You know I love flash mobs. One of my very favorites is “Isaac’s live lip-dub proposal,” where 60-something of Isaac’s friends and family dance in the street to the Bruno Mars song “I Think I Wanna Marry You” before he asks his girlfriend to do just that.
(If you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now. We’ll wait.)
Grab your tissues, because Isaac made another video. This one isn’t a flash mob, but it makes me cry anyway.
In Yes to Love, I recognize so many of the same faces from the proposal. The most important people in their lives are still there. And those who are no longer with them are honored all the same, because the memory–and the legacy–of their love remains.
So of course this video is sweet and inspiring and uplifting. Of course it is.
So why do I feel gut-punched after watching it?
My family would never make a video like that, and not just because we’re not so techie. My family has been filled–for generations, as far as I can tell–with people who may love each other but don’t seem to like each other very much.
When people ask me to describe my family heritage in one word, I sometimes use the word “Faulkner-esque.” That’s not “Yes to Love” material.
Back when I was in counseling, I spent a lot of time on my therapist’s couch talking about my hopes and dreams for my own little family. How can I build those strong relationships, when those who have gone before me have struggled so? How can I succeed, where so many have failed?
I don’t know if I’m strong enough to fight that tide.
If I were seeing my counselor now, I’d tell her how badly I want my family to be like a freaking YouTube video. And then I’d feel lame for saying that out loud, and I’d probably start crying. Again.
But I already know what my therapist would say, because we’ve been through it half a dozen times already.
She’d tell me I have what it takes. She’d tell me that I am enough. She’d tell me to stay tender even though it’s hard and it hurts sometimes. She’d tell me to lean in instead of shrinking back. She’d tell me to pray, again and again.
I want to believe her.
***** ***** *****
Isaac said he made his video to honor the relationships that made his life possible. That’s not something I’ve given a ton of thought to in my own life–not till now, at least–but it’s something I can do. And I don’t need a viral YouTube hit to do it. Thank goodness.
And for my own little family? I’ll be right over here, praying and hoping and trusting, learning to love well.