Steve Jobs: iSad.

On Wednesday, the news came as complete shock. My boyfriend and I were getting ready to turn on one of our favorite shows, when he opened the internet browser on the computer just for a minute. Across the top was a bar:

BREAKING: Steve Jobs died.

He read it aloud to me, “Steve Jobs died.”

In that exact moment, my stomach dropped and I felt an aching feeling run through my entire body. Then there was shock. “What?!” was all I could say. But then again, we all knew of his public battle with such a deadly form of cancer, and the fact that he had so recently stepped down from his title at the company he started literally from nothing.

But that sickness I felt was just that — sickness. Like I was going to throw up. As a former roommate of mine put it when I told her the news of her ex-boyfriend passing, “I know how you upset you get about death, and I hope you’ll be okay.”

When she told me those words, it was like my exact feelings that I had never spoken aloud to anyone were finally verbalized. I do get upset about death. Especially when it is someone that I know, or even once knew. But truthfully, what upsets me the most about death, as a Christian, is feeling absolutely helpless just knowing (or believing, rather) where that person could be, forever.

I have never considered myself a judgmental person, despite my Christian beliefs, that are often mistaken by others for nothing other than judgment. I have always tried my hardest to listen to everyone, and take in what they say. If I meet someone who has different beliefs than me, I ask questions, I listen, and I try to understand where they are coming from. Because the truth is, we all believe what we believe for a reason. Everyone has gone through different experiences in their lives to shape them into who they are today. So, if you tell me that you don’t believe that God exists, I respect that, and honestly want to hear your story. There is no right or wrong with religion–because the fact is true for everyone: we all think that we are right.

And maybe we are. Maybe Christians are right. Maybe Atheists are right. Maybe Buddhists are right. The truth is: no one knows who is right or wrong as long as we live on this earth. So I can sit here and tell you until I take my last breath on this earth that Christianity is the only “right” in this world, but honestly I will not know until I die. We all hope that we are right, but we also have to acknowledge that someone will be wrong, but at that point, it is “too late” because we are dead. And no one can come back after they die, so who knows?

So, back to Steve Jobs. When I heard of his death, immediately, I was sick. (I guess I’ve established that three times now.) Because to me, as a Christian, learning about the death of someone that is so publicly a believing and practicing Buddhist, makes me so sad. It makes me upset. It makes me angry. It makes me mad. And in that moment, all I can do is what I believe is right–pray. Pray that God somehow intervened in Steve’s finally weeks, days, or hours. Maybe that he sensed the end was coming for him, and realized that forever is just that–for ever. And once you die, that’s it. There is no second chance.

Perhaps you understand the one statement that I am skating around but will not say publicly because those don’t share the same beliefs as me may get upset, but hopefully you do understand what I am saying. And when you stop and think about it–that one statement–it is absolutely, undeniably, ridiculously terrifying.

There’s one thing that we all can agree on despite our religious beliefs and differences: Steve Jobs was the definition of brilliance. He was undoubtedly blessed. (In my opinion of course), the Lord blessed him with an amazing, literally one-of-a-kind mind that was capable of so much success. The reason I am able to type all of these words out right now on a laptop is because of that man and his brain. He transformed so much of our world and I believe he absolutely deserved his success. The Lord does not choose to bless all of us with a mind like Steve Jobs, but He blesses each of us in other ways. (For me, I like to think that He blessed me with writing, but that remains to be seen!)

What saddens me to the extreme about Steve, and again I am not judging when I say this but am merely making an observation, is that I wish so badly that he could have credited God for his success. That maybe he could have believed that none of what he did would have been possibly without Him, because God made him that way for a reason. But of course, not everyone thinks that way, but I ultimately wish that he could have attested his brilliance to God. If that were the case, I don’t think I would have felt so sick learning about his death.

Regardless of Steve’s beliefs, or spirituality, or personal life, he is still a person. He is still a human being. And he is still a life. I feel a huge weight of sadness for his wife, who is now a widow (at a relatively young age), and for his four precious children who now have to live their rest of their lives without a father. It is a tragic story no matter which angle it is viewed — Christians, Atheists, Buddhists, Agnostics. No matter what, this brilliant man has left this earth way too soon.

Maybe he is right. Maybe he died, and his family is at peace with his death because he will be reborn into another being, such as an animal. Maybe others are right and he died, and he’s just … gone. Maybe Christians are right and he stood before God (our ultimate and only Judge) and was asked why he should be allowed into His eternal kingdom. Whatever the case, we have lost someone who has changed technology and the world as we knew it; we have lost a human being who has done so much good; we have lost a person with a beautiful and now grieving family; and we have lost someone who will continue to inspire me, to truly never give up on your dreams.

Why I believe all animals do go to heaven

The first true loss of a loved one I experienced was on February 25, 2004 when my precious baby, Princess (though rarely called that as we are big on nicknames in our family), suddenly had to be put to sleep at the young age of seven years old. It was one of the hardest things our family ever had to go through, and to make matters worse, my dad was deployed to the Middle East for four months the very next day. We were absolutely sickened by the loss of our beautiful animal we rescued from the wild in Clarksville, TN.

When we took her to the vet on that fateful afternoon, we said our goodbyes to the cat who was struggling for her life. I was out of control crying, petting her for the last time, as the vet and my parents all gathered around her one last time. “In a few minutes, you will close your eyes to sleep, and Jesus will come take you. He will take you home, sweetheart. Do not worry. You will be fine,” I told her, repeatedly.

