| Having watched countless movies in my forty-plus year-old
lifetime, I was surprised to feel the tears trickling down my cheek while
watching the Robin Williams flick, "Hook."
Up to that point, I had never been so touched by
any film. Of course, there were several movies that spoke to my heart
in a special way but this one actually caused me to choke up and be overcome
with some new and unexpected emotions.
It would not be until several years later that the
reason for my response became clear. When it did, I was blown away.
However, the grown Peter had lived in the real world
for so long as a corporate executive that he had forgotten his lost boy
status from so many years ago. Now, having returned to find his fellow
lost boys, he was met with disbelief and distrust on their part.
Having challenged them to step over the line if they actually believed
him to be their long lost leader, they all retreated to the other side
to demonstrate their refusal to believe that he was indeed the "Pan."
|| The scene I am referring to was the one where
the Williams character, a very grown up Peter Pan, had returned to Never
Never Land to track down Captian Hook. It seems that the ancient
pirate of Peter's youth had decided to take out his revenge by kidnapping
Then, one of the smaller members of the group stepped
over the line. He asked Peter to bend down. He stretched the
sides of the grown man's mouth and his eyes with his small hands to reveal
an impish looking boyish quality hidden by too many years of being an adult.
It was then that all of the lost boys gasped and the little
fellow simply said, "Oh, there you are Peter!"
And I wept like a baby.
| Over the next few years, my wife and I began to realize
that our relationship was dying out. I had reached my fiftieth year
and the traditional expectation of a middle-age crisis was on time and
in full swing. Added to that was the burn-out from over thirty years
of a marriage that was tied to our mutual work together in my profession.
She was very involved in my work and, toward the end, actually looked to
me as her employer in a school setting as well as her husband of so many
years. The short version of what went wrong with our relationship
is best illustrated by our many evening walks together. Whereas at
one time we would hold hands and just enjoy being with each other, we were
now discussing everything that was happening at the school. Instead
of relating to each other as two people who were still in love after so
many years, we made the terrible mistake of allowing the situations at
our work place to become the total content of our conversations together.
There were other facets of our relationship that were equally culpible
in causing us to drift away from each other. The bottom line is that
we lost track of what had once been the core of our relationship because
we allowed life's realities to steal the joy of our love for one another.
Furthermore, we had married young. I had just turned
twenty the day before we were wed. A year later, I was a father while
still a college student. In many ways, I never got to finish out
my childhood which had been interrupted by the death of my father shortly
after my fourteenth birthday. The situation of my life at that time
necessitated that a decision be made quickly regarding what I was going
to do with the rest of my life, so I took the future very seriously and
made my choice. Finding a woman who would both support that choice
and assist me in making it work demanded a very special kind of person.
She fulfilled the qualifications in every way and there was no doubt that
we were truly a match made in heaven.
Thirty years later, I looked in the mirror, stretched
the corners of my mouth and my eyes to reveal a forgotten boy who had lost
his way and said to myself, "Oh, there you are!"
Our marriage ended a year later.
| Doubtless, there are understanding men and women who work
through their mates' middle-age crisis time. However, in my case,
I was tired of my marriage, my vocation, the limitations it put upon us,
and my life in general. No matter what we tried in order to get some
relief from all of it, nothing seemed to work. It was the same old,
same old day after day after day. With two-thirds of my life being
spent, I simply could not go on in the same mode. We went to three
counselors with the bottom line being that she simply could not understand
the changes that were taking place in her husband, let alone what caused
them. Furthermore, my attempts to explore facets of life that most
people considered to be very normal were met by her disapproval.
I felt totally frustrated, alone, limited, and trapped.
I was a lost boy.
Following our separation, I pursued a relationship with
a woman who, coincidentally, recalled the Disney classic, Peter Pan, as
being the very first movie she had ever seen as a child in a theater.
She became a kind of Tinker Bell who showed me a magical kind of life that,
to her, was absolutely normal. Her life was filled with artists,
entertainers, actors, actresses, and amazingly talented people from all
walks of life. Her many artistic involvements drew me in to a lifestyle
that was totally new to me. Even though the relationship did not
last, her contribution to my life was immeaurable. I only hope that
I did as much for her.
I began to find myself again.
|| During the time that we were together, she
sprinkled me with fairy dust and the little boy inside found his happy
thought and began to fly again--soaring higher in my life than ever before.
| That was three years ago.
Since then, my divorce has been finalized and I am enjoying
a new career.
The too-conservative man of my past has been replaced
with a fun loving guy who loves to dance on the weekends, sings numbers
with a local rock 'n' roll trio, enjoys seeing his articles published as
a free-lance writer, and webmasters a popular relationship themed web site.
He is no longer overweight and now owns a Camaro. Unwilling to give
up the little boy within him that he denied for so long, he has now become
filled with the wonder of life and the many variations of people that make
up this great big world of ours.
Life has become a marvelous, magical adventure.
People of different backgrounds and various lifestyles
have become his driving interest.
He has learned how to play again, laugh loudly,
and enjoy the precious gift of life like never before.
He also unashamedly cries during touching scenes
He is not lost anymore.
He found himself.
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