"I know that the night must end,
And that the sun will rise...
I know that the clouds must clear,
And that the sun will shine."
~ from the musical The Lion King,
composed by Hans Zimmer/Lebo M./Jay Rifkin

The Charles/Adam Bucket Brigade

Hi all,

Sixty years ago today, Charles Rocket was born.  As with the past three years, some of us wanted to remember and celebrate his life.  I hope you'll do that along with us.  Liz and I have written about how his work, including his role as Adam, has touched our lives.  Following those is a link to a story written by Yvette in honor of Mr. Rocket.  Finally, we close with some links with suicide prevention information.

But before we get to that work has begun on an Adam-style nick name shirt, as alluded to at the end of JABB 279.  You can see the work in progress here.  This day seemed like a good time to introduce this tribute to one of Charles Rocket's best loved roles!  Please let me know if you can think of any other nicknames for Adam.  Thank you!

As always, we join together in remembering Mr. Rocket's family and friends in our prayers.

God bless,
Jenni

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Lessons from the Fieldlet
by Jenni

I know we're celebrating Mr. Rocket's birthday today.  But every time I sat down to write something to celebrate his life and birth, all I kept thinking of was something that happened the day after I learned he had died.  I guess because, in hindsight, it really seemed to say a lot about life: his life as I knew it (through his film and TV work) and life in general.

It was October 18th, 2005 and I'd learned about Mr. Rocket's death only hours before after returning from vacation.  If you've communicated with me much, you know I tend to work out my emotions physically to an extent.  If I get anxious, I need to run around.  If I see or hear something especially tragic, my stomach churns and pain shoots from my hand to my heart.  So it probably wasn't surprising when, in trying to make sense of everything, I felt the need to walk briskly up the hill from my old house and make my way to the Fieldlet.  It's just a tiny bit of land at the top of my block that's unkept and wild looking.  And for some reason I've always really liked it.  And on that day, feeling a little wild and elemental myself, it appealed to me.  I'd thought to bring my camera and started taking shots.  Only later did I come to think I'd captured some ideal metaphors for what I was feeling and what Mr. Rocket's life means to me. 

Here's the first of those two shots:



I think when I took the photo, I was just aiming to capture the golden leaves.  Only later would I begin to attach meaning to the photo.  Look at how vibrant that tree looks amid those barren, weak looking other trees!  It was like the other trees thought "It's October.  It's time for us to let go of our fancy leaves and prepare for the inevitable."  But there was the other tree...  That tree didn't care about the necessity of being somber and proper as winter approached.  It was gonna hang in there and show off its splendor, chill or no chill!  And in that it reminds me of Adam.  Other angels might be somber and mournful about death.  Adam?  He knows he's got a great gift going with that God-given sense of humor!  And he let that sense of humor shine!  Bring on the chandelier jokes!

I didn't go back to the Fieldlet the next year.  But I'd like to think if I did, I'd see those other two trees hanging onto their leaves longer.  Maybe they learned a lil something from that hold out in the middle just as I learned some lessons from Adam.  Terrible things happen in life.  But don't ever surrender your sense of humor and joy.  You'll need them.  And you never know what a blessing they might be to someone else.  Further, be who you are.  Not some watered down version that you've adjusted to fit in. 

The second photo is my favorite from that day:



Because of the sun glare you may not be able to make out what exactly that is.  It's a broken, dead tree.  But in its brokenness it perfectly framed the bright, life-giving sun.  When I see that photo, I think about death and eternal life.  I think about how, even out of tragedy, something good can happen.  If that tree hadn't have been broken, would I have noticed how beautiful the sun was that day?  I'm not sure but I don't think I would have.  I think that's something Touched by an Angel reminded me of, especially through the AODs with Adam beginning it.  Yes, death can be scary and losing someone can be so, so heart-breaking.  But if we can eventually see past physical death, then we'll see a glorious, golden life with out end.  One in which we'll always know and feel God's love and so will our loved ones.  It's a life in which we'll never be alone and I like to think that it begins with the welcoming smile of a friend.  And I'm grateful to Charles Rocket and the two actors who followed in his footsteps for giving us such lovely depictions of just how great that friend might be.

So as I sit here and remember all the enjoyment I've gotten out of Mr. Rocket's work, I'm glad for the times I laughed over the ridiculousness of Steve Moscow and "Dadcula."  I remain touched by his appearance on Quantum Leap.  I look forward to watching those projects of his I still haven't had the pleasure of watching.  But mostly I'm grateful for what he taught me through Adam:
Laughter is a gift: use it and give it.
Always be yourself.
When death comes, it's okay to be sad.  But know that if you could just peer past it, you would see eternal life and that, when that time comes, no one is ever, ever alone.

God bless him and his loved ones. 

God bless you, too.

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The producers could have hired anyone for the role of Adam but they chose Charles Rocket.  In my opinion, very few could have played Adam as well as Charles did.  Adam became his own with his own flair and humour that was just so without being offensive in any way.  It was like the whole scene lit up whenever Adam appeared as he brought his own brand of style with him.

Charles Rocket will be missed for all that he did.

Liz

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Over the course of the past few months, I have come to realize that with each passing, life somehow goes on and I have been known to ponder whether or not the world can continue turning in the same way as before.  Every so often we are reminded of people through the passing of others.  I recognized that earlier this year when Michael Jackson died, and through his passing, I was not only reminded of tragedy that strikes families everyday, but I was somehow reminded of all the people who are no longer with us and what they would want us to do to commemorate their lives.
 
I asked myself almost constantly since the end of June, if those who passed on would want us to continue grieving or would they want us to move on, as music so aptly implies?  This story was written, not necessarily as a reminder of the work Charles Rocket did, but instead, for those he left behind.  Would they want us to be sad?  Or would they celebrate our victories and mourn our defeats from beyond the heavens just as we do?
 
The questions remain, even after having read countless books on this particular subject matter.
 
I guess in essence, I wrote this more for myself than anyone else, but I hope that it does, regardless of sadness or heartache that may be experienced, give us hope and courage to continue living as well as taking the biggest bite out of life that there is.  It is my belief that that is precisely what Charles Rocket was known to have done.
 
Namasté,
Yvette  



As with years past, we'd like to end this newsletter with some suicide prevention resources.  If you or someone you know feels depressed, please know that there is help out there!  Along with the sites below, you may be able to find local resources in your phone book or on your city's web site. 

Thank you,
Jenni


JABB TOC


JABB 281

(Photo Credits: The photographs, barring the nature ones, used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)