this morning we had two funerals to attend. one was my great uncle marion. he was my grandfather, clarence pichard’s brother and lived next door to my grandmother and eventually my sister. my uncle brent and my cousins, kevin and jay, gave wonderful testimonies to his impact in their lives as a father and grandfather. it was a small graveside service at 10 this morning.
the story that i like the best about him is from a year or so ago. he was in assisted living and did not remember anyone at all in his family. he did not even recognize the photo on his wall of his wife of 60 years. but he would stare at her photo and comment over and over to any visitor about how beautiful that woman was. and how he hoped to see her again someday. and his wish came true this week.
the other funeral was in a missionary baptist church over by famu. and we were by far the whitest people there. by far. the. whitest. it was for lena bellamy, who practically raised all of the noblin children AFTER practically raising my mother. lena was 101 years old. and the thing that i remember her saying MORE often than anything else was “THANK YOU JESUS”. and she said it in all caps just like that.
kristy, her loving grandaughter (who lena had raised also while she was raising us) had called to tell us of lena’s passing last saturday. kristy came to the hospice house when we were there with momma last year after adam had gone over to lena’s house to let her know of momma’s stroke. everlena (isn’t that a pretty name) had lived in the same house for more than 50 years and today it is in the WORST drug infested area of our city. and she never had a break in. and she slept well at night. she would NOT let those druggies drive her out of her home. we drove past it on the way home from the funeral and it is the neatest and cleanest yard on the block.
and i have decided to contract out to the choir at that church to do my funeral. they know how to BRING IT to the throne of the LORD! oh yes Jesus. the LORD is on high and He sees down low. that is my new favorite quote from the service.
and then i came home and we went to see UP, the new movie from pixar. and what i am about to tell you shouldn’t really spoil it for you BUT if you are a movie purist STOP READING NOW.
loved. it. with. all. my heart.
cried. like. a baby. a big huge sniveling baby. good think i still had my funeral purse and tissues.
that montage of scenes from his life with his wife. um, don’t go and see that after two funerals. don’t. especially my uncle marion’s with that story about seeing the photo of his wife and not recognizing her but thinking she was the most beautiful woman ever.
and then when the little boy talks about his dad not being there to eat ice cream with him and he only wants to get the explorer badge so that his dad will come to pin it on him. but his dad has a new wife/girlfriend who answers the phone and says that the little boy is bothering them too much.
really i wanted to stand up at the end of the movie and shout out, “DOES ANYONE HERE EVER WANT TO EVER GET A DIVORCE AFTER SEEING THIS MOVIE???????? BECAUSE IF YOU DO YOU MIGHT NEED TO WATCH THIS WHOLE MOVIE AGAIN!!!!!!!”
but i was crying too hard. and it would have looked weird to do that in my 3D glasses.
pixar writers. i love you. you are good and what you do is good. the way you can take a movie about a guy in a house that floats away with balloons and make it really a love story about a marriage and a life that isn’t the adventure you imagined but it is better. wow. i applaud you.
here is a bit from a review that i found on hollywoodjesus.com. it says exactly what i would like to say about this movie... so pretend i wrote it....
As we see in Up, sometimes the problem with seeking lives of greatness is that great seems like something we simply cannot attain. Great lives are those by lived by movie stars, professional athletes, and world leaders. Our lives? Merely ordinary existences that fail to amount to anything memorable. But as Carl recognizes when he realizes that his life with Ellie was still an amazing adventure even though they never made it to Paradise Falls, our lives need not emulate the most famous figures of the century to be great. And as Russell puts it when he tells Carl about simple moments spent eating ice cream and counting cars with his now barely-present father, "That stuff might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most."
Further emphasizing the value of Carl's life with Ellie is the comparison of his life to that of his hero Muntz. Right about the same time that Ellie and Carl first meet as children, Muntz sets off to capture a bird whose discovery he's charged with fabricating. But while Carl and Ellie spend the next 60 or so years living life, all Muntz has done is look for his elusive bird, in a remote corner of the world, with no companions but a herd of talking dogs. While Carl and Ellie may have given up dreams they once had in order to live life, Muntz has literally lost his entire life to what is really no more than a selfish dream. And as "the Dog Man" to the more common "Cat Lady," Muntz reminds us that just as dangerous as letting all our dreams pass us by is becoming so consumed by one dream that life passes us by.
But a story that is less about the great adventure that Carl shared with Ellie and more about the one that comes after, perhaps the most powerful point Up makes is that very often our lives will be ones of multiple adventures. While Carl and Ellie's life together may have been an amazing adventure, as Carl embarks on a life of new adventures with Russell, he reveals that the end of one great adventure doesn't mean we can't have another, different one. As Carl essentially becomes the father he was never able to be before, his life illustrates that although our dreams may not come true when we want them to, the ones we are meant to fulfill will come to fruition at exactly the right time. And in a world where there are just as many of us wondering when our great lives will arrive as there are wondering what we are going to do now that they are over, the joy that Carl finds in his new adventures reminds us all that we truly have been given lives greater than most of us can comprehend.
As Paul says in Romans 8:28: "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." And while it will not always be easy to let go of what we think our "great life" is supposed to be in order to fully know and participate in the truly amazing adventures that God has given us, as Carl reveals, it is definitely worth it.