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One year later, we still miss John Hughes



John HughesDear John Hughes. A year has passed since you left us, and I can't say we're quite over it yet. I still remember the sick feeling in my stomach when I heard the news. I wanted to go running through the hallways at work, like Duckie in Pretty in Pink, tearing memos off the wall and screaming at the sky. Instead I did what you would have done. I hunkered down and started working hard on a way to honor you in the newspaper I work for. I think you'd have enjoyed the tribute I eventually wrote.

You'd be happy to know, John, that a lot of love has come your way these last 12 months. Books have been written. Film festivals staged. Magazine articles penned. It's like the '80s have returned, if only for a short time, and we've all had a chance to relive some of the heartbreak and innocence of those years. It feels good. Like we have our whole lives in front of us again.

Sometimes, when I'm awake late at night, I try to think of 10 questions I'd ask you, if I'd only had the chance to interview you. I'd ask about the bond you had with your actors. Your connection to music and how it influenced your life. I'd ask a lot about Chicago and fictional Shermer, Illinois. But what I'd most likely say to you is just "thank you." Over and over again.

Thank you for making it okay to express our feelings.

Thank you for showing us how the heart works.

Thank you for making us laugh when all we want to do is cry.

Thank you for letting my generation (and future generations of teens) know that it's okay to be yourself.

Thank you for giving us movies that we'll watch with awe for the rest of our lives.

And thank you for reminding us that our lives are meant to be lived, to be cherished, to be celebrated.

Yes, life does move pretty fast. Thanks for letting us stop and look around for a while with you.

[Last modified: Friday, August 6, 2010 6:08pm]


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