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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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2 comments

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.

Three Broken Children of Divorce August 4, 2008

Posted by makingyourdashcount in divorce, Life Journey, parenting, Thoughts.
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There are some life experiences that one never wants to repeat. I witnessed one of those this weekend; it wasn’t my life and I was thankful that it was not, but I was there. The child exchange was to happen at the airport. He had kept the kids longer than allowed 1,000 miles away. He had moved from Ohio and was court ordered to return them to their mom. That alone should have been my warning that it was not going to be a pleasant experience, but luckily I am naïve about matters of divorced parents, so I had no clue what was to happen.

Since Sarah died my message has been to appreciate our children: to love our children in ways that they know that we are on their side, that their well being is paramount to our own well being. I am not sure that parents REALLY understand how wonderful and valuable their children are until they no longer have them.

But this weekend, I heard the first words to come out of a father’s mouth on seeing a son that he had not seen in over a month be scorn and belittlement yelled across the Port Columbus airport foodcourt. I saw a 14 year old boy not only shirk but run from his father. For whatever reason, this boy felt threatened by a father whose profession and professional life is that of healing children, a true non sequitur. I saw daughters holding back their father from what appeared to be rage against his son.

At the same time, the daughters wanted little to do with their mother. This was foreign to me. It let me reflect upon so many divorced families I know wondering if the emotions children reflected scorn to parents or the situation. At the airport, I wondered if the emotions were theirs or emotions taught by their father. What does a disgruntled, angry and bitter parent tell their children about the other parent? I will never know these answers.

All I know is that I witnessed three broken children from a broken marriage “sharing parenting” with the aid of police involvement. It was heartbreaking.

In contrast, it made me consider another divorced family I knew, as our daughter went through elementary and middle school. As icy as they were to each other, Kelsey’s parents always put Kelsey first. Her parents attended every performance, every accolade together for Kelsey. They put their differences aside for their daughter. Kelsey showed EACH of her parents love, in the same way that they demonstrated her how much they loved her. This seemed to be as successful a divorce as one could have. Kelsey was raised as a whole loving person.

As sad as Saturday was for me to witness, it was uplifting to remember Kelsey and her parents. Her parents made a choice to keep Kelsey feeling loved and secure instead of broken and lost.

Remember…. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Let’s choose to love and appreciate our children today- especially our children of divorce.