Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Where's My Happy Ending?

I like happy endings. Don't you?

That being said - I DON'T like movies with sad endings.

I hate them.

I mentioned in today's podcast a movie that I saw when I was in college. That just came to me as I was recording the podcast and now, I've been able to do a little more research and find out some of the missing details. The name of the movie was "The Champ" (I got that right!) and it came out in 1979 (I was right in the time frame too!). It starred Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway and Ricky Schroder (at a very young age). You can "google" the phrase, "movie The Champ" and you can even watch a clip that is almost 10 minutes long of this heart-wrenching scene in which the boxer (Voit) is knocked out in the ring and dies in the dressing room while his little boy (Schroder) screams at him to wake up. One of the saddest endings to a movie I've ever scene - and I hated it!

((Correction - I went back and watched this clip after typing this article, and the movie is even sadder than I remember. Here's the correction - the Champ did NOT get knocked out - he actually won the fight - HAPPY ENDING - and then dies in the dressing room with his little boy at his side as described above. This even emphasizes in a more powerful way my thoughts on the ups and downs we go through in our lives!))

I didn't mention this one, but I remember sobbing my eyes out when I was a kid at the end of the movie, "Old Yeller". Do you remember that one?

So, again, I HATE SAD ENDINGS to movies!

And yes, I watched another movie yesterday that had one of these sad endings - "Marley & Me". Have you seen it? If you haven't, then skip this blog because I am going to give away the ending.

The thing is - when I first saw this movie advertised before it's release in theaters, I already knew what the ending would be. I didn't know the HOW, but I knew what would happen. I just had a feeling about it.

And sure enough - I was right....the dog (Marley) dies. And, yes, I had tears streaming down my face. You see, I LOVE DOGS and I especially LOVE Labrador Retrievers. I've had several!

My first one was right after I got married in 1982 and his name was "Champ". He was the runt of the litter (just like Marley) and he was a wonderful dog. Our next one was "Sugar", a female who was also a wonderful dog and was so good with our kids, just as Champ was - that's just the way "Labs" are! When I recorded the podcast I left one of my Labs out - "Studley"! That's right, that is what his name was and he lived up to the name when he was a pup. He was tragically killed after we only had him for about a month - but he was a special dog. Then there was "Rocky" who was a MASSIVE dog when he was full grown and finally there was "Smokey".

You don't have to be a dog lover to enjoy that movie and to be moved to tears. If you love ANY animal, you will be touched by this story.

But, after watching the movie, I told my wife, "I would have much rather preferred for that movie to have a happy ending!"

Life is that way isn't it? Things don't go the way we had planned and we may scream at the top of our voice, "WHERE'S MY HAPPY ENDING?"

Perhaps it is a marriage that went bad.
Perhaps it is a job that was lost.
Perhaps it is the death of a loved one.
Perhaps it is your own failing health.

Whatever it may be - I do believe we can all relate to this idea.

If you had the ability, how would you script your life? How would you script the ending?

This is a fairly difficult topic to discuss because while there are many things in our life that we CANNOT control, there are also many things in our life that we CAN (and should) control!

One example I gave in the podcast was that of my wife's heart attack. I had no control over that happening - it was out of my control! However, it did turn out with a happy ending (thank you, Lord!) and she is still with me. Here's the thing - I DO have control over what I do with my time with her now. I've been given more time with her and now I am more committed than ever to take advantage of each and every day with her - THAT is within my control.

It is also within my control to allow that incident to impact my life in other ways and with other people.

Now, I'll be honest with you. If it had not turned out this way - if she had died - I do not know what I would have done. You see, I'll be the first one to acknowledge that it is easy for me to say these things - and yes, I believe them and attempt to live them every day - and I know it would be hard to keep my focus on them in such a difficult time.

But, I do know this - I have my "positive thoughts bank" continuously restocked and I believe that this would, indeed, come to play in such a tragic event.

There are things we CAN control and there are things we CANNOT control so here is the question for us to consider over the next few days:
- What will we/you do in response to the things that you cannot control?
- What will we/you do with those things that we can control?

Life doesn't always have happy endings as much as we wish otherwise. But we can still have some control as to the impact and our response.

Be thinking about that as we continue these thoughts in my next podcast and blog and...until then...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


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