I took the kids to see the movie UP this weekend. We've been looking forward to it for a while now and it was definitely a movie worth seeing. I cry easily at movies ... but it is unusual for me to cry in the first 15 minutes of a movie. And yet, I did with this movie. I don't want to give away movie plots, so if you haven't seen the movie and you don't want to read about it before hand, please don't read further until after you've seen the movie.
The movie starts off showing Carl and Ellie ... who both are fans of the same adventurer. Carl is shy and quiet and enjoys thinking about adventure, but he is really more scared and faint of heart. Ellie, on the other hand, desires adventure. She dreams of it. In just random clips (mostly without words) it shows Carl and Ellie growing up and eventually getting married. Ellie still dreams of adventure in South America. Carl is content with life, but he wants Ellie to be happy. They save for their adventure, but things happen to prevent them from going ... broken arms, house repairs, etc. And yet, the scenes show the two characters loving each other through it all. The scenes that clip by are just mundane, normal life ... dusting the living room, washing the windows, going to work, etc. And yet, there is just obvious love and affection, even though there is no big adventure. Carl and Ellie grow old just going through the normal, everyday life, always loving each other.
Tears streamed down my face ... what it must be like to experience a love like that! Marriage is more about the everyday living, day in and day out, than it is about the big moments of adventure or romance or special times. It's about choosing to live life together, choosing to love each other while you wash the windows or dust the mantle. It's about every day for the rest of your life. I think the great disappointment in my life has been the failure of my 14 year marriage ... I never dreamed that would happen to me, and so when it did it sort of took me by surprise, even though now that I look back I can see the writing on the wall.
The movie shows how Ellie dies, without ever having realized her dream of adventure. Eventually, Carl tries to take the adventure Ellie dreamed of even though she can't go along. Even as he realizes her dream and it begins to come true, he feels like a failure because she isn't there with him. Then he discovers a note from Ellie, in her childhood adventure book ... she has placed pictures of their life together in her book as her life's adventure and then instructs him to go find new adventures of his own now that she is gone. And the next scenes (again without words) show Carl learning to enjoy life without Ellie by his side, as he has new everyday normal adventures, such as eating ice cream and going on hikes and visiting the zoo.
Monday, June 22nd will officially mark the end of my marriage. Over the past two years, I've come to terms with it in many respects. I don't grieve like I once did. I know that I did give it my all ... I tried my hardest to make it work when everything was falling apart. But the past week my heart has felt heavy, almost as if once again I feel a burden from the failure of my marriage. And yet, as those final scenes played out, it was almost like a whisper from God ... like He was saying to me, "It's okay ... now go ahead and have some new adventures. You've still got a lot of life ahead, so enjoy living it to the fullest."
So at the end of the movie, I was crying too ... I believe that God speaks to us in many ways. Sometimes in it is through the Bible or through a song or through a person. This weekend, God spoke to me at a movie. And He gave me an extra measure of peace about losing my marriage. And I've no doubt the He will continue to trade me all of my ashes for something more beautiful ... just as He has been faithful to do for the last 2 years.
I hope that someday God will give me a second chance at loving someone. I have a lot of dreams about that. I try not to make it a fairy tale in my head. Life and love isn't about fairy tales and romance and adventure. Of course, those things are great and have their place in life ... and I think that sometimes love can feel like those things. But I think that a real and true love is more about washing windows and dusting the mantle and eating ice cream together, as you choose to live out love in a more everyday kind of way... and I look forward to the possibility of having someone special (besides my children ) to share those everyday adventures with for a lifetime.