“Saturday nights God watches the Muppets!” Dad decreed.
Growing up each night we sat around the dinner table, afterwards having family bible readings, jokes and songs. Devotions. But Saturday nights our families favorite show came on, The Muppets! No DVRs back then! One night after eating we began the discussion with Mom and Dad that it was not fair that other kids didn’t have to do devotions, we were missing our tv shows! Donald, I believe, came up with the logical argument that God created TV and the muppets. Therefore, God watched it from heaven! So it became a family tradition that every Saturday night devotions consisted of watching the muppets together with God.
We all tried to figure out who was which Muppet then and as the years passed by. Mom and Dad were Jim Henson and Frank Oz creating and encouraging whimsical dreams. Donald was a mix of Fozzie Bear and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Helen would be sweet, kind Robin the frog. Eve hits the pitches of Beaker! Eve is like the down to earth wisdom of Rowlf and the “stand by your man” pretty cuteness of Camilla the chicken. Mark, her husband, and the newest muppet, Walter, have the same gentleness and courage. Our little, Patricia, we teased was “The Great Gonzo” but she argued she was dropped off by Gonzo and resembled Lew Zealand, the crazy boomerang fish thrower! Personally, I think she is more like the rare, beautiful dancing bird muppets preformed by the London ballet. After her husband, Rob’s recent skateboard accident, I figure he is one of the lost Zucchini Brothers! Wes Basset and Dad were dead ringers for the sarcastic, humourous Statler and Waldorf! (Or at times Burt and Ernie!) The Lees – GranRandy, Lisa and Rachel we compared to the Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem! Cool, musical, entertaining and some of the most awesome people to be with! Rachel and my godson, Brandon, share the antics of Animal! Fred was the Swedish Chef. Johnny a cross of Sam the Eagle and Bruno.
As for me, everyone agreed early that I am Miss Piggy incarnate! I take that as such a fun compliment. Miss Piggy does have the best fashion sense and karate chop kicks! My Kermit is definitely Terri, coordinating the characters in our home!
Watching the Muppets all those years we saw how they always pulled together, had fun, never left a man or muppet behind, shared good times and bad jokes. The zany cast of characters: regulars, walk ins and celebrities easily mirrored our life.
Fast forward to two days after dads death. Patricia had an early flight back to Illinois. We didn’t want her to go. She didn’t want to go. I felt raw. I felt like the world was collapsing. We were emotionally and physically exhausted from caring for Dad. Watching the last curtain of his life fall.
But God sent the muppets.
Sad and tired we got in the car taking Patti to the airport. Eves phone synced to the radio playing softly as we chatted. Eve was driving with Patricia in the front seat, me behind her in the backseat.
Have you ever had a moment happen in life that seemed straight out of a movie? A magical moment where life is perfect, all the world is good, butterflies flutter, birds sing, love is all you need, rainbows beam and it feels like your heart is soaring.
Our magical moment began with “Lifes a Happy Song!” Eve, Patti and I began singing along with the Muppets going down the highway. My sadness swirled into so many happy memories of our family. We were singing, holding hands. If this had have been on a movie, Eve’s car would have been glowing with the soft yellow glow of love, a rainbow trailing us and a glorious sun rise! Next came “Rainbow Connection” a song that as a children we sang in celebration of God, life, fun and Muppet joy.
Being in that magical moment, I felt all the love between us and utter joy. It was like God and Dad (and Mom) got together to wonderfully remind us that we were ok. We could sing in chaos and sorrow. Exploding with the childlike happiness of a favorite shared memory.
One of the lyrics in “Rainbow Connection” is “..Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices….The voice might be one and the same…”
That early morning God’s voice came thru the Muppets