Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thoughts on the theme of the family

On Sunday, I was up at my house spending time with my family. My sister, who we sometimes call Lois, wanted some help looking for cute pictures of family members, and Misha wanted to watch a "Sunday video." So we piled downstairs to pull out remembrance books and watch Saturday's Warrior, Misha's choice.

If you're not familiar with the film, Saturday's Warrior is a low-budget Mormon film from the 80's. It's cheesy, the sets are about as low-budget as you can get, and it does contain some doctrinally inaccurate scenes. For these reasons, I do not generally watch Saturday's Warrior of my own choice.

However, for some reason, this time, something in the film really touched me.

The opening scene of the movie takes place in what you might call heaven, or the pre-earth life. A group of God's children are talking to each other about how excited they are to go to earth, especially since all eight of them are going to be brothers and sisters in mortality.

I'm not sure why it touched me this time in particular. I think it was something about the setup. I was sitting with three of my own seven brothers and sisters, looking through pictures of my family, and watching a show about another family, and the deep bond that they carried even before birth.

I thought about my family- all eight kids, three in-laws, two nephews, and parents- and about how I love every one of them so much and so deeply. A few years ago, I had a coworker with whom I had a conversation about family. She had three siblings and she couldn't stand one of her sisters. She was amazed that I not only had seven siblings, but that I honestly love- and am friends with- each one of them. How tragic that that should be such a surprise. We are far from perfect, but I really do cherish each one of my brothers and sisters. They are all a part of me. I have learned so much from each of them, and I gain strength and courage from knowing that I am part of such a wonderful group, forever.

As much as I hate to admit it, it can be summed up pretty decently by the lyrics to one of the songs in Saturday's Warrior. In the scene in heaven, the different children are speculating on the different challenges that they might face on earth, and each in turn wonders how those challenges might be overcome. The general response, cheesy as it is, is a fundamental truth for God' ordained purpose of the family:

Courage take, for goodness sake!
And when you're out of courage and you're ready to break--
You've got your father and mother, sister and brother
Pulling together we can work it out.
All alone, we just can't make it
By ourselves, we fall behind
If we lift and pull together, we can help each other climb!

Isn't that why God instituted the family? So we can help each other. Truly no man is an island. We are simply not designed to go through life alone. And so God gave us families to help us pull together, and so we can help each other climb the rocky challenges that litter everyone's path through mortality. And as cheesy as Saturday's Warrior is, I was reminded of that important truth last Sunday. Thank you, family, for being a strength and a shield to me. I love you.

Also, on a slightly lighter note, Lois got so involved in the excitement of watching Saturday's Warrior that she turned it into a sing-and-dance-a-long. Here she is showing her moves along with Jimmy Flinders and his friends:

1 comment:

Laura said...

Maria, you are so great. Thanks for the reminder about how great family is. I've always loved Saturday's Warrior despite it's cheesy, incorrect doctrinal scenes. And I, like you, feel so blessed to have so many great siblings a part of my life. You are great. BTW, your blog is awesome, and it might just get me to start my own...or at least be more diligent at writing in my journal!