Mr. Holland’s’ Opus is one of the few movies I find to be a true tear jerker. (I’m amazed at my inability to make it through that movie without crying!)
It’s a story about a teacher, who only ever wanted to write a great symphony, but life happens and he never has time to complete this symphony. He gets married, fathers a deaf child (whom he feels disconnected with) and begins teaching music and driving lessons to pay the bills! In the end after 25 years of dedicating his life to a school they decide to cut his program because of budget cost. This leaves him feeling like his life was meaningless. Unbeknown to him he actually does write an incredible symphony in his 25 years of teaching – he has fruitfully influenced a copious amount of students’ lives. They ARE his symphony!
I have a personal relationship with this movie because I had a high school music teacher (Mr. Thompson) who was also my Driver’s Ed. teacher! I see a lot of similarities between him and that of the protagonist in Mr. Holland’s Opus. His belief, guidance and demand from me, has undoubtedly had a profound influence in shaping me. Learning various instruments, difficult pieces with the occasional spotlight solo, taught me that any skill could be learned and not to run from the chance to display perfection.
I always remember him selecting me as a Bass Clarinetist to regionally represent Ontario in a selected symphony of various talented musicians. I was flabbergasted (I certainly didn’t have that much belief in myself at the time!).
My point in this run-on story is that I never got the chance to tell him how he had influenced my life and growth. 2 years ago, he was driving and ran out of gas on the highway. He was crossing a major highway for gas when he was struck and killed. His death has filled me with grief and regrets.
I realize now how important it is to say what you feel as oppose to not saying anything. (Unless it’s extremely nasty like, “You little F@#ker, I wish you dropped dead and your carcass was so bad that not even flies didn’t wanted to land on you and you were buried in an unmark grave as a disease to society!).. wow, where did that come from??? …lol :p (an image of The Usual Suspects just flew into my head…lol).
But, being serious all we have is today so I don’t like holding back thoughts especially good thoughts. Why wait for a funeral to stand over someone’s grave and say how wonderful that person was. Say it now! Say it loud! And say it proud, while they can appreciate it! This is probably the reason why I like the song “Say” by John Mayer. There is a line in the song that says:
“It's better to say too muchThen never to say what you need to say againEven if your hands are shakingAnd your faith is brokenEven as the eyes are closingDo it with a heart wide open”
…I love it!
Saying what I need to say,