One of our favorite movies to watch growing up was, ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Back then there were no pay-per-view services, Blockbuster video stores, or DVDs. Nope, our favorite movies came on national TV once a year (Poseidon Adventure, The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes, etc.) and, if we missed it, we would have to wait a full year to watch it again. No VCRs then either.
In many ways, I miss those days when the whole family came together to watch our favorite movie. It brought us all together. When watching the ‘Wizard of Oz’, Grandma would usually use Dorothy’s journey to the land of Oz as an opportunity to teach us a few life lessons (something I learned from her and drove our kids crazy with) about how the family is most important.
We learned many other lessons from the movie of course. Lessons like the importance of friends, overcoming evil with good, that having a heart is more than physical, fear isn’t a sign of a lack of courage, and that the glitter of the city can’t replace the love of a home in the middle of Kansas.
With today’s commercial video world, kids can watch the yellow brick road scene until their parents break the disk and grab a bottle of wine just to calm down. There’s a constant need for more visual sensation and many of the life lessons are buried under a pile of DVDs.
With our families so divided by distance it becomes very difficult to enjoy those times when we can all come together just to watch a classic movie or simply play games. Our family is no different with relatives in South Carolina, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Alaska, Washington, and California, the time that we are able to have together is limited to an annual plane trip (if we can afford it) instead of the annual movie on the television.
Some families seem miles apart even though they live down the road from each other. It’s not the distance in miles that keeps them apart, but the walls built up by bitterness, misunderstandings, anger, selfishness, and pride. Dorothy learned that, more than anything else, her family was what she cherished the most. Sure, it’s just a movie and maybe a little bit cheesy, but it makes a good point; that, at the end of the day, there truly is no place like home.
There may not be a way for us to click our heels together and take us back to a time when we were all together (whether physically or emotionally), but we do have the ability to pick up the phone and make a call, post a note on Facebook, or send a ‘Just because’ card to let our loved ones know we’re thinking of them. Whatever we do to help keep the family bond together, after everything is said-and-done and we look back on our life, it will be those things we remember. So tonight here’s to the family because there truly is no place like home…