Make the most of time with loved ones

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015

When I was a teenager, my family visited my grandparents nearly every Sunday afternoon.
They lived in Cedar Point in Bay St. Louis, not too far from the seawall where we fished and crabbed.
Sadly, thanks to Hurricane Katrina, that home is now gone, but strong and fond memories remain.
On one of those Sunday afternoons, I was introduced to the movie “Steel Magnolias.”
I caught the end of the movie and it wasn’t until years later, that I watched it from beginning to end and fell in love with it.
Not only is it the quintessential southern movie, but the movie also has a wonderful message.
The first version of the film was a play, written by Robert Harling. Harling’s sister died as a result of complications from diabetes and renal failure after giving birth to her son.
I have seen this movie more times that I can count and have memorized it almost word for word, much my husband’s dismay when we watched it together on Sunday.
It’s hard to choose a favorite moment, spoken line or even life lesson from this film.
The movie is about a group of women who support each other during life’s difficult moments, including coping with debilitating and incurable diseases.
I haven’t had the heart to watch this movie for the past couple of years, because that was right about the time my dad was diagnosed with renal failure, as a result of living with diabetes for years.
Since then, he has responded quite well to dialysis. In the beginning I was pretty much terrified of nurses hooking my dad up to a machine to basically clean his blood before putting it back in him.
But since then, he has begun to act like his silly old self, where before, he was lethargic and tired all the time.
He cracks jokes once again, sometimes at my expense, and acts like a child when he and my husband are together.
I have no words to express how grateful I am for the miracles of modern science.
I now view “Steel Magnolias” through different eyes and the movie’s meaningful messages are not lost on me.
Julia Roberts’ character Shelby, when faced with the health risks of having a baby, says “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
I would have to agree. Every minute spent with our loved ones is precious and sometimes taking risks is what life is all about.
As for me, I will continue to cherish each and every moment I have with my loved ones.

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