The movie “Up” by Disney-Pixar tells the sweetest love story in just a couple of minutes. You watch this couple fall in love, get married, build a house, and then contemplate having children. You see them build a nursery and then in a doctor’s office, where Ellie is sobbing. It’s unclear whether or not she miscarried or if she was just told that they can’t have babies, but that is besides the point. The feeling is very clear. Her plan for her life has taken a sharp detour. Then, in just mere seconds, a scene rolls by that has stuck with me since I first saw the movie. In the next scene, you see Carl looking from a window down on his wife.
I’ve come back to this image in my mind a lot over the years. Right now, it’s the wallpaper on my phone. I love it so much because, to me, it’s a embodies one word: Resolve. Ellie, as she’s processing this life changing news, has stopped crying and started to cope. It doesn’t mean that the tears won’t surface in time, and probably in the most random of places, but it does mean that she’s working on being okay. She’s building a resolve from within her. It doesn’t come all at once, but it comes. It doesn’t stay all of the time, but it’s there. The resolve.
The resolve to just make it through the day. To be okay with yourself and to work on being okay with your situation.
The resolve to find happiness and laughter even on the darkest of days.
The resolve to understand that sometimes the hardest of circumstances are what make us who we are, and can work to make us better. They encourage growth in a way that a life without soul-crushing pain will never build on it’s own.
The resolve to be a little better than you were yesterday, but to understand that life is a dance, and sometimes it’s more one step forward and three steps back.
The resolve to use hardships to better understand other people and the trials they face. Then use that understanding to serve.
The resolve that when life gets too hard to take, to go back there, to your place in the sun, and be quiet and wait.
The resolve to live life to the fullest- and that doesn’t mean only happy fluffy moments. It means feeling the depth of all emotions, both wonderful and hard. It’s a life less ordinary, but completely filled to the brim with experience.
Next in the film comes a moment I am too quick to forget. Carl comes down and kneels in front of his wife, and comforts her. I think about my husband. Last week he spent much time just holding me as I sobbed about Abby’s possible autism and then as I wailed after hearing the news about Kelli and Issy. He is strength to me. Carl then places their adventure book on her lap and they begin a new adventure. Lance did the same. For now, it’s a buying a home that is in need of some serious repair. It’s his encouragement for me to continue with my book. It’s his helping me to look for the adventure in every single day.
Life gets in the way of their plans to travel to Paradise Falls, but in the end, it was a better life than they could have planned. And so far, the same is true of my own life. I did not plan it at all this way, and I’m glad. It’s better. It’s so much harder and it continues to force me out into the sun- to a place where I close my eyes and just breathe. Where I learn to build a little more resolve then I did the day before. I’m grateful for that.