Posts Tagged ‘#itsawonderfullife’

Thirty years ago, when dating a charming young man, I was introduced to the film, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Donna Reed and James Stewart.

I was captivated by the story of George Bailey’s life. A simple, relatable, regular and seemingly boring life, George encounters something he cannot fix or undo (something that was not even his fault, yet, because he was a man of integrity, he took personal responsibility for). It seems there is only one option … to end his life.

For fear of ruining the story for anyone who has not experienced this movie, I will cease my retelling.

In 1992, at a formal function, Queen Elizabeth II referred to that year, for her personally, as an annus horribilis, which is Latin for horrible year. As I have reflected on the past year (for each of the members of my family), I (we) might be inclined to echo the words of Her Majesty.

Then, I was reminded of the ending scene of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is standing in his living room, surrounded by family and friends, and the well-wishes of friends that could not be physically present.

It is then that George sees a book … when he opens it up, inscribed on the inside cover is the following:

Those words of Clarence, “remember no man is a failure who has friends” are the words that can turn an annus mirabilis to a annus mirabilis … a wonderful year.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


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An event that seems to be becoming an annual one is hubby and I celebrating his birthday watching the classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, on the big screen.

As we watched it last month a familiar conversation stuck in my mind:

George Bailey: OK then, I’ll throw a rock at the old Granville house.
Mary: Oh no, don’t. I love that old house.
George Bailey: No, you see you make a wish and then try to break some glass and you’ve got to be a pretty good shot nowadays too.
Mary: Oh no George don’t. It’s full of romance that old place. I’d like to live in it.

In this time and place I live, people prefer to live in new homes, over pre-owned homes (a definition to add to my vernacular). A common occurrence is for homes that are older (ie. 50 years or more) to be torn down, and replaced with brand new homes (frequently more homes on the same piece of property).

I fully and freely admit to being a romantic, and possibly even more so when it comes to houses.

As a child, I can remember the houses that I was fond of … and the stories of the lives of a lifetime of occupants that I would imagine in my mind.

There was the house down a long, straight road, lined with oak trees. It’s porch across the front of the house, with large, perfectly entered stairs. Though the original green paint was chipped and faded, though the roof looked at risk of sinking right into it’s centre, and the barn only partially standing, I loved it. I would dream of a young man, damp with the sweat of his construction labor, carrying his wife, pregnant with their third child, up those entry stairs into the house that would house their family until the day the undertaker took his aged body from the home that love built.

The house I passed on my school bus, every day, with the decorated Christmas tree in it’s enclosed porch. The turret on the second floor that always made me imagine a couple dancing in it’s candle-lit windows, every Saturday night of their childless marriage, before dimming the lights on the week. Years later, another couple, with grand imaginations bought and renovated the home, redeeming it with their love.

These and so many other homes birthed dreams of stories of lives. Though our homes are merely brick and mortar, they are also the pages on which the stories of the lives souls made of flesh and bone, are written on … the ink permanently staining each page until to the dust of Earth they return.






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