Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Wonderful Parts: Part 1

Christmas 2009

I curled up on the sofa the other night, intending to grade my endless stream of research papers. As background noise, I turned on the television. When I did, I found myself face to face with George Bailey talking to an angel in the glorious black and white Capra classic, It's a Wonderful Life (IAWL).
My mind immediately forgot about the grading as I focused on a man who had many more troubles than I. Piling the folders on the floor, I curled up in my PJs and watched the movie to the glorious end, sharing once again in George’s terror, realization, repentance, and contentment. Thoroughly inspired, I wrote the lines as my Facebook status: “You see, George, you really had a wonderful life.”
One of my friends, a happilyeverafterist, commented on my post that she was a die-hard fan of “White Christmas” with all its happy sentiment. Somehow, she could never understand why anyone would enjoy a movie such as IAWL with such an ‘inconclusive ending’ where the main character has none of his dreams come true and is confined to rely on friends who only aided him as a bribe to keep him from committing suicide and would be gone the next morning to once again leave him to his miserable existence.
Since I couldn’t agree, we waged a status war, both of us defending our views, hers on romanticism and mine on reality. In her last attempt at an argument, she said, “None of his dreams came true at the end!”
I shrugged, and typed, “And how many times do our dreams come true in reality? The wonderful part of life is that it’s life—-that we have it at all. That God has given us the potential to make it wonderful and find the wonderful parts of it.”
With nothing to argue with there, the thread trailed off.
Even though I love the realistic sentiments in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” I sometimes have to remind myself of my own argument. Everyone has things that they have to deal with-—some more than others. And I tend to believe that I’m not among the some. I just have to keep reminding myself that life is truly wonderful for all that it is—-and all that it isn’t.
This year and every year, I hope that you find the wonderful parts.

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