One of our Christmas traditions is to watch It's a Wonderful Life. It should probably get old to us but it doesn't. It is such a good movie to celebrate the season, to remind us of what matters and to reset ourselves for the coming new year. Without fail something new hits me every year. This year Zuzu's petals have taken up residence in my mind.
Have you seen the movie? Remember that classic moment when the angel Clarence wisely gives George Bailey his wish to never have been born? George goes through the night taking Clarence around town to his usual haunts while seeking soul comfort... but there is none to be found. It finally dawns on him that his wish was granted and he had never been born. He frantically searches in his pocket for his daughter Zuzu's flower petals he put there earlier in the night. When he can't find Zuzu's petals, he realizes the horrible reality of a life never lived.
At the end of the movie when his life is restored Zuzu's petals are back in his pocket. The petals are confirmation that his life has been lived. He frantically rushes home to embrace his family and his second chance at life. The community rallies around to bail him out the bind that lead him down the road of despair. He stands watching in awe as crowds of family, friends and neighbors all chip in. He finally realizes it truly is a wonderful life.
At the end of this year I feel like George finding Zuzu's petals in my pocket, watching in awe as a community rallies to help. A gift money could not buy. A gift that kept me going... Prayers, love, meals, gifts, money, help with meals and chores and showers (eek!)...a steady stream from Heaven. Petals in my pocket, reminding me that my life has purpose. That I have truly lived a wonderful life.
As the year closes, I want to reflect on 2016 in a positive way. I want to be sad about the difficult parts, but I do not want to wallow in them. I would rather roll in the wonder. The wonder of God's healing touch, the wonder of restoration, the wonder of family, friends and community...the wonder of a cancer free second chance. The wonder of a life well lived in good times and bad.
So long 2016! Cheers to 2017!