It’s totally cliché, but 100% true nonetheless. We really do live a life of firsts. Some we can’t remember: our first breaths, our first words, our first steps. These are commemorated only in the pages of yellowing baby books and the minds of the hands that wrote those words. Then there are those which we look forward to and brag about for the rest of our lives: our first trip to Disneyland, our first concert, watching someone else take their first breath. Still others are those moments so horrible that they stick in your mind forever. For me, those are definitely my first car accident (my poor Honda!!), my first steroid/ colloidal silver injections (grown men have been known to pass out from them!), and my first kiss. Hey now, don’t judge. That one came from my stalker a long time ago and it was so…so….just…ewww.
There are other firsts though too–the kind that you remember but you can’t really decide how you should feel about them. They’re not negative because they give you insights into yourself and into your life that you couldn’t really get from any other source. Plus, they’re so fleeting–mere flickering seconds in a lifetime of such little moments….completely forgettable and yet, somehow, you just can’t forget them. More importantly, they’re the kind which you have to share–not to brag, but to share. I had one such first time the other night.
You see, in all of my life, I have never once cried during a movie…until now.
I’ve come close a couple of times–let’s face it, there are a lot of tear-jerker movies out there. I guess I’m just not really that kind of girl. After all, if I’m being completely honest, the movies that have almost made me cry in the past weren’t even girlie movies. Rather, they were things like Schindler’s List, Turner and Hooch, and–of all things!–Braveheart. So yeah, those epic tear-jerkers do absolutely nothing for me. Usually they just make me laugh to be honest–especially Titanic… “I’ll never let go Jack…” she says as she lets the love of her life drift to a watery grave. I mean how can you get anymore ridiculous than that?!
Okay, so maybe I’m not normal–I accepted that particular fact a long time ago. However, in recent years, there have been a couple close calls with cancer movies. For one thing, they’re just awful. Period. For another, they hit a little too close to home. I lost my Uncle Jason to cancer a long time ago. Since then, I’ve also lost many others to it too–most recently, my dear friend Liz Holly. So yeah, cancer really, really sucks. Thus, movies like The Bucket List and Stepmom bother me in ways they probably wouldn’t have when I was younger. But they’ve never actually made me cry–not until the other night.
I knew I shouldn’t rent it the moment I saw it. I had bought the book a few months ago and it is still sitting untouched on my book shelf because, while movies have no effect on me, books can leave me sobbing and falling all over myself. I didn’t even know why I bought the book, but for some reason I felt compelled to rent Letters to God.
So I did, and it was just as horrible as I imagined it would be. It’s about a little boy who is dying from cancer and he writes letters to God. He even mails them and his mailman ends up reading them all. The letters aren’t angry though–they’re just incredible. Most of them are prayers for help–for other people! The kid is dying and he sits on his roof every night writing letters for the benefit of other people!!
He was just so heartbreakingly innocent and good that I couldn’t help myself. I had tears streaming down my face about half way through and they never went away. When it was over, I went to tell my brother about what an awesome movie it was and my voice was shaking horribly the entire time. He looked at me like I’d gone crazy and asked, “Why would I want to watch a movie that makes even you cry?”
All I could say was, “…But he wrote letters…to GOD!!”
I don’t think he got it because he still hasn’t watched it. Besides, I don’t even really know why that makes it so special. I only know two things. First, it put things into perspective for me for sure. Our life in California may be coming to an end, but our lives aren’t. Cancer hasn’t claimed anyone else yet this year–knock on wood. And frankly, the things you can’t take with you when you go do not in any way equate to the time you leave behind you when you do… It just made all of my problems seem so trivial and I know that some of those tears were probably tears of guilt–and tears of relief too because that wasn’t my baby brother writing those letters.
But it also made me want to try….everyone needs a new hobby right? So, here it goes…
There are a lot of people in the world who could really use your help right about now. Most of them are the type who clearly do not know how to ask for it too, so I’ve decided to ask You for them…
Please help Anna from Woodburn to understand that demanding things is not going to grant her every wish. She just doesn’t seem to understand that being rude to the hotel front desk is NOT going to get you nice, quiet rooms right next to each other. It’s an important lesson for her to learn too–I’m actually afraid for her continued well-being if I have to continue to deal with her crap…
Please watch over the “good” folks down at the bank. They make our lives so pleasant–it would be such a shame if anything bad were to happen to them…
Finally, please give our realtor a brain. I know that’s really not Your problem and that she should be seeking out the Wizard to grant her this request. Alas, she hasn’t even brains enough to accomplish this–or anything she gets paid to do for that matter! So yeah, I feel that it needs to be addressed by someone like You who doesn’t have to wait for her to ask…
I would love it if You could grant me these three little wishes–good things should always come in threes You know!
Thanks in advance God!
Okay, so maybe it’s a little bit more Jaron and the Long Road to Love than Letters to God. But hey, a girl’s got to start somewhere right?
Besides, it really is the thought that counts…
“Just know wherever you are–near or far, in your house or in your car–wherever you are honey I’ll pray for you…”
The Butcher of the Bard