Sunday, December 26, 2010
Family and the Movie "Marley and Me"
I watched a great movie last night called Marley and Me and it was all about family. I thought it had a very powerful message. This golden retriever named Marley was adopted by a young couple when Marley was a pup and for whatever reason, he was the "clearance pup" of the litter. And there is no doubt that Marley was a handful! At one point, when the wife is coping with their second child being all colicky and Marley barking at everything keeping both the wife and the new baby from sleeping, the wife yells at the husband that the dog has to go. After all it is only a dog. The husband sensibly takes Marley to a friend's house for two days and of course the wife, once the moment is over, realizes that Marley is family and for better or worse, he is a part of them and he cannot just be abandoned or given away. Years later, when Marley finally has to be put to sleep, the wife places a necklace in his grave saying that her husband had given her that necklace as they were starting their family (at the time of her first pregnancy), but in fact, their family had already been started with Marley. It was a very moving movie and I suspect lots of people would enjoy it just for the nice and very funny plot line. But for me, with the family history I have had, it really hit home. No, family isn't perfect, and yes, there are family members you'd find difficult, etc. I am seen by many to be such a person. Nevertheless, the solution is not just walking away and slamming the door. Family is not about abandoning, but rather pulling together, supporting each other no matter what the problems, working together to sort differences and find solutions. At the vet's office the husband tells the vet that one time when their second son was particularly colicky, Marley stayed right by the baby for 9 hours. Marley, of course, turned into the very best dog, instead of the very worst dog which was his original label. Who's to say that might not happen to any of us, with love and nurturing. The husband chose Marley's name because there was a Bob Marley song playing on the car radio as he brought the puppy home, so it may just be a coincidence that Marley's name was also the name of Ebenezer Scrooge's partner, and it was Jacob Marley who, as a ghost, helped Scrooge learn the lessons of love and family which they both had needed. However he came by his name, Marley proved to be the glue which held a young family together in the beginning, helped them weather many storms, and allowed them to discover the true nature of family. Here was a family which truly understood what that word means, and I for one, really enjoyed the movie. I recommend it if you haven't seen it already.