Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Bucket List Part 2

Sorry, I know I promised this on Monday, but sometimes life intervenes.

I took my three children to see the Bucket List -- they are 15, 13 and 10. From the coming attractions, we knew it would be a comedy and probably have some sad scenes in it as well.

Jack Nicholson plays Edward Cole and Morgan Freeman plays Carter Chambers. Edward is a tycoon who owns hospitals and has more money than he knows what to do with, but he lacks a family structure in his life. Chambers is a hard-working family man who has worked in the same job for years after he found out, as a teen, that he was going to be a father. He's been stuck in the same job ever since. (Oh and by the way, thanks Jack Nicholson, when you smile and make 'that' face, you still scare me!)

Illness brings the men together in Cole's hospital. At this point of the movie, you will witness what a cancer patient must endure -- vomiting (sounds only), coughing up blood, shivers and more. My 10-year-old had a hard time dealing with that part of it, but she also had a lot of questions later which opened up a nice discussion.

After Cole and Chambers are diagnosed as terminal, they decide to do what's on Chambers' "bucket list" (the list of things to do before you 'kick the bucket). Of course Cole has the money and resources for the duo to do this -- wish I did! This next section of the movie is funny, with a very brief hard-to-handle scene with Chambers and his catheter.

I am not giving away the ending, but I really enjoyed this movie -- it's funny, sad, poignant, etc. -- everything a good movie should be. However, if you've gone through a loss or watched your loved one suffer through cancer, it can be emotional (especially if you get lost in a movie like I do) and watching the characters endure the physical wear-and-tear of cancer on the body too was difficult. At certain points of the movie, I felt like I was 'in' the movie, back in the time where I was finding out that Jeff had cancer or when he went through another horrible aspect of the disease.

Jeff wasn't diagnosed as terminal -- we never got to that point before he passed away. During the movie, I found myself wishing he had time to even make his bucket list, so to some extent I was jealous of the characters -- jealous!

During some parts of the movie, I was misty-eyed and my 10-year-old started to understand why and realized that I experienced some of the same things that this movie was explaining. It broke my heart because she started to cry too; later she said she felt bad that daddy or I had to go through that. That was difficult too, but overall she thought the movie was funny. It might be too much for a younger kid to handle though, so keep that in mind.

For quite some time now, I've been working on making major changes in my life and trying to accomplish what I want to accomplish, so I am going to write out a list too. Ellen DeGeneres calls hers a "Life List." I want a Life List too -- I'm a firm believer that if you don't write it down, you don't have a better shot of accomplishing it. I've thought more about what I want to do and what I want to see. You won't see me skydive like they did in the movie (it's in the trailer), but I dream of going to Tuscany, Italy and one day I'm going to get there. I've been saying that, but it's only been a thought in my head. After the movie, I took the first step and went and got brochures. Who knows when I'll go. I just got estimates to fix my bathroom, but without the brochures, I can't learn about the area or start to plan. Now I took step one.

If you can tolerate the sections of the movie I told you about, go and see it. I overheard some people talking about the movie afterward, calling it sad, etc. I thought it was a 'good' movie, but if it inspires anyone to go out, make a 'list' and start to accomplish their dreams before they are no longer on this earth, than it's a great movie.

I plan on making a list and I'll share it with you when I'm done. I'm so sorry that Jeff didn't get to make one, but some things on the list we wanted to do together and I know he'll still be there watching me.

On a side note: Jeff never came across as the type of guy who would make a 'bucket list' anyway. When we were dating, I asked him what his dreams and goals were in life. He said, "to have a wife and kids." So me being the overachiever that I try to be, said, "what else?" He said, "That's it." Me: What about your career? Don't you want to do this and do that (that's me coming up with a ton of ideas for him). Him: "No, I'd like to keep having a job and maybe do some art on the side. (He was a graphic artist.)" No matter how much I pressed him, all he really said was "have a wife and kids." Why? His mother and father divorced and his mom remarried several times. Jeff always said he wanted to have stability and to fall in love and stay married.

No matter how much I think about it -- Jeff achieved his list and he'd be happy if I achieve the rest of mine.

Until next time, you might be young, but you're not alone.


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