Thursday afternoon we met friends at the Merriam Cinemark to see the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Debby, Lou, Nancy, Hubby, and me settled into our seats with popcorn, ice cream (Hubby), and diet soda in a wonderfully warm, closely knit group. We each knew the others' likes and dislikes -- Hubby must be on an aisle and since he is still walking poorly, not up a load of steps. Nobody cares that we are sitting to the side and probably too close to the screen. Sharing armrests is okay -- if our arms touch we're comfortable with that. Laughing out loud and nudging our neighbor is acceptable. We've been together over ten years now -- and we've settled into a really comfortable place with each other. We know and accept each of our foibles.
The movie was delightful, though Hubby fell asleep during it. Nobody cared -- even when he snored out loud. We celebrated the triumphs with the old British actors on the screen -- and we cried at their disappointments. Hubby was there - he had managed to hobble in to the theater. He had already walked into Sam's Club that morning and shopped with me. We were together, we were managing his meds, we had my retirement ahead -- we were coping as best we could with our new life style.
Nancy, without her beloved husband Tom who had died in May, was seated beside me, soldering on. Each of us felt Tom's loss in the group, but certainly no one of us could totally relate to Nancy's pain. Still she was bravely joining us, going forward with her life and plans and including us in them. Debby and Lou who really don't go to movies had come out to help celebrate Judy Dench and crew and sat directly in front of us. Each of us understood, somehow, that we were stronger for being together -- and so we had made the effort to join forces, if just for that afternoon, in a solidarity with mature actors on the screen telling us a story of courage among the "old and beautiful" (the motto of the hotel in India).
The movie's philosophy was one we all espouse and was repeated several times during the film to make sure we all got it: if everything has not turned out right in the end, then it's not the end.
As I sat there, absorbing the beauty of our friendship, the delight we were sharing in the movie, holding Hubby's hand on one side and nudging Nancy's elbow on the other, I felt one of those fleeting moments of pure joy that we once-in-a-blue-moon get to experience. I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, living a life I had dreamed about for many years.
I know this perfect feeling doesn't last -- life's problems, even as I write about this feeling, are intruding and causing stress and tension -- but in that moment, in that theater, I had one of those rare peaceful moments -- and I could agree with the movie, "it will all turn out right somehow - and if it isn't right at this moment, then it certainly isn't the end."
We finished the afternoon with a shared meal at the local I-Hop, laughing, sharing current events, enjoying each other. The glow from that moment of pure bliss seemed to have wrapped each of us somehow.
The moral of the day for me is believe that things will work out somehow. Look for those joyous moments -- thank the friends that surround you when they occur -- and keep the faith.