|Coming through the Rye. This is an image I made of Devon years ago. I asked him to run through the field like he was in a Star Wars film.|
On December 19, Devon and I went to see the 10 a.m. showing of the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. Devon and Rob had hoped that he would be well enough to come to the theater too, but it simply was not the case. From the time Devon was 6, he was fascinated, like his dad, with Star Wars. I can remember filming Devon as he made his own Star Wars film in our home and showing the film to him. He and Rob watched and rewatched all of the films. They built Star War Legos. And so it was not a surprise that they had spent the better part of 2015 talking about the release of the film and making plans to see it together.
As Rob's prognosis grew worse, Devon said to me, "I hope Dad can see the Star Wars film with me. I just want us to see it together."
"When is it being released?"
"Digital downloads are supposed to be released March 15."
By this time Rob was in palliative care at the hospital and a week away from coming home. I did not think he would be able to hold on until the 15th of March and actually be able to understand what he was seeing. So I decided to write to Lucas Films requesting permission to purchase a DVD early.
Three days later, Cara, from Lucas Films publicity sent me a touching email explaining that the DVD could not be released due to piracy issues, but promising that she would reach out to Disney to see if someone could travel to New Jersey to show the film to us. In her email to me, she wrote:
Please know that Rob is in the hearts of all of us at Lucas film, and that he is always a part of our Star Wars family. Thank you again for reaching out, our thoughts are with you during this impossibly difficult time.
I didn't think much more about this as Rob came home two days later and Hospice care began and our world closed in as we supported Rob as he prepared to die. On the afternoon of February 26, I received a phone call from the Disney Corporation. I'm sorry that I can't recall the woman's name who I spoke with, but she was calling to say that they were able to arrange a person from the Disney Corporation to come to our home and show Rob and his family the film. I was so grateful for their kindness and actions and so sorry that I had to decline their offer. By that time, Rob was more in another world than here and he would not have been alert enough to even see the film, let alone understand what was being shown.
This was a time when only family and very close friends were present in our home. Ten days later, almost to the minute, Rob died.
It has been on my mind to thank Lucas Films and Disney for their responsiveness to my initial email and for working so hard to fulfill a son's desire. We were both so touched by their gesture. Devon and I were truly grateful for their offer and talked about it as we sat down last week to watch The Force Awakens.