This weekend I watched the movie P.S. I Love You. If you haven’t seen it, (and I think I can safely say this without giving anything away) it’s about a woman who loses her husband to a brain tumor. I bawled the ENTIRE movie. Literally. There might have been short 10 – 15 minute reprieves scattered throughout, but for the most part, I nearly drowned in my tears. And by the time it was over, seeing through stinging eyelids that had swelled to the size of golf balls proved quite the accomplishment. With every thought, the pounding headache I felt only intensified.
I knew the storyline was going to hit close to home. Granted, the man in MY storyline, the man I loved, was my ex. And we were never married. And although he was sick, it was his failing liver and not a brain tumor that ultimately did him in. Nevertheless …
By the time I crawled into bed, my spent body huddled under the covers, I realized that although I’ve always been a sucker for sappy movies — even terribly bad ones — I now watch them for reasons very different than those of just a few years ago.
I watch them to cry. Because I don’t do much of that otherwise. I graduated from the School of Suck it Up a long, long time ago. Which serves me well as a single parent. Holding it together is crucial for our survival.
If I don’t, who will?
But if I’m honest I have to admit sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I want to, need to, scream my lungs out. Because I’m still angry at my ex for leaving. For dying. For leaving his daughter fatherless. I want to slap him and punch him and embrace him forever, all at once.
So I watch the movies to confront my sadness. To allow me to FEEL the pain. No matter how messed up the end of our relationship was, I miss him. And I have to honor that reality.
I watch them to heal. And to renew my faith that love CAN persevere. That magic can still happen. And to spark a longing that signals maybe, someday, I’ll be ready for it again. And maybe it’ll find me once more.
In the meantime, I’ll continue my weekend love affair with Blockbuster. And Advil. And lots and lots of tissue.