Every year we'd have a Christmas party hosted at my mother's mother's home. Every year my cousins and I would perform in the family talent show, we'd have a big dinner, and finish the night off singing Christmas carols as Grandma played the piano. Grandma's Christmas bashes define my childhood Christmas memories. Those tinsel Christmas trees through me through a full bout of nostalgia.
As we sat down for dinner, It's a Wonderful Life was performed by some extremely talented actors and actresses in our ward. Again, another deep nostalgic memory floated to the surface & did me in. Aside from Home Alone and A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life was always our favorite--probably because we could catch Daddy shedding some tears by the end.
Tonight I was the tearful one. In reflection of my own year since last Christmas, I found myself leading a parallel life with George Bailey. Here I realized that I have been looking at my life under a marine layer haze; hardly acknowledging the greats and feeling sorry for myself. Awful-- I know.
Finishing college & leaving Hawaii brought new stresses and confusion than I've ever experienced. I can't count how many job applications we sent out when we first moved back to Southern California. Nothing bit. Meanwhile, we had huge bills being sent to us from our first Halloween together when Rob experienced spending the night in the ER with Meningitis. We literally ate up our small savings for a few months until we were able to find jobs; jobs that never required our college degrees. Graciously, the Harmon's let us stay with them through our struggles to paying off our medical debts and scrimp to save.
As the storyline unfolds, there is this all to familiar underlying theme that life doesn't workout the way its planned to be. There's trials and sacrifices to be made. This common theme has been troubling me all year! In the back of my mind, our situation really bothered me.
Feeling sorry for yourself never ends well and in the play, for dramatic emphasis, George contemplates jumping off a bridge. His guardian angel stops him and tries to reason with him. George wishes he had never been born and for a few brief hours, his wish is granted. He is able to see the great impact he had on others and realizes how much he loves his deemed "failure" life. As he comes home and is greeted by his family, friends and neighbors, he is ever so grateful for his life.
A rush of gratitude for life is restored. It's such a feel good story. A flood of happy beautiful memories filled my mind of with friends and family who love us and supported us throughout the year. So much was learned and accomplished. Truly, "No man is a failure who has friends." -Clarence (the Angel)
From the bottom of my heart thank you.