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CHARLIE AND ME

The other night I made a huge mistake. I actually did not realize how epic of a mistake it was. Here it is…I watched Marley and Me. Now let me preface by saying I have seen this movie before. Multiple times. But what is different this time around is that this is the first time I have seen the movie since we have had Charlie. and a baby. and a marriage.

 Let me set the scene for you..it is 9:15pm the day after Christmas and I washed my face and cozied into bed. Earlier, I declared this evening my go to bed early evening so I was so excited when I actually plugged my iphone in beside my head and nestled under the covers when I did. Hmmm rather than just drifting off to sleep like planned, I decided to turn the tv on for just a second to see what was on. Then I saw it…Marley and Me. Night ruined!

Little did I know at 9:18 what I was getting myself into. When I was supposed to be dreaming, I was bawling crying with in first 5 minutes of the movie which unfortunately continued until midnight when the movie was over. Thank goodness for those commercials to give me a breather! It is probably the first time that I have been grateful for commercials.

Let’s break this down on why The Great Waterworks of 2013 commenced late that evening. Like I said, the last time I had seen the movie I was dogless, husbandless, and childless. So within five minutes, I started bawling. The kind of bawling that I was so grateful for Casey’s man room which he was in so that he did not witness such debauchery. I could not help but cry because all I was thinking about was the ending. Marley dies. Charlie is Marley. Charlie will one day be in doggie heaven. No no no. not cool.

So I got myself together…for a few minutes until I started to cry again… Why, because it was the miscarriage scene and I was devastated. Having been through one pregnancy and birth, I now know what it is like to house and birth a baby. And the thought of finding out that was not going to happen because of a fluke loss was just devastating to my heart. I have witnessed countless people go through this and it just breaks me.

Then once again, I regained some composure for a brief moment and then they had a baby. Ugh, tears. I know what it is like to have a baby! Tears Tears Tears. Such a beautiful thing. And I also know what it is like to bring a tiny baby home to a Marley. And loud barking, crazy Charlie.

Up next is the second birth…I kind of cruised through that scene with no tears but then “real life” hits ole Jenny and John. Real ugly life just hits them smack in the face. Bam. Marriage downs. Colic. Fighting. Exhaustion. Constantly wondering how you are supposed to do this for the rest of your life. Constant love for your babies who are the soul reason for your exhaustion.

Dang it Marley and Me for making me cry like a baby when real life hit. It was so true. So authentic. You really hit the hammer on the nail you hollywood producers. You captured real life. And I cried. And also felt better about a lot of things. About my life. My marriage. My family. It is okay to feel like I do sometimes. and it happens. And the beauty is, we will endure.

Ok enough with the real life stuff…Then they pack up and move to Philly into my dream house. A house made of gorgeous old stone on a big lot of land in the rolling hills. Just perfect for raising a family. And I cried because it was my dream home. Luckily Casey happened to escape the depths of his man cave and surface for a brief moment to come say hello and I immediately said Look! That is my dream house. Look do you see that! That is it!”

Then Marley gets old. He slows down, gets gray hair. But his loyalty is there. Forever. And then the saddest scene in cinema history commences and Marley slowly closes his eyes to life on earth and gallops into doggie heaven. [Do I even need to remind you that I was crying. a lot during this scene. Good, you know me well].

I could not help but think of my sweet Marley. My baby girl Charlie. She is a pain in the butt, bad dog. She is messy. She is sneaky. She chews up everything. She pulls like no other on the leash. She poops like crazy. She wakes me up in the middle of night way more often than my baby does. She is Charlie. She is loyal. Loyal beyond belief. She is so loving and only wants to be next to me at all times. She is always there. When we leave out the front door she barks her head off and when we return [whether it is 5 minutes or 5 hours later] she is there. Right by the front door window. Just waiting. Waiting for her people to come back to her.

Watching Patrick [the oldest son] say goodbye to Charlie made me bawl. Because one day that will be William. Watching the whole family read their sweet notes and say their last words as they bury Marley was just touching. Heart strings were pulled during this movie peeps. Big ones. And I can say that I have never ever in my life cried like that over a movie. But that is beauty of re-watching movies you have haven’t seen in a long time. You are in a different phase now. A different part of life. And that makes reliving those movies you saw when you were younger or even just a few years ago so neat.

So listen to me when I say, if the last time you saw a movie like this was pre-college, pre-marriage, pre-baby, pre-life, it will be different this time around. And I highly encourage you to not watch one late at night when you are already giving dark circle a run for their money. Oh, and bring tissues. A lot. Okay maybe just bring the whole box.

“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water log stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if your rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he will give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?” -Marley and Me

We love you Charlie. Chuck wagon. Charlie Rose. Charlie girl. We love you. And I know you know that. Thank you for teaching us more about life and love that we never would have known and experienced without you.

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