The 1991 movie My Girl directed by Howard Zieff is a story of two eleven year old friends? last summer together. Vada and Thomas Jay show the special relationship they have and the love that they share even through death. Vada continues to demonstrate her love for Thomas Jay and her sorrow through her own poem written shortly after his funeral.
The thought of a person?s first encounter with love is usually a sweet memory. Through Vada?s poem about Thomas Jay?s death you can clearly see that her first touch of love is both sweet and sad. After she has been to her best friend?s funeral Vada is forced to deal with her true feelings about him. While standing in front of a class of adult poetry students she recites this poem:
Weeping willow with your tears running down
Why do you always make me frown?
Is it because he loved you one day?
Is it because he could not stay?
On your branches he would swing
Do you long for the happiness that day will bring?
He found shelter in your shade
You thought his laughter would never fade
Weeping willow stop your tears
There is something to calm your fears
You think death has ripped you forever apart
But I know he?ll always be in your heart.
The weeping willow tree in this poem is where Vada and Thomas Jay would spend most of their time by the lake. Her use of personification with this tree shows that she is still not sure how to accept that these are her feelings. By using the tree she can make the audience think of the times they shared at the weeping willow rather than her sadness about seeing this place without Thomas Jay.
The questions asked to the weeping willow in Vada?s poem are representing her inability to fathom his death. When she asks, ?Why do you always make me frown?? she is wondering why she is so lonely without Thomas Jay around. She was not aware of how much he meant to her until he passed away. After his death she comes to see that he loved her and asks, ?Is it because he loved you one day? Is it because he could not stay??. Now that Vada recognizes that he is not coming back she is forced to admit that he was very important to her. The days they spent at the weeping willow were a very happy time for her so she asks ?Do you long for the happiness that day will bring?? showing how important it would be to her to spend just one more day with her best friend.
As the poem comes to a close the audience can see that Vada is now becoming more enlightened on death. The loss of Thomas Jay is settling in and though she is not happy about it she at least has a bit more of an understanding about death. Vada states, ?Weeping willow stop your tears there is something to calm your fears? to explain to the audience that she has come to a realization about her loss. To close her poem she explains, ?You think death has ripped you forever apart but I know he?ll always be in your heart.? Vada and Thomas Jay will never get to spend another day at the weeping willow together like they did the summer of 1972, but Vada has grown from this experience. She is now aware of the fact that she has something that death could not take from her, which is her love and memories.
First love is an experience like no other. In the movie My Girl Vada expressed her emotions through a poem she had written and touched her audience with her innocence