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Friday, October 05, 2007

All things perfect have ceased to grow

Last Friday, Dave and I got the rare chance to go out - together. Being incredibly sleep deprived the options for our date dwindled down from mountain climbing, roller blading and hang gliding to - dinner and a movie. I chose, admittedly, a chick flick (that one about those women reading Jane Austin). Dave agreed because he owed me one for dragging me to "300". But when we got to the theater, though it was advertised on Yahoo it was not playing. So in a quick decision making moment we chose to see The Brave One with Jodi Foster.

Now, I am in no way shape or form recommending this movie. It's the kind of movie I used to go see before I almost died giving birth to Ellie. Before Ellie almost died during her traumatic birth and all the years of aftermath. No, now when I go to the movies I want to laugh or see a likeable bit of hokum, or be inspired. It was actually pretty odd that we found ourselves in this movie. We just kind of fell into it. It was pretty violent and Jodi Foster plays the part of being a tortured soul wonderfully by looking horrible to the point of creepy. The sexual scenes with their blip in blip out to incredible violence were just plain disturbing. But there was a message in it for me that made total sense and helped illuminate something I have been wrestling with.

~~~~~~~~~~~Spoiler Warning~~~~~~~~~~~~

To put this message into context I have to sum up the plot of the movie. Basically, Jodi Foster's character and the love of her life, her fiance', are brutally attacked in central park. He dies. She lives and wakes up after several weeks of being in a coma. Their dog is stolen by the attackers. In sum she lives through this incredibly difficult, awful experience where she sustains great pain and a huge personal loss. Then she gets herself a gun and becomes a vigil ante around NY City at night.

The message for me came toward the end when another character asks her about how she was coping with being a victim of a violent crime and losing the one she loves.

He asks her, "How do you come back from that."

She answers, "You don't."

That was the message for me. Lately I have been trying to retrace my steps. Regain the person I was before I lost my healthy daughter and hopes and dreams for a life that now is beyond my grasp.

She goes on to describe how who you were becomes a stranger to your new self. I get that. The old me is someone who couldn't fathom where I am now or how I live and think and feel.

The new self can feel like a stranger too at times. It can be discombobulating. It comes down to having to get to know the new self and be comfortable letting go of the old one in the wake of tragedy, hardship and loss. It's really the only way to survive and find solace. Because solace will come.

In Jodi Foster's character's case it comes in the form of annihilating her fears. In my case it has come with seeing Ellie blossom into such a beautiful child, being closer than ever to Dave and really understanding what matters in life in a way I didn't before. And in all that annihilating my own fears.

So I think there is no point in retracing steps to try and regain who I once was - because it's impossible. The circumstances for one won't allow it. I guess my retracing had allot to do with the fact that getting to know a stranger is difficult and scary sometimes. In my case, not as scary as Jodi Foster's character who seeks out her demons in the depths of New York City's long dark night. My demons are far more subtle - sometimes.

It's funny how wisdom comes to you exactly when you need it from the most unexpected places if you are brave enough to go there.


Stacey said...

Do you mean to tell me that 300 isn't a chick flick? There was so much man candy...

Kathryn said...

Ha ha! True - much eye candy though little plot!

Stacey said...

And lots of hollering. That guy must've had a sore throat.

Anonymous said...

I have read your whole blog. Thank you for making it public. It has brought so much to light for me. I have two sons with disabilitiess and this has helped me so much! I appreciate your writing. If you do not mind, I will be back in the future to check up on this beautiful little lady you have!

Florence, Oregon

Kathryn said...

Stacey - so true - lot's of hollaring and manly man stuff too.

Kathryn said...

Shari - Wow what a compliment that you read ALL of Ryn Tales! Thanks! I am glad it has helped you because as you read in my very first post, helping other parents in similar situations as ours was one of the main goals for writing this. I would be so happy if you would come back and share your thoughts in the comments - because with two sons with disabilities you are certainly someone in the know.

Jacolyn said...

I love this post Kathryn! I don't think the old me could handle raising a daughter with a disability and the old me wouldn't be able to grasp the wonderful thing called life. I like the new me so much better. jacolyn

BusyLizzyMom said...

Very right. I don't think you ever come back. You settle into a new way of living with an even harder shell.
No movie quotes on my blog the last movie I saw was 'Knocked Up" and there was not much that could be repeated from there. I did laugh my head off and felt great doing it.

Jodi said...

No, you don't ever come back, but I like who I am now *far* better then who I was before having my son with disabilities.

Lori said...

No, I won't ever be the same either. For different reasons of course. But, for me, I sometimes find it a difficult conundrum. Because while I can see all of the ways I am a better person for having loved and lost my son and daughter, I would still give all of that back to have them with me.

I do think there is peace in accepting where you are though, and moving forward.

Kathryn said...

Jacolyn - thanks. I like the new me better too - though the old me was 10 pounds lighter...and had a better tan. oh well! take the good with the bad. ;-)

Busy Lizzy's mom- I want to see that movie. Glad to hear it was funny. It's true about the harder shell. You get stronger from all of this. Dream Mom said something similar once about redefining what you consider difficult - that is so true.

Jodi- am so with you there.

Lori - Like we have both said before - Loss is loss and there are so many different types. Any ways that you have changed for the better because of the loss of your twin angels is their gift to you. I don't think you have to let go of them, of course you would prefer they were alive, of course. But you are right, it's important to survival to appreciate and find peace in the here and now as hard as that can be at times. I think it's an ongoing practice to be present and an ongoing discipline to be happy - it takes work some times and other times it doesn't.

msiagirl said...

Bravo darling, I learned a lot from this post too.

Shannon said...

Billie told me that I should check out your blog, that it would be a good one for me. I'm so glad that she did.

I agree with so many others. You never do go back but that's OK with me. I'm a different person, a better person with a different idea of what it means to live life fully. I have to say though, while I will never be the person I was before Ben, I now have crossed a line that allows the "old" joy of life to find its way back into my heart.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Anonymous said...

‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’