Sunday, March 13, 2011

I get it

I watched a movie last night that I already saw a few months ago.

But what I see now is different.

I am different.

My life is different.

The things I have seen, the experiences I've had, the places I've been, they have changed how I see something as simple as a movie.

The movie, Secretariat.

A story about a woman who leaves her four children for a while to go home and take care of her father.  Who finds that the duty to help there calls her more strongly than anything else.  Who understands the significance of her choice, who struggles with it every time the phone rings and she hears of her children's challenges and accomplishments. 

She leaves from her home in Colorado, just as I did.  Her husband is also overwhelmed with his new responsibilities, wants nothing more than for her to come back, but tries not to ask that of her.

She tries to do everything she can for everyone she can,  knowing that it's an impossibility.

She sits beside her father's hospital bed, tell him she loves him, holds his hand as he dies.

She does her best to preserve what is left. 

This is the point at which our stories diverge.

She is able to keep her father's business dream alive, but I can't.

There is no racehorse coming to save our family farm.

When I saw this film for the first time, I felt very different about the main character than I do now.  I struggled with her choice to leave her children for as long as she did.  To be as far away.  To try to bail water out of a sinking ship.  To fight to hang on to what she had always known. 

Now, though, I get it.

Image from the film
I've lived it.

I've left my children a thousand miles away to take care of my dad.

I've stood, like her, alone in the barn and cried.

I've tried as best as I can to push forward, to honor the wishes of someone who isn't there anymore. 

I have a whole new appreciation for her, for her choices and for her sense of duty.

I get it.

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