“This is Where I Leave You”

Have you seen this movie?

When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

It’s the read deal. I saw it with my bestie Kate, when it first came out in 2014 and it seriously stuck with me over the years. When I saw today it was on Netflix, I knew it was what I was going to be watching tonight. And here I am. At the bottom of my second glass of red, fourth piece of 70% dark chocolate, needing to write.

I haven’t blogged in a little while. Not properly anyway. What do I say? My husband died on new years day, and his brother, my dear, sweet, brother-in-law, died last week. What does it all mean? Why is all this happening to such a beautiful family?

I was in a bad place this afternoon. Yesterday was Etienne’s funeral, and it really hit me hard. Today was challenging. Parenting, combined with not enough sleep and too much grief, left me in a yelling, impatient mood with the kids. Not my finest hour(s).

I reached out to a few people, my support crew, and I was reassured, I was loved, and I was understood; I was encouraged, I was forgiven, and I was shown grace. All the things I needed, there and then.

And then I watched the movie. It’s one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s so real and makes me wonder if my kids are going to be this close when they get older. Three boys and a girl. Though, their father died when they were all adults, not kids and babies. Makes me so sad. Life can be so unfair.

There are so many stand-out lines in the movie.

Anything can happen. Anything happens all the time.

In the movie, the context was good stuff. But in my life right now, I just believe anything happens all the time, good and bad. And one day, a good “anything” will happen. I do believe that.

Another one:

There you go. Deflecting emotion with logistics.

Oh my gosh this is me!! Ha ha. When I heard this line, It just resonated with me. It’s so much easier for me to focus on logistics, than it is to focus on emotions. When people ask me how I’m doing, I always reply “I’m okay. As long as the kids are okay, I’m okay.” It’s almost turned into a mantra. Do people want to hear how I’m really going?  My Uber driver last night asked me how my day was, and I answered honestly. But it’s hard, because it changes daily, sometimes by the hour.

At 5pm today I couldn’t see a way I could possibly put one foot in front of the other. By 6:30pm I was a little better, because my kids were laughing hysterically at the movie they were watching, which made me smile; and by 7:00pm I was ever better, when Mum and Dad told me that Julius’ reaction to hearing a bubbly wine cork popping was to say “Mama!” It made me laugh. Then around 7:30pm, mum and dad and I were watching the movie “Twins” and laughing at the same dumb gags we were laughing at when we watched it together 20 years ago.

That shit is real.

Is this life? Is this grief? Is this just how my life is going to be from now on? I said to my counselor the other day that I just want to feel normal again, but that will never happen, as my normal will never be the same. This is my new normal. I have to feel this, and quite frankly, it scares the shit out of me. Much easier to focus on the logistics. Where will we live? What school will the kids go to? What sports will they play?

Did I mention I love Jason Bateman? Yeah. It’s been going on for a while. I’m okay with it. Though in this movie, I would not say no to smoking weed with Philip. I only ever dabbled in a joint or two in my (very) late teens, but right now, I feel like I need something to chill out just a little 🙂 Just saying. (Hello tangent.)

There is seriously so much about this movie that I love. In the end, Jason’s character (yes, we are on a first-name basis. Deal with it) takes the Porsche. I love that. I like to think I would have the stones to do that also. Maybe one day I will be presented with an opportunity to take the Porsche, and I think I could do it. There’s not much that scares me these days.

I love writing. I need writing in my life. Maybe I am a writer. People keep telling me I’m good at it, and I keep saying it’s a hobby, but I do love it. And during the whole movie tonight, I was formulating this blog post. And here I am.

The last song of the movie is “are you ready to fly On Your Own“. Seriously. Could this movie possibly talk to me more?? Ugh. It’s almost too much.


Or maybe just enough.

This is where I leave you. And fly on my own.

1 Comment

  1. Rennea,so sorry for all the family,especially you,what a stressful time. I loved Julius comment on the popping bottle,kids certainly have a way with them to lift our spirits. Keep up your writing you are a natural,hope I can read your first book.?Marie.

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