It is Saturday, March 30, 2013. My husband has been dead for three years, three months, ten days, fourteen hours, and fifty-two minutes. I wish this were the part where I write about how I moved on and found happiness, but that is not the case. Instead, this is the part where I once again lament my loss. I grieve my loss every single day; however, this is one of those days where the emptiness screams more loudly than usual. The silence threatens to eradicate my existence.
I am watching Forrest Gump for the fortieth time. This movie makes me even more melancholy than usual. My husband did not care for this show. In retrospect, he watched it intently the first time we watched it together. I think when I watched it for the tenth time, he lost interest and began to resent the show. I really do not know what it is about Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan that move me, but I think it is the idea of examining the highlights of one’s life so keenly, while some of the most outstanding songs in our history play on. Just about every incident brings tears to my eyes, regardless of how often I watch it.
People say that we should not dwell on the past, but just move toward the future. I have never fully understood or agreed with that statement in its entirety. I believe that we should continue to move forward, but I also think that it is only through intent observation and willingness to learn from our mistakes that we can move forward. We must learn from our mistakes, yet we risk continuing the same irrational and ignorant behavior.
The character of Forrest Gump makes me think about all the stupid things in our history from which we failed to learn. For instance, it was not that long ago when citizens were teaching fellow Americans to turn their backs on young soldiers returning from Vietnam, as though our government did nothing wrong. Absurdity. Young men gave their limbs, souls, and sometimes, their lives, believing they were defending a country they loved. To say their welcome home was less than amicable is a gross understatement.
It was around the same time in history that we, as a nation, were justifying a biblical misconception that white people are somehow superior to other races. Careful, ignorance is capable of breeding stupidity. Have we really learned from our mistakes? Because the current biblical misconception is that homosexuals are somehow inferior to heterosexuals. Not too many years ago, rock and roll music was responsible for our spiritual demise. I shudder to think at what may be labeled the next culprit.
Perhaps it is time we examined our nation’s past more thoroughly. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, that is precisely what I am doing. I am remembering the laughter that my husband and I shared. I am remembering the tears we shared. I am remembering 20 years’ worth of irreplaceable moments that we spent together. I am remembering how it felt to be loved and adored, while music plays in the background. I can see my past, even with mistakes I made, and learn from it. So, what have I learned? I learned that love is the most beautiful emotion of which human beings are capable. I learned that grief is one of the most powerful emotions of which every living being is capable, and that it is different for everyone. Examining our nation’s past-I learned that hate is the ugliest emotion of which human beings are capable. I learned that prejudice leads to hate, and that it comes in many different forms. I learned that fear feeds hate. I can only hope that a thousand years from now, someone examines our behavior and learns from it. We are all living, breathing creatures and deserve equality, and love. Our differences are many, and those differences are what we should embrace. In the end, it matters not what color we are, or what our sexual preference is, what matters is what is in our hearts. So, examine your heart and let the luminescence of retrospection remove the fear. The light is how we move forward.
©2013 Relinda R.