The day my ex walked out, marked a very dark period in my life. In spite of knowing there was something very wrong in our marriage, I chose to live in denial and even fooled myself into being shocked when he broke the news. I told him to get out that night and as the door was closing behind him, I was reaching for the phone… my lifeline to my sister. I was sobbing so hard, you know, the kind that prevents you from catching your breath. It took her a while to piece together what I was saying, but when she did… she started screaming, ‘You’re free! You’re free!’. I remember her telling me this was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. All I can remember thinking was how I was going to raise a young daughter on my own, pay a mortgage with no job and that I was going to die alone.
Mere days later, a package arrived in the mail. I tore it open to find a dvd. It was the movie, ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ (okay no eye rolling). I put the dvd aside because I was too busy wallowing in the grief of losing my best friend. I walked around many months like that… totally numb, wondering how I got from one place to another. I honestly think the only thing that kept me going was the need to take care of my daughter. My sister would call to check up on me frequently and she always asked, ‘What did you think of the movie?’ I’d look at the dvd sitting on the counter (because who had the energy to clean or put anything away… let’s face it folks, I was on the precipice of becoming a full blown hoarder). I’d mumble, ‘not yet, but it’s on my list’.
Many months later, late one Friday night, after one too many glasses of wine, I opened that dvd and sat down to watch it. I know this is going to sound utterly ridiculous, but that movie changed my life. 113 minutes in Tuscany did what hours of therapy couldn’t do… It gave me back hope. The movie is about a writer who is in a seemingly happy marriage and finds out her husband is cheating on her. She ends up getting divorced and goes into a depression which her friends try to get her out of by sending her on a trip to Tuscany. When she gets there, she realizes there is nothing left back at home and decides to stay. I won’t give too much away, but honestly, this movie should be required viewing for the newly separated, divorced or victim of a break-up.
One of my favorite lines in the movie (the book was excellent too!) comes from Katherine, who is a friend of the main character, Frances:
“When I was a little girl, I used to run around in the fields all day, trying unsuccessfully to catch ladybugs. I’d get tired and lay down for a nap. When I awoke, I’d find the ladybugs walking all over me.”
What does it mean? Well in my mind it was telling me I had to just let go and let hope and faith take over. The movie reminded me that my life wasn’t over, it was just the beginning… Sometimes the best comes later in life. From that moment on, ladybugs became my beacon of hope. Hell, if I ever get brave enough to get a tattoo… there’s no doubt it’s going to be a ladybug 🙂 Now… to sit back and wait for the ladybugs to find me (psst… I’m giving them a headstart by renewing my online dating membership :))