My favorite movie is
It's a Wonderful Life with James Stewart. I could watch it a thousand times. The character of George Bailey thinks that life has passed him by. And in many ways it has, but none of the important ways, in heart and soul and mind.
In a moment of despair, George gets his wish, from his guardian angel Clarence. He gets the chance to see what life in his small town would have been like had he never been born. When he comes to his senses, he prays to God to give him his old life back. His prayer is answered as he realizes that he really has had a wonderful life as husband and father, son and brother and friend.
He discovers that his daughter ZuZu's rose petals are in his pocket. He is thrilled by their presence as they prove that he is home. George still facing some tough circumstances, though they are overcome through the generosity and love of his friends and family. He is at last home, safe and sound.
So I was thinking about all of this the other day at my daughters' volleyball tournament. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a candy wrapper and a hair tie that weren't mine. And I don't remember putting these or the extraordinarily crumpled one dollar bill into my pocket either.
Dads' pockets are often the trash receptacle for their kids while at events where no trash can is in sight.
The back seat of my car serves a similar though grander purpose as it often includes hair brushes, wadded up clothes, random and often solitary shoes or socks. Sometimes the air is pungent with half eaten bananas, yogurt, or plates with unidentifiable goo on them.
But I can't help but think that all of these items are
my Zuzu's petals. And that I will miss them terribly when they are gone. They remind me how much I have to be grateful for and the love and joy that are in my life.