The other day, Mike and I went with some friends to see Oblivion, the new Tom Cruise movie. As far as futuristic movies go, it was pretty good. What makes most movies like this good is that one moment - about midway to three quarters of the way through - when the plot takes a completely unexpected turn. You are so sure you've figured out what's going on and then one scene turns everything on it's ear. This movie has one of those moments. Not necessarily the epic "Sixth Sense" kind of twist, but still a pretty good "Whoa, I did not see that one coming!" I left the theater fairly entertained. However, something else unexpected happened in this movie. I cried. (Although, considering my track record lately, maybe it's not really that unexpected.)
Here's how tears hijacked my movie experience:
One scene in the movie is a reunion scene (I won't tell you between which characters). It's a very typical type of reunion scene in that it takes place in an outdoor area near a lot of flowers and a babbling brook. There's a soft but visible wind blowing through the tall grass and a rising symphony of strings in the background. As I am enjoying this fairly action driven story line, my mind blissfully empty of active thoughts of my daughter (a very rare moment), what should pop up above the vegetation, but a head of dark hair. A head of dark hair attached to a toddler. A toddler with blue eyes. The movie actually had the gall to go into slow motion at that moment. The girl turned her head and smiled, her chubby little cheeks crinkling, her blue eyes sparkling like the ocean. And...BAM! Tears. Rising hot from my gut and then streaming down my face. This wasn't a sad moment of the movie, nor a particularly emotional one for the casual observer. It was, in reality, a simple resolution of plot. But, for me, it was a broken promise. A reminder of what isn't and will never be.
For the rest of my life, I will see little girls with dark hair and blue eyes and I will think of Kenley. (Although, I never actually got to see my daughter's eyes. They were closed when they brought her to me and to pry them open was unthinkable. But, Mike has blue eyes. So, I am going to go ahead and assume she would have too.) For the rest of my life, I will catch a glimpse of two swinging dark pigtails, and I will wonder...would Kenley have had those pigtails too? Would she have liked giraffes like the toddler across the restaurant with her stuffed animal? (possibly) Would she have been sassy like the third grader at the park with her hands on her hips? (most definitely) For the rest of my life, I will watch my little girl grow up in the bodies of other people. Always wondering, but never knowing, what she really would have been like. For the rest of my life, I will miss her. That will never change. For the rest of my life, she will always be a part of me. A part of me I reach for, but can't completely grasp. For the rest of my life...