I recently watched an older movie, “Uncommon Valor” filmed in 1983, starring Gene Hackman as a retired colonel. The plot of the movie – discharged military personnel going into Viet Nam to rescue American soldiers who had been left behind. Soldiers who became POWs in Laos, for 10 years, after the Viet Nam war had ended.
The scene before they entered into battle, to rescue these POWs, involved Gene Hackman and his intriguing farewell. He quoted a scene from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Act 5, scene 1, Brutus and his brother-in-law Cassius were parting to go into battle. Quote: Brutus – And whether we shall meet again I know not. Therefore our everlasting farewell take. Forever and forever farewell, Cassius. If we do meet again, why, we shall smile. If not, why then this parting was well made. Cassius – Forever and forever farewell, Brutus. If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed. If not, ’tis true this parting was well made. Brutus – Why then lead on. Oh, that a man might know the end of this day’s business ere it come! But if sufficeth that the day will end, and then the end is known.
This parting quote effected me quite profoundly. No matter the reason for parting, one cannot predict if they will meet again in this lifetime. I thought about family members and friends who have passed away. I remember my insufficient goodbyes to some of them. My regret for not expressing my love toward them. Oh, that we could turn back the hands of time and say those goodbyes again! Most of us realize, as we get older, how life is unpredictable. For that reason my goodbyes have become more expressive, sincere, and affectionate.
We can learn so much by watching the actions of children. My granddaughter’s farewells have always involved hugs and the words I love you. I believe my granddaughter has learned an important lesson in life earlier than many adults. Never let anger or any other emotion or circumstance keep you from expressing your love. Do not pass up that opportunity to passionately show your love and concern for others as you tell them farewell.
“Oh, that a man might know the end of this day’s business ere it come.”