I went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" last night. It's a pretty good movie, with great acting, interesting scenes, and incredible effects. But the most note worthy thing about the movie is how incredibly thought provoking it is. It's a great story of the fragility of life and how every moment is precious.
Without giving up too much about the movie, I will say that there is a point in the plot where the main characters, Benjamin and Daisy, are left with a lot of "what ifs." It was at this point in the film that a giant knot formed in my throat and I fought back tears for the remainder of the movie. The characters went on to play out their romance, some questions were answered, and others lingered on in their lives.
I went home wondering what the giant knot in my throat was all about, and have come to the conclusion that it's a matter of unfinished business. There are so many people and situations that have made their presence known in my life. Some of these, though they should have a period on the end of them, feel more like they are punctuated with a comma. And in some instances, the comma is more painful than the period would be.
I spent a lot of tears last night on the what ifs. It wasn't so much an experience of regret as it was a place of respect. It isn't that I want the situations back to do over again, or to urge to completion. It's just that there are situations that I have never taken the time to look back on with true appreciation for what they were.
And I realized that I can no longer ponder the "what ifs," and the unrealized dreams, and the longing for a different kind of punctuation. The way to look at life that is often the easiest and the hardest in the same breath, is simply to find peace in knowing "it is what it is."
The baby I thought of names for, but never had. The marriage that ended both way too soon and not nearly soon enough. The new friend that crept into my life with fireworks, but went away without warning. The grandmother that will never get to watch E play ball or blow out his candles, yet the blanket she made wraps him each night. The life I would have led if only I had found myself sooner.
What do you do when you look back at something and realize that in the middle of taking a breath, things changed? And moving forward means carrying the what ifs and the commas with you?
There's a lot to be said for "it is what it is."
But true peace comes with the realization, not of "it is what it is"...but that "God is who he said he would be."