Not a chance . . .

“I think I may be beginning to disappear.” – Fiona (Away from Her)

Last night was a deeply emotional night for me.
For the longest time I’ve put off watching a movie called Away from Her
based on the Alice Munro short story called, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain”, a tragic but uplifting tale of a husband and wife of 50 years coming to grips with Alzheimer’s Disease.
It was all too familiar territory for me and I knew instinctively why I hadn’t seen it in the theater.
Sometimes I hate when I’m right.

The internal walls I’d previously built for emotional protection were deteriorating rapidly, waiting patiently to be torn down.
New and stronger walls were waiting in the wings.
Seeing yourself in virtually every scene of a movie is a powerful (and devastating) experience and something has to give.
My already shaky walls began crumbling before my very eyes.
Seemingly insignificant scenes were like storms in the night, moments of illumination exposing moments of denial, the mind’s premeditated closing of the eyes.
I was watching my mother and father on the screen as years of pent up heartbreak gently poured out of me.
And truth be told, it felt like prayer, a long forgotten Hail Mary . . .
I’ve written much about my mother’s many moments of clarity, the small gifts I believe are given to us from up above.
The last minute of the movie contains such a moment, an incredibly beautiful moment.
I could only sit and watch the credits roll by,
letting this “thing” happen, if that makes any sense.
I apologized to my wife for being so weepy.
She hugged me as I knew she would and said, “I understand. It’s okay.”
All the ancient walls inside me came crashing down and as of this morning I’ve already begun new construction, my Extreme Internal Makeover, if you will.
This post isn’t so much about my tears or my outward showing of intense emotion.
It’s about the willingness to ultimately set some of my shadows free.
And so far, it’s all good.
You’ll have to watch the movie to understand the significance of the post title.
I’m not giving anything away . . .

21 thoughts on “Not a chance . . .

  1. It sounds like this was really cathartic for you, and I’m glad you got to let some of the emotion out. Thanks for sharing it so beautifully.

    It absolutely was. Cleansing, cathartic, yes and yes.
    Wasn’t sure if I was going to share but there you have it.


  2. Do you have approved plans for all that construction, buddy? I’m going to have to see your permit…

    Uh . . . uhhhh . . . it’s here somewhere sir.
    What’s it doing down THERE? :mrgreen:


  3. Us real men only let our emotions out a few times during our lives. You get a freebie this time.

    Here’s hoping things are getting better. Thoughts are with you.

    This was definitely positive, Grimm.
    And yeah, it’s all good.
    And thanks for the freebie . . . 😉


  4. I don’t have to watch the movie to know the sound of useless walls of protection coming crashing down and how that balance act between letting go and liberation feels.

    “It’s about the willingness to ultimately set some of my shadows free.
    And so far, it’s all good.”

    It’s upward from here…….

    PS. And I will watch the movie

    Upwards it is.
    let me know what you think about the post title, okay? 😉


  5. m squared,

    as usual, beautiful post; hauntingly beautiful photograph…

    “…Seemingly insignificant scenes were like storms in the night, moments of illumination exposing moments of denial, the mind’s premeditated closing of the eyes.”

    straight to my battered, bruised heart.

    how can it be that your pain is our gain? your willingness to confess your fragility is a wonderful thing, and it sounds like you have turned a tiny corner here.

    thanQ, thanQ, thanQ! for being so honest, and for sharing it for all to see.

    It was a difficult corner to turn, to be sure.
    Still not sure many totally understand that.
    Not quite sure if I really do.
    If anyone wants to know where my mind has been the past 12-13 years, they just need to watch this movie.
    Many of my posts would increase in poignancy.
    As always, thanks, Y
    You’re a peach.


  6. Awww….what beautiful words . . .
    Thanks for sharing the words that are so close to your heart!
    Letting the shadows go is such a great part of healing! Just being able to watch the movie took alot. The walls crumbling will help you figure things out and let the special memories take place of heartbreak.
    Peace be with you!

    I’m all about the sharing.
    It’s the main reason I began blogging to begin with.


  7. I think it’s perfect.
    That is solely based on the how I’m interpreting it of course. But then I don’t think that you could have meant anything else…..

    (if it’s positive that is….)

    Watch the movie before you settle on the reason for the post title.
    I think you’ll see where I was going with it . . . 😉


  8. Is that why we are expecting 8+”‘s of SNOW?
    It is good to let go and move on.
    I think you need a Stoli and a GM.
    The door is open!

