Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's a wonderful life

Believe it or not I have never seen the movie "It's a wonderful life" my sister Sonya has always watched it every year and encourage me to do the same, but until this year I never took her up on that challenge.  We went to the Cinemark  movie theater in Tempe as a family to watch it on the big screen.    WOW, what a fantastic old movie, even in black and white I was mesmerized by the story and truly enjoyed it.

Sometimes, we all get down on ourselves and forget to recognize the good we do, even the little things can change a life.  I have often thought "what if, and should I have done this different, or why did I do that?"  I have not always believed that people come into our lives for a reason or that some of the trials or even joys we have in our lives are meant to be, they just happen.  I no longer believe this to be true, of course we have agency to choose good or bad choices, but they always come with a consequence. Agency is never FREE.  I have a feeling if any of us were to be in the same position as George (It's a wonderful Life) and we were given the opportunity to see what the world would of been like if we were never born, we would all be surprised at the little things we do on a daily basis that has changed someones life.  Our lives do matter not only to us and our families but to the everyday person we pass on the street or see in the store.  Maybe a smile or a simple "hello can I help you" would and could change a life.

Christmas Eve, we had all of our children and spouses over for dinner, the only instructions I gave them was to be prepared to share a story of Christmas or one of their most memorable Christmas's.  I opened by reading "The Christmas Train" by Thomas S. Monson. Then I shared a few of my favorite Christmas memories, one being from when I was a child, I remember my mother gave me a white Holy Bible with my name inscripted  on the front, I thought I was never going to stop smiling, I still have that Bible. One other story was about when Eric and I were dating, his mom bought me a gift but could not find where she had put it, she searched and searched and felt so badly thinking she had thrown it out with the garbage on accident.  I never cared about that gift, but I did care about that fact that I knew she loved me, she always showed me love and genuine compassion, to me that alone was worth more than anything she could of bought from a store.  The last story I told was when Blake was on his mission, that very 1st Christmas, I was going through my chemo treatments, oh how I missed him and honestly was not feeling well, not knowing if I would ever see him again made my heart hurt, but hearing his voice on Christmas day I think was the best Christmas gift I have ever been given.

Haleigh, my youngest daughter just got engaged a few days before Christmas to Scott Bigalow.  He told a story about his father dying when he was only 8 years old, before that time his dad was always the one who provided the mountain bikes and fun gifts for the boys, but the year he died was Christmas he said he would never forget.  They had no money and I'm sure his mom was  worried about how she would pay for food and utilities, in other words Christmas gifts were probably not on the top of the list of things to do.  One night his family was home and they heard noises outside, they all ran to see what was going on, it was Brad Wardrop hanging Christmas lights on their home.  He was a neighbor and close friend of the family. As tears ran down Scott's face I wondered if Brad even knew what an impact he had made on this kid.

Blake told stories from his mission, tears filled his eyes when he talked about those two Christmas's away from his home, but one in particular that really left a lasting impression on him. He said it was a Christmas he will never forget, the best Christmas he has ever had and surprisingly it had nothing to do with gifts he received, but service he was able to give.

My son in law Brian, never cries in 4 years Kaitlyn said she has only cried once, when his grandmother passed away.  I was impressed with his ability to see past all of the "fun" in Christmas. The 1st words out of his mouth were "my heart hurts tonight for all of the mothers and fathers who will have a hard time going to  sleep not knowing how they will provide a memorable Christmas for their children" I immediately put a blanket over my face as not to look at him while he cried, he could hardly speak, and I was weeping underneath my blanket, saying a prayer,  one for all of those families, and two telling Heavenly Father thank you for my family, we are truly blessed, I am blessed to have such wonderful son in laws and a beautiful daughter in law who also lost her mother in December of 2009.

They all shared stories and thoughts, by the end of the night there were no dry eyes, we made a family goal for 2013 said a family prayer and ate cheesecake.

I truly do have a wonderful life.


Anonymous said...

I'm crying... hard. It's not too late for me to gather my kids and invite them to share stories like this. Thank you for the reminder and beautiful message here. It IS a wonderful life! I love and miss you Moaners. A lot!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog often for hope and inspiration. I wish I had someone to love or someone that loved me that had a story to share. A wonderful life is one I pray for in the next life.