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Jamie Lee Curtis Headshot

Say

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At the end of the lovely Rob Reiner film The Bucket List, two human men -- flawed and contradictory, given knowledge that their oh-so-human lives are about to come to their mortal end -- find redemption and transformation. The song "Say" by John Mayer plays over the credits. The film moved me: Jack Nicholson eulogizing his new friend's courage and guidance was powerful film-making, but it was the song mixed with message that did me in. I sat in the theater for twenty minutes after the lights had come up, sobbing.

The song, perfect and true, reminds us that life is hard and triumphant and that it is the people we touch and feel and contact that matter. That who we are is based on what lessons we can learn and what lessons we can teach, what part of our family we are from, what part of ourselves exists outside that family, what fights we fought, and which ones we walked away from, and, most importantly, who we loved and who loved us. Teddy Kennedy -- a human man, so forceful and formidable and flawed, as he and his family described at his funeral -- got to say what he needed to say to his children, wives, family and colleagues and strangers: what he did, why he did it, and what he hoped for in the future.

His brothers did not. Neither did the people from Massachusetts who died on September 11, and whose families Senator Kennedy called and cared for afterward. Nor did the soldiers in Iraq, or the children in the van with Diane Schuler, who died with their drunk mother. It is crucial that that we all say what we need to say, and say it now. Say it daily. Tell your truths, your hard truths. Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel. Say what you need to say. It is the gift of a very public death, long in coming, that we can learn from... that we all, from every corner of the globe, are in contact and intertwined in the lives of each other... Teddy's political legacy will live on.

Pass health care. For everyone. Let all who are sick and dying get the same care that he got in his last year. And if you are not satisfied with what you are hearing or seeing on the news.....then be Americans and say what you need to say to your elected officials, who say what they need to say on your behalf.

That's what I have to say.

"Say," by John Mayer

Take out of your wasted honor

Every little past frustration

Take all your so called problems

Better put them in quotations

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Walkin' like a one man army
Fightin' with the shadows in your head
Livin' up the same old moment
Knowin' you'd be better off instead
If you could only

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Have no fear for givin' in
Have no fear for givin' over
You better know that in the end
It's better to say too much
Than to never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shakin'
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closin'
Do it with a heart wide open
A wide heart

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say