We have all spent a lot of time here re-hashing the Chuck series finale and analyzing every little detail, especially related to that final scene, in excruciating detail. At this point, the principals of this site, as well as the majority of our regular commenters seem to have found the hope and joy that were meant to be in that scene.
This is not going to be another discussion about the entertainment value about that end, but rather the true story of a couple of Chuck fans and what the ending meant for them. Join me after the jump for a unique and powerful guest post.
We got an incredible e-mail here at Chuck This several weeks ago. It is an amazing story of healing and recovery that obviously relates directly to the Chuck series finale from ref91507, who always signs his comments “Erik”. So without any more distraction from me, here’s Erik in his own words.
I would like to share with you guys the story of me and my wife. It relates to the ending of the series, and I have very strong feelings personally about what they were trying to do. I hope you take the time to read it. I will keep as short and simple as I can.
I want to start off by saying I am not a man that cries a lot but the last scene at the beach between Chuck and Sarah hit me like a ton of bricks and caused me to come to tears. I can very much sympathize with Chuck the character. So here we go.
I met my wife in 2003 in North Carolina at the church where I was the youth pastor. We dated for 2 years and were engaged for about 18 months. We were married in May of 2007 for about 6 months when my wife sustained a head injury in a car accident. The blow she suffered hit her with such force that it knocked her unconscious. When she woke up 5 days later she remembered very little about the previous 4 years. She thought she was still in North Carolina and she had no memory of me. She recognized her mom, dad, brothers, their wives. However she did not remember her 2 nieces or nephew, who were all under the age of 4.
The doctors told me that brain injuries are tricky to deal with and amnesia is still a big mystery, and that there was no right or wrong way to proceed. They suggested that I bring some things that are important to her and us to try to spark or trigger some things that she could remember. So over the next 3 days while she was in the hospital she and I talked and I brought her our photo albums, our wedding pictures and DVD, and a few of the other things that were important to us. She also talked with her parents and brothers but nothing made any sense to her. She knew the truth, and saw the evidence of the life she had built with me but she just did not remember anything.
After she was released from the hospital I asked her what she wanted to do. She said that she wanted to be with family for a while because she didn’t have those same emotions and feelings for me, which meant she wanted to go back out east. It was one of the hardest conversations I have ever had to have but I told her ok go be with your family and take all the time you need. So she went with her parents and I went back to my apartment alone for the first time over 4 years.
Then about 2 weeks later I got a call from her mom telling me I should try to get there soon because she was starting to remember a few things but she didn’t know what they meant. So I packed my bags and headed out east. Her mom picked me up from the airport and told me that she remembered something new that morning, a memory from our first date. So I planned our first date all over again and just like the first time she enjoyed herself. But for me it was bittersweet. She told me that while she liked our date, and wanted to spend more time with me, and that she was getting some of the memories back, she didn’t know what to do. I remember saying these exact words to her, “My love for you will never change. I don’t want to be selfish and push your into something you don’t want to do. I can’t and I don’t want to make the decision for you. I have a life back in Iowa I need to get back to. Whatever you do I will support your decision. Just know and remember I will always love you and always be here for you.” With that our first date again ended and I took her home and she went to bed, while I slept on her couch.
The next morning she drove me to the airport and I flew back home. Over the next 10 months she would call me when she remember something else to see if what she was remembering was true or not. The calls started slowly at first once a week, then a few times a week, and then she started calling just to talk to me. Then 10 months after my visit my dad picked me up for our weekly dinner and said that tonight will be different. We pulled up to the Olive Garden, my favorite restaurant, walked inside and sitting at a table near the back was my wife. My dad said this night is for you two and he left. I was in total shock that she was sitting there. We had a great dinner and I loved every minute of it.
After dinner she told me there is some place I want to take you. When we got there I asked her if she remembered the significance of this place and she said that she didn’t but that for the last several days she has been dreaming of this place and that it must have been important. I told her that just up over the hill one summer morning after we had been out all night I brought her to this very spot and proposed to her. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Your one of my best friends. You have been so patient with me. I know I was your wife and I understand why I loved you. I don’t feel that way now but I want to try to get back there again. Can we try?” That was the best day of my life.
Of course I said yes, and she eventually got back the place where she can say, “I love you” and truly mean it. We are still married to this day, but unfortunately she remembers very little about our wedding, and she doesn’t remember much about our first 6 months of marriage and the doctors don’t know if she will ever recover all of her memories. But together we share memories that are just as special as the ones we shared before the accident.
The last 2 episodes for me were very emotional, almost painful to watch as you can see why. I can see myself saying those exact same words that Chuck said to Sarah during those episodes. And I can see what Sarah is really saying to Chuck when she says, “Chuck tell me our story.” I get it. I loved it and I am glad they ended the series on that high note.
Obviously the end of Chuck touched Erik in a way most of us will never experience. But to me, it really emphasizes the hope, joy and promise at the end of our favorite show. Many of us struggled with seeing those things on screen. It may have taken some of us weeks, or even months to find peace with that story and that ending. But Erik saw it right away, and he’d lived it.