Monday, June 1, 2009

Why it's Important to Keep Tissues in Your Purse

I am a sensitive person. That's not a stretch by any means: certain things can make me cry like no other. Usually things associated with death and eternity are the real zingers. I remember crying when I was a little kid at an episode of Two Stupid Dogs because the dogs thought they were going to have their heads stuck in a hole in the fence forever. (No need to mention the fact that they really weren't stuck, but anyway...)

Random Knowledge Boy and I went to go see the new Disney/Pixar movie Up. I love Pixar movies. I feel like they always bring a really good mix of story, heart, humor, and good animation to the theater that you rarely see in other animated flicks. (Honestly, try to compare movies like Wall-E and The Incredibles to movies like Home on the Range and Shark Tale. It can't be done.) But this particular movie, I was a little wary of. The movie premise is simple: grouchy old man ties thousands of balloons to his house so he can fly to South America, and an 8-year old boyscout accidentally is taken along.

I had read a sneak-peak of the plot a long time ago, involving a sequence in the beginning of the movie detailing the old man's life from childhood, marrying his sweetheart, their life together, the fact that they were unable to have kids, their dream to save up for a trip to South America, and how she dies just before they were able to achieve their dream.

I almost cried right there. Sure, I was only reading a summary on a computer screen, but somewhere in that summary of life and the pursuit of dreams hit me right where I feel the most vulnerable. And the fact that I almost got choked up reading the summary made me certain that I was going to be a mess when I actually saw the movie.

And sure enough, 3D-glasses and all, I was sitting in the movie only 10 minutes in with tears streaming down my face.

The rest of the movie was very cute and funny. The talking dog Dug had some of the cutest, funniest lines ever, and the bird Kevin was hilarious in her gestures and sounds. The little boy Russell was the cutest little thing when he was whining and complaining about being too tired to go on, and flopping down in the dirt only to be dragged along behind the old man.

But then the movie hit me again with a second montage in which the old man looks through his wife's adventure book. And he realizes that to her, everyday life with him was the adventure. And her little note at the end, "Thanks for the adventure! Now go have a new one," reduced me to tears once again.

But why?

It's because it hits so close to where we all are in life. Wading through life, keeping our dreams close to us. In the end, what is the real destination? Heaven, of course. So our lives on Earth really are about the journey together. And when you realize that everyday life is enjoyable and fun, and full of excitement, it is so much easier to be happy.

But the movie was also a reminder of how easily things that we love can be taken away. Life is so fragile that nothing should be taken for granted. And you just hope that you'll be able to look back on your life one day as an old person and think, "I had a great time."

I hope I'll be able to accomplish all of my dreams in my life. To live and enjoy life, to travel, to be published, to raise a family, to enjoy all the little ins and outs of life that only happen once.

I was still tearing up on my way out of the movie. Random Knowledge Boy handed me his hankerchief that he'd brought along just in case (for me, of course!) which I promptly used to dry my eyes.

And then, in the most comforting way possible, he said, "Don't worry: I promise that if we're going to take a trip to South America, we'll do it before you have a heart attack and die."

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