The Shawshank Redemption was Zack’s favorite movie of all times. To him, it screamed “hope” in every circumstance, and despite the obviously tragic ending, trust me when I tell you that he tried not to literally lose his mind and fall apart the way he did. Ironically, we watched it together for probably the twentieth time the weekend before he died and he cried the whole way through it. Looking back, I know in my heart that as he was watching it for the very last time he knew he wasn’t going to be able to hang on much longer and all that all the “hope” he tried so hard to find in doing so was fast coming to a screeching halt. We’d talked incessantly about what he was feeling in his heart and mind, and towards the end he just kept saying it felt like he was trapped inside a prison. Five nights later, he was gone.
In here is where it makes the most sense … you need it so you don’t forget … that there are places in the world that aren’t made out of stone … that there’s something inside that they can’t get to … they can’t touch … it’s yours … hope.
Having done a little investigating, I was able to speak with one of the first responders at the scene the morning of August 23rd, who was kind enough to answer some of questions I needed answers to. He said that when they found him, the car was still running, and there was opera music playing inside so loud that they could hear it through the windows. I just know that what he was listening to at the end was his favorite musical masterpiece of all, Mozart’s “The Marriage Of Figaro”, which was in his favorite scene in the movie:
Here’s the thing …
There are so many questions I will never have answers to, and even more things I will never understand. Only God and Zack know what was going through his mind while he was alone in that car those last dark hours, minutes, and seconds. Even if it’s true that I will see him again in another place and time, and even if I do get to meet God one day, there is still no assurance that ponderings such as these will be part of the conversations to be had, much less will I even know that I pondered them at all. In “the opera scene”, Red said …
I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. I like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.
Likewise, I have no idea what Zack was really thinking about or “listening to” in the very last seconds of his life, but I’d like to think …
He was thinking about something so beautiful it just couldn’t be expressed in words, despite how his heart was aching, and it was the Light at the end of the very dark tunnel that had been his life on Earth that WAS the last bit of “hope” he was clinging to.
As par for our course, there are things He will reveal to me only if and when I am ready to hear them, and so many other things that aren’t meant for me to understand at all. Guess what? THAT’S OKAY! I have the truly blind faith in my mind’s eye to guide me as I’m crossing over and that is all the “hope” I’ll ever need. Indeed, HOPE is a very good thing!
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