“What we do today matters, in the moment and maybe into infinity.” – Samantha Kingston
I love movies. All kinds, no specific genre, as long as it’s something that moves me; inspires me in some way. Whether it makes me laugh out-loud, shed tears of joy or change my way of thinking in some important way, it’s all good. A line, a tea, a smile. A moment that awakens a feeling which can lie dormant somewhere deep inside, yet easily rekindled when reminded of our true nature, one of love an compassion. Before I Fall did this for me.
The movie stars Zoey Deutch, a modern Groundhogs Day, expect without all the Bill Murray hijacks and biting wit. It’s more of a Mean Girls version. I won’t give away too much of the plot, in case like Frank Constanza, you want to go in fresh but I will say that many times in this life, we can take our loved ones for granted and forget who we are. We lose ourselves in order to satisfy others and fit into fraudulent social contracts. And many times the change is so incremental, we don’t even notice until it’s too late.
This move awakened many things in me but one part in particular hit a nerve and that’s when Samantha (the main character) decided to spend the day with her sister Izzy. Little bare feet, pajamas and pillow head, took me back to when my little sister and I were living in those rundown apartments on 15th Street. She was the most beautiful tittle baby I’d ever seen and I was going to be the best big brother ever. Obviously, I couldn’t imagine how things would change for me as I grew older, becoming distant, until finally I faded away.
As time rolled on and I came into teenage years, I gradually became someone I didn’t recognize, losing myself in depression and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. The boy who once proclaimed that nothing was more important than family, turned his back on that principle, growing apart from them, losing sight of what was truly important in life; losing sight of his little sister.
I keep going back to this time with my sister, as if stuck in some time loop, reliving certain moments in my head. A time when I had to pick her up from school. Being 8 years older, I had to pick her up when she was in elementary school but like most teenage boys, I wanted to be anywhere else, hanging out with friends. I would walk her home in silence, lost in my own muddled psyche, allowing my demons to consume me. Never giving thought to how she must have felt walking alone behind me. The things she must have wanted to tell her big brother about her day, only to be met with a wall of silence. Most days, maybe all of them, I can’t remember; she would have to settle for staring at my back, as I stewed over whatever issue was affecting me that day.
In the past I would beg God to let me transport back to those moments, so I could pick her up in my arms, kiss the top of her head before taking her hand and asking about her day. I’m so sorry my love, I should’ve held your hand.
I know it’s not healthy to live in the past and let yourself be consumed with regret, so I do my best to keep my eyes forward. There are still times my eyes well up with tears when I think of al I missed out on, on our walks home and I have occasionally dreamed of all the things we would’ve talked about but I remember to live for today. You’re here now, with beautiful little one’s of your own and a little girls face who makes me feel kike I’m 10 again. I can’t recapture the moments, I can’t go back and hold your hand but I can live you with every breath I have left and tell you just how much you mean to me. I do find some solace in the fact that your little girl looks exactly like you did and now that I’m mindful of the little wonderful things in life, I can appreciate her every smile. There are no words for the love I have for you girls.
I feel as if this movie was made just for me, like the universe conspired to send me a message, a vision to galvanize me into action. It can be the same for you, the trick is to be aware of the infinite potential of our universe and to believe without a shadow of a doubt that this vision was meant just for you. In this way, my life has become a string of small miracles, one after another.
Just remember it’s never too late and what you do today matters. Live for the moment, cherish those you hold dear and love them with abandon. Let every love be your greatest triumph and always remember to look on this world with compassion because, “what you do today matters, in the moment and maybe into infinity.” I see you little sister. Our shared birthdays in the park, the way you’d cry on cue to make our babysitter let me back in the apartment, how you would say motor oil to make me laugh, or the way you’d hang like a baby monkey from the post of the cloths line. I love you sis,