Tag Archives: movies

For the birds.

The Christmas season has been going well. They say the first year of grief is the hardest because you go through each “first” with your new big empty space. I say whatever. Maybe it’s true. But that is about as helpful as the grief books I still haven’t read. Grief isn’t an emotion. I didn’t wake up yesterday feeling grieved. Grief is a giant magnifying glass for the normal feelings.

Yesterday I woke up mad. And since Mom isn’t here, I woke up furious. I swam for a mile in the ocean with my friend Carol and that slightly improved matters. But then I hit a too-slow pigeon with my 30 mph Cavalier. I realized when I burst into tears after parking that it probably wasn’t the pigeon death that started the tears. It was probably the fact that every day I decide to be happy about Christmas and that means I have to make a lot of little choices. Turn the radio station to a different channel when Amy Grant starts. Don’t hang that ornament. Buy a new tree topper. Don’t light that cinnamon candle, light the pine candle. Don’t make the spritz cookies, make the gingerbread men. Every day I decide what part of Christmas I can do and what part will turn me into a mascara mess. We pulled out just the right amount of decorations so that we weren’t a Bah Humbug house but not so much that every end-table told a story of a past Christmas. And it has been working. We are enjoying the season. But the wrenching sobs over a pigeon reminded me that it is a bit tenuous.

So, yesterday, I did the only thing to be done when the tear ducts go rebel, I went to the movies with sisters and girlfriends. We went to see New Years Eve featuring just about every star in Hollywood between the ages of 20 and 70. Let me tell you, they got their money’s worth out of me. Every sappy line, every broken heart, every reunited family got me. The sisters vote cheesy. I vote heartwarming. See it for yourself.

As Megan and I drove back up to the house, we spotted a Christmas-presenty looking thing by the door. We may be 24 and 28 but we might have gotten a little excited still. Turns out it was only a cracker box but it was tweeting. Dad had trimmed the palm tree and had trimmed two baby pigeons right out of their nest. Dad’s a tender guy so he left them on the ground for a few hours hoping the mother bird/cat would find them. But finally he made a box nest and gifted them to his daughters. I’ve done the baby bird thing before so I knew what I was in for. But this time I resented it a little less since I had just killed a member of the species a few hours earlier.

Each time I have fed the little helpless things, I’ve thought how completely dependent they are on a caregiver. They eat until their eyes close and they sleep little pigeony sleep. And I remember how fragile I am in God’s hands and how carefully he takes care of me. A bird-lover friend is coming to pick them up this afternoon so the analogy ends there. God’s got me for keeps…from my first Christmas to my last.


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Vacation from my Problems

Every family seems to have their quotable movies. My family has an inordinate amount of quotes floating around in our interactions. So much so that at times you may need some kind of decoder ring to follow along. The art to quotes is weaving it into conversation in an appropriately subtle way. I don’t do subtle but little sister is really good at this and cracks me up all the time. Some family standards: My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Man Who Knew too Little, Princess Bride, Goonies, You’ve Got Mail, Miss Congeniality, and What About Bob. Bill Murray has provided a lot of quotable fodder for conversation. Lately, I’ve been thinking about taking a “vacation from my PROOOOOblems” just like Bob.

When I have a mainland trip approaching, I save up decisions and things I need to pray about. I always think of the plane flight as a forced 10 to 12 hours to be alone and think through life.  I will arrive in the motherland with issues resolved and decisions made and ready to relax. What really happens is right around the point in the flight where the plane starts taxiing down the tarmac, I remember how nervous turbulence makes me and I watch four movies in a row to forget that I am 30,000 feet in the air. So, this time I am being realistic. I will solve all of my problems by the pool and on the beach in Daytona.

Really, I do like getting away during transitional times like these. It’s like getting a bird’s eye view on my life. I can look around and see where God wants me to invest my time and what I am going to do differently when I get home. It doesn’t solve my problems. It just makes them not so problematic. I get a strategy going. I give myself a pep-talk. I say things like “You ARE going to pass that NCLEX exam without vomiting. You ARE going to pay your loans off with a great Nurse Practitioner job and it will be before you are 72. Maybe even 42. You ARE going to run that half-marathon. But you might vomit. You ARE going to make good choices. You ARE going to raise a family like your mama did. Now, turn over and tan that tummy, stat!” It’s a great way to vacation from my problems.

So, if you need to get away, face your fears, or just get some perspective, do it! Even if you have to tie yourself to the mast of the boat like Bob did, it will be worth it. God will meet you there with pep talks and encouragement that you CAN do life and you can do it bravely. “You’re sailing!!!”

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Try again tomorrow.

This morning I listened to a man talk about hope when life hurts the most. He called suffering the megaphone of our faith. It was beautiful and I was inspired to live large and courageously. Also to write a beautiful blog entry.

This is not it.

After I was inspired, I cried a lot. And then I needed to reapply all of my make-up and pull together a last minute going-away lunch for a friend. It was a surprise and surprises are really fun but also involve lying and conniving and general brainy deception to make sure 20 friends don’t tell 1 friend the secret. It worked and I was minimally bossy and crabby. Then I went and got a pedicure, courtesy of Roommate Erin’s mom (this was a treat since my budget strategy for the rest of the semester is simply: don’t buy it).  The pedicure worked too. It looks like a party on my toes. Then I worked on a clinical project for three hours but got frustrated and quit and went to a romantic comedy that made me cry a lot which was silly because Mom would not want to be compared to Julianne Moore, especially in the part she played tonight but it made sense to cry at the time. But it was night time so I didn’t have to reapply all of my make-up. I could just go home and get ready for bed.

So, this is not a beautiful and inspired blog entry. This is one of the days that I was not super brave. I’m okay with that for one day. I’m not okay with that for life. So, if you didn’t reapply your make-up today, it’s ok. We can try again tomorrow.



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