Yup the meaning of life is really right there – between a superstar and a tough green vegetable. Who knew? Okay, granted at one time she did play a nun and cheese can make anything better, the facts are still there. It’s great when you realize you really are loved, and unlike Sally, you don’t need an Academy Award for proof. It also sucks, that no matter what you do, you will never get some people to like you. That’s it – life over, deal with it.
One of the most tragic reminders of this for me, is the last moments of the film “Imitation of Life,” when the daughter, after turning her back on her loving mother, for no other reason than selfishness, assuming she would always have the time to make it up, is running behind the carriage with the casket crying, “I loved you mama.” Guess she needed a V-8 with extra broccoli.
As kids one of the pivotal moments of the like test, outside of being picked in gym, was Valentine’s Day and birthday parties. I don’t know how things are now, with play dates and all children are equal rules etc. But back then, you knew where you stood and sometimes, you just sat down and cried. The point was no matter what you did, no matter what your feelings were, some kids just flat didn’t like you, and never would. Too bad it wasn’t explained in more detail that it was to continue the rest of our lives.
It must be a sign of age, when we look around seeing how short life truly is, there are no real do over’s, actions really do speak louder than words, and no matter what we say, those who hurt us, are never forgotten and they change our emotions forever. Going to bed at night doesn’t always insure a good morning is waiting; in fact getting a morning at all can be reason to celebrate. I have seen dramatic changes in my own life, from loosing friends and family to death and life, children growing so fast they are almost a blur and my own place in it all, from bystander to participant and back again. The only thing that hasn’t changed, is the desire to feel wanted and loved through it all and to give the same in return.
Years ago I worked for a food broker at the time high end TV Dinners were being marketed. The ironic twist was every one of them had broccoli as the vegetable. This was back in 1985, long before Presidential concerns on the green bush came to a thousand points of light. When I asked about it, they said it was plentiful, cheap and easy to use. Interesting, I think of love like that. It’s always around, costs nothing to share and a kind word, hug or lasting gesture of compassion takes nothing to give. Guess we are too compartmentalized to see it.
I think if people looked at themselves, and then where they are currently in their lives, the biggest question, other than am I happy, would be how I did I get here? It’s so easy to accept the love and support, both financial and emotional from those who think nothing to give all they have for your dreams. However, once you have reached your goal, did you get there standing on your own two feet or did you walk over a few hearts in the process? Have you made sure that all along the way, those who loved and liked you, knew you appreciated them and thought the same? Or have you made them the broccoli in your life.
For as long as I can remember, I have been allowed to dream and explore my horizons. When times were good, I could think of no better celebration than to share the spoils with those who made it happen, and when times were bad, I hoped they would be there with compassion. As an adult parent, a favorite memory was stopping at my childhood home early one morning on the way to work. My father who was in his 80’s at the time was reading the paper. I opened the door, kissed him and told him I loved him, and then left just as quickly for my job. It made my day and my mother said when she got up he was smiling like a fool. Appreciation and love for what you have, and those that believe in you has no cost – the price, should you walk away, however is steep and only you will ever really pay it.
Entering this life, we ask for nothing more than a warm and loving place to grow and acceptance to help us achieve the best we can. The hard part is liking and loving those along the way who make it possible, accepting them as we want them to accept us, and knowing when it is all said and done, we both will end our lives with happy memories, goals accomplished, pride in each other, and the love and hope knowing we did it right.
I know when I am gone, I won’t have chased after shadows, because they never knew how I felt, and when I close my eyes at night I know who is holding me in their life. You can’t make someone love you, no more than you can force broccoli down your throat. However, you can appreciate those people in your life that take the time to remind you that you are important, that you do make a difference, and that you changed them for the better, in either a big or even a very small way.
There comes a time to stop worrying about the broccoli and move on, that’s why there are, baked potatoes after all.