When I was a kid, we had this movie that we'd taped off of TV that I watched over and over like a crazy person. I don't remember the name of the movie or what it was about, just that it was sad all the way through and then happy at the very, very, very end when somebody (a little girl maybe? With her dad?) floated off in a hot air balloon. One day, because it had to happen sometime, somebody taped over the first half of the movie. I didn't care. I still watched the last half of the movie repeatedly, even though it didn't make a lot of sense without the first half.
The point was that it made me feel infinitely sad and irreparably broken, and then everything was fixed, and I got the feeling that the hot air balloon ride was what had fixed the unfixable thing. I'd describe it better, but all I can remember are the feelings. Which are, of course, the most important part of a movie anyway.
I'm not sure where that VHS ended up, and I haven't seen it in years, but every time I see a hot air balloon I think about it the way you'd think about something that had actually happened to you, not just something that had happened on half of a made-for-TV movie you taped off of CBS when you were eight.
We saw this one last night on our way into town from the lake. Oh, my heart. If anyone even has a guess at what movie it might have been, with a little girl and a dad and hot air balloons at the very end, you should definitely let me know. I'll be indebted to you for at least a year or two.