The Thing I Like About …

Highlander:  the part where Heather grows old while Connor stays young.

Highlander is the story of a man who is apparently immortal – forever young and mostly unkillable.  He is driven from his village, because for some reason, villagers are afraid of neighbours that never age and never die.  He makes his way to a remote part of the highlands, and he lives there with the love of his life, Heather, a lovely young woman who accepts his … condition.

She grows older, and older, and is eventually old, and eventually dies, and when she asks him on her deathbed why he stayed with her, he says that he loves her as much that day as he did the day he met her.  And for centuries after she’s gone, he never loves another.

People want to live forever.  We want to stay young forever.  The vampire trend isn’t for no reason.  We fear aging and we fear death, and we think we want to be like Connor … except that our loved ones – our spouses, parents, siblings, friends, children – will all die around us.  So, if that’s the deal, then we actually don’t want to take that deal.  Maybe we don’t want to live forever after all, if our loved ones can’t live forever with us.

It turns out we don’t fear aging and we don’t fear death.  We fear loss.  We fear losing our hearts and our happiness and our loved ones.  And it turns out that living forever didn’t keep Connor from losing all of those things … in fact, it made it harder because he had so much more time to mourn.  It turns out that we all just want a life filled with what Heather and Connor had – a love that transcends the changes around us, that withstands time and tide, that looks past physical beauty and infirmity and sees only the beautiful parts inside.

It turns out that we fear dying alone … and the answer to that fear is to love one another as much at the end as we do in the beginning.

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