Jan 19 2009

Would you erase the pain?

Published by Summer at 9:02 pm under Gratitude, Random

One of my husbands very favorite movies is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind both for the cinematography and the message it conveys. He really wanted to share it with me but knew I wouldn’t appreciate some of the content which gave it an R rating, so he edited it on our computer.

I watched it with him last week. It was a little confusing at first but as the movie went on the events that were happening became clear. I loved the quirkiness of the movie and the way it had been constructed and when it’s ending came my husband and I had plenty to talk about. The gist of the movie is that a couple whose relationship is on the rocks goes to a specialist to erase each other from their memories. After they’ve done so they have a chance meeting and are interested in each other immediately. And soon after that they are sent tapes upon which are recorded their bad memories of each other and they realize what they have done. In spite of knowing that things turned for the worse they decide to be together again.

It made me wonder if I would erase some of the painful experiences I’ve had in my life. Or if I would change past decisions if I could. It was more interesting that I had watched it just a week or so after I had returned home since my thoughts had been turned toward someone from my past while I was in Utah.

There are simply times where you see a place or smell something, and memories, whether good or bad seem to overwhelm you. Perhaps you thought all emotion that came with them had disappeared but were shocked to realize how keenly you felt that loss, or that stab of jealousy or that regret.

What a blessing to be able to open my heart up to my husband. We both loved only once before we found each other. My husband called things off with his girlfriend shortly before he went on an LDS mission. When he returned he was afraid that contacting her might see him fall back into the relationship despite being sure she wasn’t the girl he wanted to marry. She was a wonderful person, but he felt she wasn’t right for him. She had a friend invite him to lunch with her friends not to long after he returned and they had a nice time but he kept his distance and didn’t contact her again. Then, a few weeks before he and I were to be married he received a call from her family. She had been killed in a car accident. It was then that my husband found out she had been recently engaged and getting ready for her own marriage.

I remember sitting next to him and his sister at a church activity and as a hymn played I saw him silently sobbing. Was he still in love with her? No, but of course he still cared. He regretted avoiding her. He lamented to me that they could have been friends, that they could have shared their excitement with each other over having found someone they wanted to spend their lives with if he hadn’t been so afraid. He’s still regretful over the decision to avoid her. If he could he would change his actions there.

My situation was a bit different. My boyfriend when I met Tom, was serving an LDS mission. I had decided that I wanted to date while he was gone but I was certain I would marry him when he returned. I loved him a lot and faithfully wrote him twice a week. He must have been shocked then when my letters just stopped coming. When I couldn’t write him because I didn’t know how to say that I wasn’t sure about our future anymore. I hadn’t been looking for someone else but when that someone else showed up, I knew it was right. That didn’t make it any easier for me. I was in love with two men and my heart and the guidance I had received from prayer were tearing me in opposite directions.

I had such firm ideas. I was going to be the Mormon girl who waited for her missionary, I was going to marry the man who had been my first kiss, my first love. I wished I were deciding between something good or bad. Instead I was forced to choose between great and great. In the end I decided if I had prayed for an answer and received it, I should follow it. I did and I have no regrets on that score. As I look back on our marriage and the things we’ve gone through I know I was guided to someone who didn’t struggle with depression as I did, for very good reasons.

But that doesn’t diminish the fact that a little piece of my heart will always be missing. And like any wound, sometimes it still hurts. But I wouldn’t erase my first love if I could. I cherish the wonderful memories I have when we were together. I only hope that some of the pain I caused him when I finally wrote him to tell him good-bye has dissipated and that he is as happy now as I am.

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11 Comments to “Would you erase the pain?”

  1. Jenni OwensNo Gravataron 19 Jan 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Oh, I also love that movie so much! It really does make you think about what you would do in that situation. Sometimes I think I might erase the past… but then would I have still learned from the past or what I learned would that be erased too?
    I am glad you married Tom, so that you could touch my life as well. :)

    Jenni Owenss last blog post..Would you erase the pain?

  2. Charlotte (Life's a Charm!)No Gravataron 19 Jan 2009 at 10:52 pm

    lovely post! i felt your experiences thru this post …
    i believe in butterfly effect. i will not change a thing either…

  3. StephanieNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 12:19 am

    I haven’t seen that movie either (due to the rating/content), but the premise certainly sounds interesting. Would you recommend it?

    Stephanies last blog post..Would you erase the pain?

  4. Mrs. OrganicNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 1:17 am

    There are some things I would erase or change. It would be interesting to know how each choice would have played out though, wouldn’t it (not that you’d trade one for the other, but still - interesting).

    Mrs. Organics last blog post..Would you erase the pain?

  5. SummerNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 9:21 am

    Stephanie, I would only recommend seeing it edited if you can. It’s full of expletives and some other inappropriate content

    Mrs. O, I agree. Sometimes I do wonder or speculate on what my life would be like now if I had made some different choices.

  6. Becky NewsonNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 11:40 am

    Sometimes I think it might be nice to erase some of my *reactions* to certain situations from my past, or that I could at least fix it at this point in time.

    The idea of being able to erase things completely out of my memory is, at very first, an idea that carries a lot of relief with it. But no, I wouldn’t choose to erase them. If it weren’t for some of the more painful things I experienced as a young woman, I wouldn’t have such a firm testimony now of the power of Christ’s love and personal knowledge of me. And such a testimony is priceless.

    Becky Newsons last blog post..Laughing at Myself

  7. KarleneNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 11:56 am

    Haven’t seen the movie, but no, I wouldn’t erase the bad things. The hardest part of my life occurred during my first marriage. We were not a good match. I hated life, lived with severe depression, gained 175 pounds, almost decided to end myself. But now that I’m through it and healed, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It made me who I am today, and I like that person. It also gave me four wonderful children and I cannot imagine my life without them. And my husband now is wonderful, but had I not had a bad first marriage, I would not now appreciate my new husband as much as I do. Looking back, would I do it all again to be where I am now? In a heartbeat!

    Karlenes last blog post..Sick of Snow Urban Botanic Make & Take

  8. KimberlyNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 2:11 pm

    A beautiful example of how God wants better for us than we want for ourselves. =)

    Kimberlys last blog post..Tuesday Talk Up

  9. KailaniNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I think it’s great that both of you have such fond memories of past relationships. It just shows what wonderful people you are.

  10. kennaNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I love that movie too. It’s one that definitely makes you reflect. And I love the quirkiness of it. And her freaky hair. And her weird gloves.

    kennas last blog post..I’m blind

  11. An Ordinary MomNo Gravataron 26 Jan 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I have never even heard of this movie, but I think it would be excellent to watch an edited version.

    An Ordinary Moms last blog post..Wishes of a Three Year Old Boy

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