Remembering Mason Movie Night under the stars!

Saunders Godparents approached us a few months after Mason passing….(ugh how bad is the word “passing”….”death” just sounded too harsh and blunt even though it was a good fit) wanting to do something in honor of Mason. Sue and Paul are the most wonderful people I know. Sue is exactly like Kath from Kath & Kim and is just as… or probably more hilarious. She always makes me laugh, she is the type of person that also says what everyone is thinking, even when you shouldn’t say it. She’s loud, bold and crude – exactly the fine qualities I too hold #modest. She is also an amazing listener and advice giver. Her husband Paul is just like Saunders, a hard working man, with a big heart, friendly warm smile and quiet-er?… (I guess these boys have to be due to their noisier wives!). It really is like as if Saunders and I are looking into a mirror of the future and I love what I see! They have so much love to give and give and give. They have so much laughter. They are oh so fun. If you want a good time, spend just 2 minutes with them and you will be hooked.

They are so loving and devoted to one another, and that’s all they have, each other, and its so damn beautiful to see.

So we came up with the idea of hosting a movie night, under the stars, at Sue & Paul’s absolutely stunning property, in their backyard which is surrounded by stunning views of the valley.

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Guests were to bring chairs, bean bags, sleeping bags, picnic blankets, onesies and we were to provide the movie, food, dessert and drinks. Proceeds would go to the NICU unit where Mason spent his last few days on earth. The date was set for 14 April. Remembering Mason movie night under the stars.

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Now what movie to play to everyone? It needed to be a movie that suited all age types, that kids would enjoy and understand, that wasn’t too sad, that was still light-hearted and funny, that wasn’t too old, that had movie stars we all knew, but one that had a message. I had the perfect movie in mind. A movie that had just recently come out. A movie that was so perfect and fitted well with the theme of the night.

Wonder.

This movie is amazing. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and go watch it. It stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. It tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

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This move is funny, is sad, is real. Parents will love it, kids will love it and everyone can relate to it. There is also a strong message regarding bullying which is such an important issue with schools these days. Plus little Auggie loves the stars and space – how fitting with the theme of the night! Winner winner chicken dinner!

Watch the trailer here!

The date was set, invites had been sent out, I organized to have “Souva Man” come to the property and serve delicious souvlakis on the night (the same people who came to my eventful dirty 30th birthday last year, only this time I will be enjoying one! Full story here). Sue and Saunders mum will be making scrumptious desserts and treats!

 

 

Everything was ready, only one thing we couldn’t control.

And that was the weather.

We were having some seriously amazing weather in Melbourne for April. Blue skies, warm days and sunshine was pretty rare. The days leading up to Mason’s movie night, we were seeing 29 and 30 degree days. Then you get to Saturday where it was heavy rains and storms and then Sunday it was back to warm blue sunny skies. Just my luck. Every day is perfect for the week besides Saturday night when we should all be investing in boats and life jackets.

 

But its Melbourne, and we are the state to be known to have 4 seasons in one day. Anything could happen! Positive thoughts, fingers and toes crossed. Well it did jack shit as the morning of Mason’s movie night was dark and raining like it hadn’t for 40 years.

The event was to be outside! My anxiety was through the roof! WTF are we to do?!!? Do we cancel? Do we move it to a hall? No! Its meant to be a movie night under the stars! Its meant to be outside! It was too late to hire a place anyway! I could have cried. I wanted everyone to see Sue and Paul’s stunning property. Not to be shacked up inside somewhere.

Paul had an idea to move the movie night into one of their large open sheds at the other end of the their property. He promised he would make it perfect. I was so worried that not everyone was going to fit. Then again maybe people would cancel because of the weather, maybe no one would turn up.

Paul and Saunders worked hard clearing, moving,  sweeping and dusting the shed. They put fairy lights up and added extra gazebos to the sides of the shed to  allow for more room. It was actually not looking too bad! It had an old, rustic barn feel. And come on fairy lights make anything pretty.

There was nothing more we could do but to go home and get dressed and ready for Mason’s movie night. I had no idea how this would go. Would anyone even rock up?

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(Stars for my boy, from head to toe)

We invited 60 people. 59 people turned up and braved the wet, cold and stormy weather. People wore onesies, pyjamas, brought rugs, pillows, chairs, doonas, sleeping bags. People ate, drank, huddled together and watched the movie.

 

I couldn’t believe people actually sat down and watched the movie. For that 1 hour and 53 minutes when the movie was playing the shed was silent. I thought there would be the usual background chatter or kids shouting or laughing or not being able to sit still. The kids and babies were silent. Sue and I would pass down trays of coffee, popcorn and desserts, and you would see the trays floating through the crowd silently.

 

It was like going to Gold Class at the cinemas! Oh the popcorn.. now that was an effort. All week I couldn’t find anywhere that sold bulk pre-made buttered popcorn. So I went to Costco and bought 60 microwaveable packets.

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I really didn’t think it through seeing as each packet took 1 minute and 30 seconds in the microwave. I was running to and from the kitchen to the shed with bags of popcorn, going back up into the house to wait for the next lot in the microwave! Well at least everyone got hot, delicious and fresh popcorn right?! Even thought it took over an hour!

 

Everyone loved the movie. People laughed, people ate, people drank…(some a bit too much), people danced, people hugged, people cried. People came together for my son. People came to brave the cold and sit outside for Mason. People raised $1560 that night and people made me the god damn proudest mother the world had ever seen.

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