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“Gravity” brought us back to earth October 12, 2013

Posted by makingyourdashcount in death, faith, Life Journey, mourning, movies, Sarah, space.
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Warning ….Mild spoilers:

Last night my hubby and I plopped down $32 to see Gravity in 3D at the local IMAX theater. You have no idea how absurd that even is.  I am a $5 matinee kind of girl; I paid as he gave me a “you’ve got to be kidding” glance that surmised that I was crazy.  We then went and plunked down another $6 for a large soda, but at least it was a Coke Freestyle machine so I could make my favorite concoction (equal proportions Sprite 0, Fanta Free fruit punch, and soda water. YUM)

We settled in the IMAX seating.  The screen at the AMC was smaller than the screen at our local science museum, COSI, so I was a bit disappointed in that.   For the most part the movie was gripping.  The 3D effects were natural; it was nice not having contrived  images to make wearing ridiculous glasses bearable.  You don’t need corny effects for space.

The plot was a bit contrived, but..  it’s a space disaster movie, so …whatever.  Sometimes it nice to suspend reality and let the vines grow around the movie theater seat. So suspended we were, through the action scenes involving rogue satellite parts and shattering spacecraft.  The scientist that my husband is exclaimed that Bullock’s character better hold onto something when she reached for the fire extinguisher the first time!  We were suspended.  And then Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone,  started talking about her 4  year old daughter who died unexpectedly in an accident. I can’t quote the lines exactly ( or at all)  but she talked about her daughter’s tangle of hair, a tangle that a brush couldn’t go through.  At that point, I looked at John and saw his emotion.  Our daughter, Sarah, whom we lost at 16 quite unexpectedly, had a tangle of hair that even at 16 she frequently gave up on!  Then Stone’s daughter’s name, Sarah, was uttered.  My husband and I held hands through the rest of that scene, as one.

It was unexpected and (unfortunately) took us out of suspended reality because we identified with this mom.  We knew Sarah. We knew where Ryan Stone was, because in so many ways, we are there, too.  Loss of a child is sometimes treated sappily in movies and on TV.  but this was really spot on. I identified with Stone wanting to believe in heaven, who wouldn’t? But Stone suspended her own secular humanist reality by wanting that for her daughter- a point that was interesting in a movie with so much religious imagery.    In so many ways we connected with this character.  Our empathy was with Stone; our tears were for our Sarah.

I’ve read some critiques that the movie Gravity is really a chic flick in spacesuits.  Perhaps.  I would prefer to think that it’s an action flick with some humanity.   All in all, it was a good night out.  Was it worth $16/ each?  It is “just a movie,” but it really was a fast paced 90 minutes that really should be seen in 3-D.  Read the reviews and decide for yourselves.  I am glad that we went. I mean, it is Sandra Bullock.

Oh yeah, George Clooney’s in it, too.

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PTSD and Heavy Hearts December 16, 2012

Posted by makingyourdashcount in mourning, parenting, Thoughts.
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I’m not sure if it’s PTSD, but I can’t watch a crime drama because it takes me right back to the fingerprint dust that encrusted my brother’s car.  When I went with the detective to pick his car up from the impound lot, it never occurred to me that this all too real connection to the crime scene that marked my brother’s death would even be there.

Detective shows of the 90’s always showed the carefulness of fingerprint screening.  Dusting a bit on, dusting a bit off. Meticulous.  That was not my brother’s car.  His was covered in it.  Fine and black every time one touched the car, inside or out,  it’s evidence remained on black hands and fingertips. I had no idea.

My first stop after the impound lot was a car wash.  I remember imagining it as a rape victim showering after an attack.  Although this was not a physical assault on me, it was an assault on all that defined my comfortable suburban middle class life.  This evidence of the fact that my brother died as part of a crime sent shudders through me, even thinking about it today, 11 years later. But I can avoid crime dramas.

I have a harder time avoiding ambulances, whose sirens take me to 2004 when my daughter’s ambulance blazed its sirens for miles to our local Children’s Hospital.  Perhaps the sirens would comfort me today, if Sarah had survived.  She didn’t.  Even now there are times when a passing ambulance leaves me still on the side of the road, while I catch my breath. But ambulances are luckily long and far between.  I can live my life.

The children, parents, teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School will not have that luxury.  They have no choice but to again sit in a classroom or send their children on a bus. The love and and guidance that will need to accompany each step is beyond imagination. Elementary schools are places of wonder, not of violence.  In efforts to protect our children, how will the parents whose children were spared  fit this back together? It isn’t a matter of “suck it up and get on the bus.” Of course my heart is heavy for those who grieve.  But my heart also cries for those who survived.