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.

Ellie in the sun from Disney-Pixar's Up

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.

Ellie and Carl

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.


11 thoughts on “Resolve.

  1. THE best love story ever told in less than 10 minutes and without anyone saying a single word. Thank you for this post. It echoes everything I feel. It may not have been the life I wanted but it was the life I got and I have resolved to make the best of it and learn from every moment.

  2. Oh Lexi. I have so little time these days but I always make sure to read your posts…this is why.

    I think all the stories convey the same message in different way. Your story, Kelli’s and UP’s all scream out: HOPE. Hope is the difference between the day you cried about the news and the day after. We should never give up hope for happiness. Even if we lose someone, lose ourselves, lose control, lose what we thought we had..it still comes down to if you hope or not. It’s the difference between being a victim and being a survivor; it’s the difference between surviving and living.

    When we lost James, when we got dual diagnoses for both girls, when Josh broke down in college..ect…we gave ourselves time to despair. But, in time we let hope back in. We learned that life without James meant we had to a different happiness. One that didn’t include him. We learned that the girl’s hadn’t changed who they were before or after the dual diagnoses. They were still Madeline and Natalie. Josh learned that it’s okay to break down after someone you love dies. He learned how important it was to ask for help even if you don’t want to. He also learned that when a door closes..another one opens (and if not a door a window you can cram yourself through.) Lastly, we learned that no matter the tragedy, life goes on even if we don’t think it ever could.

    I love you Lexi. Always harbor hope.

  3. OMG! WOW! YOU JUST WROTE HIS BIBLE..at least in my opinion..sincerely fred..who makes things happen..if you will…feel free to delete if you like…it is the emotion and energy that counts..in the long run..that IS..you got IT that’s ALL that COUNTS IS LOVE AND TRUE WILL for each and every one as one with ALLISONEISALL

  4. This is so incredibly beautiful. I know you’re in a hard place now. I hope each day finds you with just a little more sunshine on your face and strengthening of your resolve. Hugs.

  5. HI Lexi, I came over here from Scary Mommy, because I loved your piece. I loved the way you wrote about the good and the bad, the things that some people say that really mean well but DEAR GOD you just want to eye roll them. Esp about “I don’t know how you do it.”
    I am a mom of just twins (not 4 kids, not 2 of those with special needs …geesh you are my hero! 🙂 ) and i work full time and have a mild fibromyalgia that kicks my ass more than I care to talk about.

    I was actually just coming over to follow your FB page, twitter etc. But then I saw this picture from UP. See I am an infertility survivor, my sons took a long 4 years and an in-vitro from hell to come to me, and I love that part of that movie. Esp that picture. That you use it as a background is wonderful (I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to do the same).

    I just felt a connection to you and I loved this piece. So happy to have found you and your blog.

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