Yesterday, I watched a movie called A Little Bit of Heaven starring Kate Hudson, Kathy Bates, and Whoopi Goldberg. I’d never actually heard of it before, but it was in my movie queue, my husband and son weren’t around, and it looked like a good chick flick.
You can get the full information and watch a trailer by clicking here.
It was definitely a chick flick, and I did enjoy it. It made me bawl like a baby, though, which I tend to hate. Kate Hudson’s character learns she’s dying of colon cancer and she sets out to laugh her way to the grave, making the movie funny and charming and bittersweet and sad. I’m glad I watched it alone.
I’m sure you remember the song Live Like You Were Dying, and I thought about that concept a lot when the song was popular. How would I live my life differently if I knew I was dying? My answer at the time (which I can’t swear to, since I’ve slept since then), was “no differently.” I felt like I was living my life purposefully, fulfilling my role as a wife and mother the way I wanted to, taking every opportunity to love and guide my kids to adulthood.
But my kids are all grown up now, and until they have kids of their own, they’re in the stage where they really don’t need me. So, would my answer change now? Watching the movie brought the question up again, and in a flash I knew my answer had changed. Even before I had finished asking myself the question, the answer came, “Yes. I’d get messy.”
I’ve always been a fairly cautious soul, trying not to be wasteful, trying to make things last, being careful with my choices because I knew I’d have to live with them for many years to come. I don’t wear orange. I buy furniture and curtains in neutrals. I don’t sing loudly, and try to refrain from being offensive to anyone.
If I knew I was going to die within a matter of weeks or months, I might paint the walls in vibrant colors, wear artsy-fartsy clothes whether they looked good on me or not, dance in the aisles at Walmart with my husband if I liked the tune they were playing, and perhaps say exactly what was on my mind, whether it was offensive or not—what are they going to do? Kill me? I would create art, recklessly wasting canvas and paints in a heedless rush to see what would come. I would use up all my fabric in art quilts and throw caution to the winds, not feeling guilty to throw scraps away, knowing that my kids wouldn’t want them, and I would never use them again. I wouldn’t fear mistakes or ruined fabric.
It makes me giddy just thinking about it.
Now comes the question, what will I do with that realization? Will I continue to live with caution, or throw caution to the winds? God doesn’t promise me a tomorrow, but I may get another fifty years (and who wants to live with an ugly couch for a minute longer than you have to?) How do I balance caution and creation?
I think I’d like to be more like Ms. Frizzle and declare with passion, “Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!”
But I refuse to wear orange.