"Any arbitrary turn along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different." ~ Frances Mayes

After losing 112 pounds in almost a year and a half, I have come to realize how very much I was missing. I may be Late to the Party, but I am doing my best to catch up in my own unique way!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is YOURS a Wonderful Life?

Today it is quiet at my home. It is the last Sunday until Christmas, which presents a time to reflect and ponder the Season's blessings and miracles.  Even though I should be wrapping presents or cleaning up my disaster of a craft room, I must write this entry while the muse leads me on.  If the gift is given, don't let it go to waste!

I told you on Friday that I would let you know what is my all-time favorite Christmas movie.  As with many people, I am sure, my fave is It's a Wonderful Life.  I was talking to someone just the other day whom had not seen this particular movie, much to my surprise.  If, in case, you have never had the Wonderful Life experience, please, please, I implore you to get it and watch it in its uncut version as it is meant to be viewed.

It's a Wonderful Life is about a man, George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, an all-around good guy who has big plans for his life.  He wants to go to college, study architecture or engineering, build big structures, be successful monetarily.  But a series of events, of which he has no control, including the Great Depression, his father's untimely death, and his brother's career, keeps him minding the store at Bailey Savings and Loan in the little town that he has always dreamed of escaping. He marries a sweet young woman, raises a family, battles the meanest and richest man in town from taking over the town, and places everyone else and their needs before his until a monetary crisis leaves him desperate and contemplating taking his own life so that his family can collect his life insurance money.  In his utmost despair, he prays to God for guidance but issues the thought that everyone would be better off if he, George Bailey, were never born.

  In answer to his prayer, he is sent Clarence, an old, endearing, but bumbling angel who is out to earn his wings. Granting his wish, Clarence lays out before him what the lives of people he loves would be like without his existence on this earth.

It is a lovely story and I cry like a baby each and every time I watch it.  George reminds me of my dad and that makes it all the more emotional for me.  The message of how we touch the lives of those around us, even complete strangers, without even knowing  what influences we have on them is strong and powerful. Here is "George's prayer":

I was fortunate to see a television interview with Jimmy Stewart years ago.  He was asked about It's a Wonderful Life and his role.  He told how that was his favorite of all the movies he had made over the years.  In elaborating about his role and the meaning of this movie, Mr. Stewart revealed that this particular scene had touched him when he read the first draft of the screenplay.  However, it was during the filming of this scene that the enormity of its message hit him.  Hit him so hard, in fact, that the director, Frank Capra, had to clear the set for a while to enable Mr. Stewart the opportunity to recover from the emotional impact. It was that cut that made it into the movie....the raw emotion exhibited by Mr. Stewart could have never been improved no matter how many more times they may have filmed it. Knowing the fact that the message of how we influence others just by our existence meant something to Jimmy Stewart, a famous actor and celebrity, makes the movie all the more special to me.

In the end of It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey discovers how truly wealthy he is, only not in the way he had always strived.  Through the help of Clarence, George comes to the realization it is the people in our lives and how we touch those people through our actions that make us what we are.  That, my friends, is something money cannot buy.

As I sit here writing, just as when I watch Wonderful Life, I ask myself if I have had a positive influence on people.  Have I been kind to someone today?  Have I snapped at someone who may have been having a hard time, thus making their day worse?  Oh, I am sorely lacking in this aspect!  We cannot see the ripple effect that our actions have as we live each day.  Did I pay enough attention to those I love?  Was I friendly to a stranger?  Did I take the opportunity to reflect on the small things in my life and take appreciation in them?  I try, oh, how I try, but some lessons are lost at times!

So to my friends and family, and even those who do not know me who may be reading this blog, I want each of you to know how much I love you, how dear you all are to me.  This Christmas, I want for you all the blessing of a wonderful life -  rich in friends, good health, loving family, pleasures big and small, experiences fulfilling and adventurous, and most of all much joy!  I hope you have time to do your own reflections this week in the midst of the final preparations of Christmas weekend!  Please leave a comment below to tell me what makes you rich beyond your wildest expectations!

Oh, and remember that every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings!  I'm going to go ring some right now and help some deserving angels out!

Merry Christmas! 

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