Thank You, Jim Henson

May 16, 1990 was the year Jim Henson passed away. I was only three years old that springtime. I didn’t understand death back then. But years later when I was on a message board I understood his death. I watched a clip from The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson one day when I was on a computer at my grandmother’s old house. I watched carefully and closely. He did pass away. I was shocked and saddened.

As an autistic adult, Sesame Street and other Muppet productions have given me so much comfort through my meltdowns. I can watch these two when I am scared, agitated, anxious, upset, tired or worried. I have always liked these shows because they have taught me so much. The Muppets and Sesame Street taught me to be kind and have compassion towards others. They also taught me to be a friend and not a bully. They also taught me to be respectful to everybody and not hurt anybody’s feelings. They also taught me to use humor in a kind and gentle way rather than use it to hurt other people’s feelings. That’s what Jim Henson taught us, too. And that’s why I’m a big fan of the Muppets and Sesame Street.

When I was a little girl I used to have some Sesame Street videocassettes, long before anybody heard of a DVD. I loved them so much. Sing-Along Earth Songs and Big Bird Sings were two of my favorites. I’d watch them over and over again. One year that I got my eyes operated on from the menengitis I had, I got a balloon with the Sesame Street Muppets that said “Get Well Soon” on it. I loved it so much. Sadly a few years later it was deflated.

The Muppets and Sesame Street also taught me to use my imagination, something Jim Henson taught me through his productions. He also taught me creativity. I loved making all the crafts and drawing pictures and building puppets and making plush toys. When I was a kid I loved making a stuffed snake. I made it when I was in kindergarten and carried it with me everywhere I went, long before I had my Sesame Street plushes.

I also loved listening to Jim Henson sing Up Goes the Castle on a Sesame Street audiocassette I once had. Up Goes the Castle always makes me cry, because of Ernie’s power of imagination. It always gets me choked up every time, because it reminds me of Jim Henson. I also loved listening to Jim sing on the Sesame Street Sing-Alongs audiotape. I used to have it too and I listened to it in the summer of 1994. All the songs were my favorite, especially the ones that Jim sang.

Thank you, Jim Henson. As an autistic adult, I just wanted to thank you for comforting me through my meltdowns with the Muppets and my Sesame Street friends. Thank you so much for the laughs, smiles and tears. I miss you everyday more than anybody can possibly say.

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