This is how I watched Marley and Me. Curled up on the sofa with my 100lb. chocolate lab sleeping snugly next to me. I waited soooo long to watch it...and then did it like this? What was I thinking? For the first hour and half I was loving him and all of his Marleyesque-ness, and then the blubbering ensued. Of course just as the end came, my boy had scooted himself all the way into my lap, making the whole thing even more intense! I was trying to explain it to my husband this morning (who refuses to watch the movie by the way), and the best I could do was say that I was "wailing". You know the unattractive, messy kind of cry. The kind that you can't get control of. Even the poor dog kept tilting his head backward to check on me.
You see, my husband came on the scene when our wonder dog (as I like to call him) was about 1 year old (he is now 7 1/2). Before then he was mine all mine. The first time they met, my boy lifted his leg on a suitcase that was laying out in my new boyfriend's home. And got so oversimulated that he sort of frothed at the mouth...getting slobber everywhere. I wasn't sure if I would ever get a call from him again. But it turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and today they are the very best of friends. In fact he is our only child, as of yet....
The movie had so many parts that reminded me of our messy but happy family. Messy not in terms of sloppiness, but rather our imperfect but happy little world. We are the 3 Muskateers, and have had so many adventures together. Adventures that are sometimes all fun, and ones that we've walked away from, ready to never speak to the
wonder dog again. But his overflowing cup of love runneth over always, and we are at the end of the day, so lucky to have him. The lessons that we've learned from him are immeasureable. He's taught us about unconditional love, about sacrifice, about loving someone just the way they are, that it's ok to be messy and imperfect, and he's given us the gift of the closest thing to parenting we've achieved so far. We are a family....and no matter what life brings us, we always have that.
It's unfair to expect people to be perfect, because no one is. Loving someone means embracing it all, the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly. Seeing the true spirit in someone, is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Recognizing the human-ness in people, even in strangers, would make the world a much better place. Today I will go out into the world, I will embrace my own imperfections, and I will look at others with a softer focus too. You never know where you will learn a lesson...or who you will learn it from.