOTR films . . . and watching them in sequence. What are your thoughts on the film?
I wish you all a wonderful 2015, filled with good health, happiness, prosperity, kindness, creativity, work you love to do and people with whom you can share both your celebrations and your sorrows. And I wish the same for our Richard. <3
I know we don’t all share the same religious beliefs, but this quote I found on Pinterest expresses a lot of what I personally feel and you can adapt to your system, I think.