In All Your Forms

As we continue to celebrate love during this Valentine’s Week on the blog, here is a tender clip from a movie that teaches about love:

I love the line in his vows that says, “I vow to fiercely love you, in all your forms.”

Anyone who has been in a relationship for just about any amount of time has learned that people do change in many ways. For those seasoned couples who have been together through decades, through health challenges, through childbirth or infertility, through loss and renewed love, this line may be particularly poignant.

In my own life, I have watched couples endure in love through physical changes. We lose hair. We gain wrinkles. When a woman undergoes the decision to have a child, her belly grows, her breasts become enlarged, and her form changes. When a baby is born, skin and tissue and stretch marks can change her form from what it once was. When a partner undergoes treatment for cancer, he or she loses hair, color, and can lose or gain weight. Love endures these changes.

When one or both partners are stressed or undergo the difficulties of life, they can experience emotional changes. Maybe they are not as stable as they once were. Still, love presses on through these challenges.

When we vow or promise or covenant to love each other through life and beyond, we stand by each other–in all our forms. I know my husband sees me at my best and at my worst. I took a long time to fully let him into my heart, misled by the screaming thought inside me that if he really knew me he wouldn’t want to be with me. Thankfully, I was wrong. And he has been faithful to me–in all my forms–over many years and many struggles. He continues to strengthen me, and I hope to do the same for him.

In the film The Vow (based on a true story), the main character suffers a brain injury where she doesn’t recall the past three years (years in which she brought about pivotal changes in her life and relationships–including relocation, changes in her studies/major, and her marriage). (SPOILER ALERT) As her husband tries to help her remember, she continues to struggle. She ends up going back to her old life that she remembers, leaving her husband alone. At the end of the film, she makes the same decisions on her own that she did years ago (leaving law studies to continue her work as an artist, moving from the suburbs back into Chicago). They meet again and the end credit song begins to play as the couple head out to eat at “someplace new.” The true story couple is then pictured with their two sons, and viewers are left to assume that they remarried and are now living happily.

I am touched by his determination to love her in the way she needed to be loved, to give her some space to heal without taking away his love. He truly lived up to his vow to love her in all her forms.

🙂

Memory

With all this anesthesia going on around my household the last few weeks, I have been thinking of the phrase from doctor after doctor…”the medicine will just make him not remember anything.”  I understand the use of medicines to dull pain and to relieve us from the memory of traumatic experiences; still, this phrase has brought to my mind the power of remembering and of what comes from our memories.

What is your earliest memory?  I think mine is when I was a young girl, maybe five years of age, headed up near a fountain of my dad’s law school with my mother and brother as we took a meal to my father, who would be on campus studying all day.  I don’t know why I don’t remember before that…or why that moment stays with me.  I’m sure we brought Dad meals often (at least I think we did).  Curious, isn’t it?

And then, when times get overwhelming or crazy in our family life, I like to remember with my husband our courtship and the feelings we had when we were first becoming acquainted.  I love to recall those memories as they bring me great comfort.

Likewise, when my children have birthdays, we often talk about our memories of their entrances into this life and the events surrounding their births.  They seem to delight in these moments in our memories, even though they do not recall the time of themselves.

But, what if our memories were taken away from us?  What of those with brain injuries or illness which take away fundamental parts of memory?

I loved the film The Vow (2012), which was based on a true story about a woman who suffered memory loss because of an accident and had to reconstruct her life while losing two years of her experiences.  (SPOILER ALERT)  I LOVED that she was able to find her way back to the choices she made previously of her own accord and had hope in the fact that whatever paths we take through our lives’ journeys, we become the people we need to be.  Here is the trailer to give you some flavor of the film (apologizing for the overt skin shown on the frame below, in case that might be offensive):

So, what do memories mean to you?  Do you wish you could take a magic eraser to some parts of your life?  Do you use memories for comfort?  As reminders of lessons learned?