Monday, December 22, 2008


[Spoiler alert: this is gonna be a sappy post.]

Over the last four days I encountered the kind of love that simply tore my heart a new one. They had nothing to do with Christmas [thankfully...I'm already burning out] yet couldn't have turned up in my life at a better time.

The first came on the form of a novel: The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I downloaded the audiobook [plug:emusic.com] for the road-trip here and was not disappointed by this Pulitzer prize winner. If you read only one book next year, let this be the one. The author Junot Diaz weaves a story of three generations, which takes a while so hang in there-I think it's so worth it. The depth of pure love and heartbreak he ascribes to the main characters was almost too much to handle while driving. And as the title suggests, it wasn't about happy endings. Love often isn't about happy endings.

Last night I had the honor of being invited to the 50th anniversary and re-commitment celebration of Al & Edith Henderson. They are an elder couple here at the church in Raleigh and they , Al especially, have taken a liking to Jennifer. Al was just the dapper romantic: reading poetry to his new-again bride, pulling out her chair, soft guiding touches. I had thought it strange the Edith seemed a little underwhelmed by the event until Jen told me that a few years ago she had a massive stroke and was in a coma. The doctors had been pessimistic. Her very existence was somewhat of a miracle. Al took care of her through it all. I'm about to hit the 10 year mark and it's wigging me out a little [ok...a lot, don't ask me why...working on it]. I can't begin to wrap my mind around what it would take to make a relationship last that long. That level of commitment and compromise seems beyond me right now [to be clear, I can see myself with Jen forever, I'm just not able to quantify what I'll need to do to get there]. They left us with some clues. My favorite: "Yesterday ended at midnight."

And if that wasn't enough, we left the party to go see Seven Pounds. We were forewarned [so heed the warning] that this was a heavy movie. Critics said it was too heavy for the holidays, but I disagree. Granted, I had to engage in a round of deep breathing to control my heart which felt like it jump out of my chest and go save the world. This was a story about love, loss, redemption, and giving on a level reserved for those who are emotionally imbalanced to unspeakable degrees. Perfect for the season! And on a side note, Rosario Dawson, even in that sickly pallor, never looked hotter. Wow is all I gotta say [to the movie...and to Rosario too].

I acknowledge that two of the three examples were fictional. Yet the fact that such levels of love can exist at the very least in someone's mind gives me the hope and inspiration that they can exist in reality. And they do. People make unfathomable sacrifices for others every minute in every corner of the world. The economy may be causing some of us to lament about the smaller piles under the tree this year. But the best gifts are usually not the material ones. Just give of your heart.


LaBellaVida said...


Wonder-Rachel said...

Okay I'm putting the book on my Goodreads.com to-read list. You have me intrigued. This summer I got to go to my grandparents 50th anniversary party. I too feel like I know with more certainty than ever that I will be with my husband, but I can't imagine the road & the work it will take us to get there. It's exciting though don't you think?

OGUN said...

hmmm...exciting...like about-to-jump-out-of-a-plane exciting or going-to-your-favorite-restaurant exciting? [please...ignore my cynicism] The enormity of it is giving me a twinge of anxiety of the don't-wanna-mess-this-up-don't-know-if-I-got-it anxiety.