IMO: Life’s Eventful Extremes

What a difference a day can make.

My mother visited for a week and escaped the 15 below zero temps in Illinois. Jim and I hosted her before my children and grandchildren arrived later in the week to see her. On the first night of her visit, with supper finished and the evening open for entertainment, my mother chose the movie, Richard Harris in A Man Called Horse (1971). On the second night, I picked Battle of the Sexes. On January second, it was Jim’s turn to pick a movie.

What a surprise that he picked Moonstruck. The consummate chick-flick? Maybe he was inspired by our own Bella Luna, the Super Moon going on outside? January has two full moons this year and it has started several conversations about the differences between a Wolf, a Blue and a Super Moon. He loves the silly Dean Martin song, “That’s Amore”. I suspected he was trying to be a good sport and pick a film that would make my Mom happy. I hadn’t seen Moonstruck in decades. Sure, why not? So the music played, and I swooned with the luscious music of La bohème. Nicholas Cage was young and a sexy scene-chewer. Cher was gorgeous and almost convincing while Olympia Dukakis deserved her Best Supporting Oscar win. When the credits rolled, we all stood up and smiled. The ending was touching with the punctuation mark celebrating the family and validating the vows of love.

Jim left the room and returned. With the music still in the background, he got down on one knee and opened up a box with a silver wedding band. “I bought this for myself, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t accept the other ring I bought.” He opened up another box and in it was an engagement ring. “Cindy, will you marry me?”

That he asked me in front of my mother meant the world. That he did it in front of this romantic movie was a masterstroke. I remember when we were in Santorini, I wondered why hadn’t he asked me to marry him in arguably the prettiest place in the world? Instead, he asked me in our living room with my mother in attendance. We were all moonstruck.

I have been divorced for 26 years. What a strange, lovely state-of-being to be now engaged.

12 hours later, at noon, I felt a twitch under my upper rib cage. The twitch turned into a poke which turned into a gasping stab that became a constant companion. By three in the afternoon, I was in the emergency room. Jim was by my side, my children arrived that morning and were entertaining my mother. To breathe jiggled the knife in my chest as we waited for doctors and blood tests and sonograms and EKG results to whittle down the possibilities.  They found a baseball cyst connected to my liver, and the cyst was bleeding. Until the blood was absorbed, I would be in pain. Two doses of Dilaudid (stronger than Morphine) laterthey sent me home. I did my best to be calm and quiet, but by 3 a.m., the pain was still strong as ever and poor Jim had to take me back to the ER.

A few days have passed, my Mom has returned to the tundra. The house is quiet. I am feeling better. I looked at Jim and realized I was still engaged, and he was my fiancé, and I hadn’t thought about his question to marry him for days. He just walked by my desk just now.
“Why the living room instead of on top of a Grecian Island?”

He replied, “Home is where the heart is.” Good answer.

I asked him, “We don’t believe in bad omens, right?”

“Of course not.”

“Okay, good. It must have been the Belle Luna.

The ironies of life fascinate me. How about you? How extreme has a day been for you? 

39 thoughts on “IMO: Life’s Eventful Extremes

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  1. First, I hope that you have a quick recovery – as for the rest of the story, it really is magical, and I’m sure I speak for so many others when I thank you for sharing it with us….one side note: really funny that your Mom chose “A Man Called Horse” – a great film but certainly not a love story like “Moonstruck!”

  2. My day was nowhere near as eventful as yours haha. Congratulations. That’s wonderful news. And I’m glad you’re better and the pain isn’t as bad. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. Good golly grief Cindy that was a day and a half! So happy for you and Jim, and reading of his words made me tear up. Get well quickly, and when you are all mended take a picture of the ring! 🙂

  4. Such wonderful news and such bad news together. That had me up and down emotionally, I can tell you…
    No guessing why Jim chose ‘Moonstruck’, but that cyst sounds awful. I hope it can be safely removed, Cindy.
    You have both my congratulations on your new status, and my sincere wishes for a speedy recovery.
    I’m sure Jim will do a great job of looking after you.

    My own life-changing day was on a trip back from Scotland, with my first wife. We had been visiting her Dad and stepmum in Broughty Ferry, and headed home to London on a bright and clear day. I drove until Newcastle, and we changed so I could have a sleep. (Up late the night before) The next thing I remembered was the car flying through the air upside down, before crashing onto the tarmac of the A1, facing in the wrong direction. We never found out was had really happened, but I suspect my wife had dropped off to sleep, and run the car up a verge to the left at speed, where it had flipped over. We were taken to hospital near Lincoln. I had broken fingers and a bash to the head, but she had suffered a fractured skull. They kept us in for just over a week, and as the car was a write-off, a relative drove up to take us home. Nothing was ever the same after that crash. The head injury changed her personality, and the near-death experience made her want something different out of life. Just over a year later, we separated.

    Best wishes as always, Pete. x

  5. Wow, what a story. congratulations on the engagement, and may you heal quickly from the surgery. This was a way more interesting tale than Moonstruck. Im gad it had a happy ending, and you are well.

      1. i already said my bad things about it when i taught a class on italian american films and xompared it unfavorably with nancy savocas true love, so im cool with saying only good thigs about it from now on.

  6. I hope you are on the mend, Cindy. What a story! Moonstruck was a great choice. Funny thing, I was talking about the movie with my co-teachers last week. No one had seen the movie. How can that be possible??? So, we have a teacher date to see the movie together.

  7. “How about you? How extreme has a day been for you?”. Honestly Cindy, how on earth can anyone answer those questions after reading your post. The film-taste extremism in your household is clearly intolerable.

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