Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Wonderful Life

On Christmas Eve last week my family watched the classic, It's a Wonderful Life. I was only half paying attention until a comment from Clarence the angel caught my ear and made me think of Matt. Our hero George Bailey is at the end of his rope, standing in the middle of the bridge working up the courage to jump off, and he says, "I wish I had never been born at all." To which Clarence replies:

"Each man's life touches so many others. And when he's gone it leaves an awful hole."
That's the part that made me think of Matt. (But you probably figured that out already.) George Bailey is then given the gift of seeing exactly how life would have been different for those he knew and loved if he had never been born at all. After seeing the differences he made in the lives of others, he again finds himself in the middle of the bridge. This time he pleads, "I want to live again. I want to live again. Please God, let me live again."
I don't know if Matt's been given the opportunity to see what life would have been like if he'd never been born. I can sure tell you what the hole looks like without him. In my darker moments I let my mind linger on all the things I lost when Matt died: my husband, my best friend, the father of my children, my provider, my home, my security, my goals and aspirations, inside jokes and common memories, my know I could go on and on.
During the brighter times I think of all that I have because Matt lived in the first place: three amazing little men, each of whom reminds me in so many ways of the wonderful father who loved them, eight action-packed and fun-filled years of stories and experiences together, a sense of adventure, an increased spirit of gratitude, a heightened awareness of the vast possibilities life holds for each of us, a greater appreciation for the talents and gifts of others, a stronger desire to achieve the true desires of my heart, a broader (sometimes inappropriate) sense of humor, the ability to let more of the unimportant stuff roll off my back, a feeling of urgency to live a full life, a quickness to laugh and a quickness to give the benefit of the doubt, an understanding that we are each given challenges in life, the knowledge that we can't compare our challenges with the challenges of others, an assurance that I can do hard things... you know I could still go on and on.
I have never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. Maybe because I know I won't keep them. (Except for that time when I was 12. I resolved not to watch TV for an entire year and I actually did that.) Matt, on the other hand, ALWAYS made New Year's Resolutions and they were always resolutions he knew he could keep: eat more red meat, exercise less, drink more soda...
For several months now, since Matt's death, I have felt like my life is on hold. Like I'm living in limbo. This year I think I will make a New Year's resolution. And in memory of my Matty, I think I'll make one I know I can keep. I think back to George Bailey's desperate plea, "I want to live again. I want to live again. Please God, let me live again."
Are you ready for it? Here it is: In 2009, I am reclaiming my life.
That, and I'll floss daily.


Sami said...

Well, I have had a hard time crying lately, but that did it. I love your New Years resolution, and I know without a doubt you will do it! Love ya! ME

Brooke said...

That is great! I am glad you have a blog so I can be apart of it! I truly love your post. I think I may have mentioned that before.

Oh and keep us posted on your cavities as well! :)

Brooke said...

**I meant to say POSTS. All of them. I just love them.

The Carpentiers said...

You are FABULOUS! You and Matt both touched our lives in special ways. I look forward to watching your new life unfold! We love you!!

mbunker said...

Brenda..,.you make me laugh and then you make me cry. You have forever changed me as I have watched you go through this. I tried to floss everyday last year didn't make it a week : )

natalie said...

So I cried all through Marley and Me, and now I cried some more.

A family in our old ward lost their three year-old daughter to brain cancer on December 9th. She had only been diagnosed at the end of August. I find myself in awe of you and them for the strength and grace demonstrated in the most sorrowful and difficult of trials. I can't imagine either situation.

You are an inspiration to me. I love your resolution.

Becky said...

Yea! You blog, I'm so excited. That's exactly how I have felt this season, just a big fat hole in my heart, my home, my holiday cheer.

I know we both can reclaim our lives this year, I know we both will thrive and survive the toughest challenge I think any wife can go through, loosing the love of our lives!

Love ya! I'm so glad I have a counterpart in this crazy adventure.

Gardner Family said...

Your blogs are always so inspiring even though I am not going through half of what you are. We all have our struggles and trials in life so whether they are small or large it is always hard. I thank you so much for your blogs and hearing just what I need to hear a lot of times to get through the hard days in life. I miss you so much and just being able to drop by and say hello especially now that I am without all of my friends here in Denver. I never thought I would miss Arizona so much until we moved. Of course I don't miss the weather just all my friends. Good luck with your resolutions this year...I need to find at least one to stick to this year as well. I am excited to hear as your life unfolds and new adventures come your way.

Ami said...

Beautiful. Good luck, friend! (...and I'm really good at flossing daily. Let me know if you need me to rub off on you.)

DAISY said...

Okay--thank you for being Brenda and ever amazing.