    See you at midnight, buddy.
    I’ll be the one in the snowshoes . . . :mrgreen:


  9. takes a big man to cry and let go…but you’ve always been a big man i think, its you who couldn’t see it
    take it from one who knows…the stiff upper lip isn’t always the best option…i’ve learned {in recent times} that to cry can be cleansing, rejuvenating and help you find an inner strength you never knew you had…the funny part is that many around you knew the strength was there, they just had trouble seeing for all the pain you surrounded it with…
    speak to you soon ok?

    Amen, Maureen, amen.


  10. Don’t really know what to say here
    that specter rears its head in many a household.
    it looms in ours as my wifes mother, who lives alone at the moment, has begun showing signs.
    I’ll have to watch the movie
    here is a hug for a dude. may peace stay with your heart

    Nothing like an honest “manhug”.
    I appreciate the comment, Oz.
    If I can ever be a sounding board in the future regarding this insidious disease, please feel free to email me.
    I’m here for ya . . .


  11. Ya know, working at the Dr.’s office we see so much of this. I sit and wonder frequently what I would be able to bare that other people shoulder. Truth be told, I’m not tough at all. I hope that the reconstruction going on will be built on a solid foundation of love and courage. But from reading your words here…I know that it will be! *big hug*

    Thanks, CG
    Much appreciated.


  12. …and actually if I think of it from the Alzheimer’s angle, it’s still perfect, which still comes down to “it’s perfect”.

    But, I’ll follow your orders ( 😉 ) and watch the movie.

    Very good. :mrgreen:


  13. Michael,
    I’m glad for you that you saw this movie and it was a catalyst to opening the flood gates that needed to open. You’re a strong-hearted man who has had more than your share of heartache – and yet, doesn’t all of it, the good, the bad, the terrible, the wonderful, make us who we are? I believe your new walls will be strong and resilient but not impenetrable – a good thing.

    The phrase, ‘let go and let God’ comes to mind. It seems you have.

    Prayers and hugs your way.


    Tanx, kiddo. I do think you’re right about the things that make us what we are.
    And the construction continues . . .


  14. Lost dad to the big C twenty six years ago after 18 months of fighting it. He was a 22 stone larger than life best friend i ever had, he was just 9 stone when he left us with the big C all but beaten. The pain eases and only good memories stay. Its good to bring down the walls and replace them with stronger ones and its a process that you will do for the rest of your life. It doesn’t get easier but all the good memories get stronger. I still avoid Films like these.
    your in our thoughts and it will get less painful but will always bring a tear

    Much appreciated comment, Mark.
    Your Dad sounds like he was quite a man.
    As always, wonderful chat last night.
    Looking forward to the next one.
    Have a great week, buddy


  15. There were several significant things about this entry of yours.

    “Sometimes I hate when I’m right.”

    I hate that feeling. Especially when it’s about something negative and emotionally charged. I do like that you said it out loud though. Most people never would.

    This was a very moving post. I’m sure that all the other readers here would agree with me. Simply powerful. Heart-string-tugging.

    Experiences like what you had tonight can be some of the most gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, stomach-knot-tying, and memory-flashing. Identification with such a power movie can seem to stab at the soul when you recognize that you’ve heard those words before, or maybe said them. And while moments like these hurt inside your bone marrow, they can construct the most beautiful gardens inside the soul that never would have existed if you had just hated being right and shut the movie off.

    Don’t ever forget this:

    “New and stronger walls were waiting in the wings.”

    they can construct the most beautiful gardens inside the soul

    What a wonderful way of putting it.
    I appreciate your comments more than you realize, D


  16. Glad for you. But me? Nope, not ready yet.
    Maybe never. Life is enough of a minefield without tripping over a movie that is sure to make my head explode.
    The walls are paper.

    This movie might surprise you.
    But if you choose not to see it, I understand why.


  17. Dear ~m

    Thanks so much for your comments on my post. I have added the film to my list of DVD rentals and am looking forward to watching it, although I know it will be an emotional ride for me. I think it’s important for us all to watch movies like this to gain an understanding of what some people have to go through in life. Who knows, even we might have to go through such a time ourselves.

    Peace, Maths Chick x

    Thanks for stopping by.
    I felt so bad last night wishing I’d stopped by sooner.
    My prayers are with you and Mum
    Go easy on the movie, it’s a tough one.
    Stay in touch, okay?


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