Do you remember that scene from “It’s A Wonderful Life” when George Bailey has his little melt down and says something along the lines of “No sir, not me, I’ve put my life and dreams on hold for everyone else and I’m not going to do it anymore. This is my last chance out of this one horse town and I’m going to take it!”
Like many of you, I’ve seen that movie countless times. But this last year, for some reason that scene tore at my heart. There was a mental flood of memories of the things that I’ve had to give up and walk away from for the common good of those around me, just like George.
I can’t say that I begrudge any of those things. I mean, how can you not put your life on hold when the person who raised you is diagnosed with cancer and becomes incapacitated for a great length of time? How can you not give your last cent to keep someone from losing their home, even though it means your hopes of purchasing your own home fall into the ashes? How can you not bring an adult family member into your home and retrain their bodily functions, even though it means ruining the furniture and embarrassing the daylights out of you and them? George Bailey would have done all those things too.
So here I stand on the brink of making another life altering decision. One that must be made for the good of someone else. I’m assessing the things that will have to change. How to make those changes work most smoothly for all concerned. Quite honestly I’m struggling with it, selfishly.
In the end, there will be no ringing bell on the tree. No angel getting his wings. But, like George Bailey, there will be that circle of family, friends and acquaintances who are better for it.
Do what’s right, do it right, and do it because it’s right…cuz that’s how I roll. But I have to do it willingly, and in this instance, I’m working on that part. The truth is ugly sometimes.