So last night, at the encouragement of various friends and family members, my wife and I took our kids to see Marley and Me. The story really hit home for us as a couple, as we are about to bring our third child into the world. No, we do not have a dog like Marley in our house. In a way we did, but because of our changing situation, we were forced to give her up.
The elements of the story that hit home were the family and the couple. The wife gave up a career she loved to raise children - and in so doing, gave up (to paraphrase a line from the movie) a lot of the things about herself that made her who she was. I know my wife has given up a lot of her life plans and goals by being a mother. She wanted to be an attorney, and most likely a prosecutor. She has a strong sense of justice, and she believes in the legal system. She knew, though, that being a Mom did not go well with being in the criminal world, so she walked away from it and studied music instead, even before she met me.
Even some of the conversations they had sounded eerily similar to things my wife and I have said. When she told her husband to take another job and be happy, I saw a lot of my wife's support in those words. All in all, it wasn't exactly like watching our life story (especially not some of the more PG-13 elements of it), but it definitely reminded us a lot of our own situation.
The scene where she found out she had a miscarriage probably captured the emotion of that moment as well as possible on film. People who've never had one have trouble understanding the true heartache of that moment when the nurse or sonogram technician suddenly gets distant and evasive with comments - the moment when it becomes clear that a baby will not be born from a pregnancy.
It was touching, and I can definitely understand the appeal of the book better now. The dog definitely shaped a lot of that couple's life. They were the All American family in many ways, just trying to find their little slice of happiness in the world. I definitely appreciate how little they seemed to care about the material things of this world. It's a great message to the world.
So this post might count as an endorsement of the film. It might count as a review. It might be a spoiler for anyone unfamiliar with the story. I just felt it was a good thing to write about on this, the last day of the year. We look back on a life of happy and sad moments, and we look forward to a life of worries and dreams. Somewhere in the middle we live, we love, and we learn.
P.S.: Happy New Year, everyone! And happy 250th post for this blog!