“Say hello to our precious Jasmine,” my mother added. Jasmine was their baby that they had adopted before I was born, who had died of a seizure two days after his 13th birthday in 1999.

We were all crying as we watched her be taken to the back room where my parents joined the vet one last time. My sister and I waited in the waiting room, sobbing.

After we came home that afternoon, we were a grief-stricken family who could not even bare to look at her food and water dish, or even one of her many hairs she left behind on the carpet. I prayed out loud through my tears, “God, please tell me where she is. Please let me know if she is okay.”

The next day, I awoke to my find my mother sitting in the living room with her Bible and some coffee. She had tears streaming down her face and she said, “I’ve never done this before, but this morning, I randomly opened the Bible and at the top of the page, was this verse,” and she handed me the Bible, opened. Sure enough, there at the top was this:

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. -1 Corinthians 15:44, ASV

I looked at her wide-eyed as that verse stood strong at the top of that page. She told me, “Can you believe that? If it has an earthly body, it also has a spiritual body!” We both smiled through our tears, but still weren’t entirely convinced just by the one verse. Later that day, she told me that she had come across another verse as she began to research God’s view on animals some more.

Right before Genesis states that God created humans, it says that he created animals, both in the sea and on land as livestock.

God made every one of them. Then he looked at what he had done, and it was good. -Genesis 1:25, CEV

God created animals before He created humans on the sixth day, and He looked at those animals and saw it as none other than “good.” He gave them an earthly body, so that they may also have a spiritual body, and He saw their creation as a blessing to the earth. How wonderful to know that our God truly cares for our animals! And not just our domestic animals, but also our whales, lions, and fish!

Later on after we had discovered these two Biblical references relating to God’s creation of animals, my mother came to me holding a small book titled something along the lines of, “What Heaven is Like,” with colorful, water-colored painted illustrations and one-liners on each page on what the author believed heaven would be like. It was one of those small gift books available near the register at Barnes and Noble, or perhaps a book you’d consider as a stocking stuffer. Nothing too intense, but also not a child’s book. Just a simple account of what someone’s dreams of heaven. I read the book aloud next to my mother on the couch, crying as we turned each page, struggling through every sentence. Throughout the book, there was one constant illustration, though subtle on each page. It was of a young girl with light brown hair, holding a calico cat. Every page contained this illustration even if the words on that page weren’t conveying anything about animals, there was the little girl in the corner, or in the background, holding her calico cat. I smiled a little as we approached the last page and read the last line (I wish I knew what it was but I can’t remember), and we both looked at the girl with her cat again.

“That’s you, Taylor,” my mother said.

“And that’s her,” I replied, more tears starting to come down my cheeks.

“Wh… wh… when did you buy this?” I struggled to say, realizing what God had revealed to us for a third time.

“About six weeks ago,” she said. She never buys little books like that and never really buys books, period, because she’s a big library-goer for her source of reading.

I looked at her and said, “That’s it, she’s there, I know she’s there.” God had told me through these two verses and this beautiful book that our Princess was in the hands of our Lord, free from all illness, suffering, and destruction. She was fine, and she would be waiting for me at the gates of heaven when I arrived.

And you probably won’t believe me if I told you this, but after we closed that book, I don’t remember us crying anymore about her sudden death. We were comforted with an overwhelming peace that she was in the hands of the One who created her, and that made it all the better.

The Life, The Beliefs, and the Thoughts of Osama bin Laden, Part 3

While babysitting on Tuesday night, I finished one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read, “Growing up bin Laden,” by Nawja and Omar bin Laden. I started out reading a sample of this book, thinking that the sample alone would satisfy my curiosity, but evidently it just made it worse. After caving and buying the book on my Nook, I read through it quicker than I read novels for high school and college. (Being forced to read something just makes me drag my feet, but if I read something because I want to, it has the opposite effect!)

While I was nearing the end of the book, the six year old paused his Wii game and said to me, “What are you reading anyway?”

I paused. What do I tell a child who is innocent to the death and destruction of the world? My eyes darted back and fourth.

“Well, what is it?!” he asked, flustered, holding the Wii control in one hand and the nun-chuck in the other.

“It’s about a father,” I scrambled to say. “Written by his wife and son.”

“Is that all? What about a father? That sounds boring.”

I secretly prayed that he would unpause his game and go back to fighting his Mario characters.

“Well, the father is not very nice,” I said.

“Who is this father anyway? What’s his name?” He asked.

I panicked for a response, again. I figured there was a 95% chance he probably has never heard of him, so I said it. “Osama bin Laden,” I said. He shrugged and un-paused the game.

I finished the book a few minutes later. While the book was written in 2009 and published in late 2010, it ends with Omar and Nawja leaving Afghanistan between September 7-9, 2001. Omar was warned by a high-ranking member of Al-Qaeda before the U.S.S. Cole bombing that a “big event” was going to take place and that their lives were going to be at risk after it happened. (Not that their lives weren’t already at risk, but clearly he was referring to the 9/11 attacks being planned and knowing the retaliation that was going to occur)

Omar was the only one of Osama’s 17 or so children that started to question his father’s love for violence and as he puts it, “Jihad.” As he got older, he started planning his escape from his father’s training camps and compounds in Afghanistan. The children knew to not even look at their father in the eye when speaking to him (that is considered disrespectful in Muslim cultures), let alone talk back or question anything that he said or did to them. But not only did Omar look at his father in the eye, he also questioned him repeatedly until he answered him. “My father, how many people did you kill in the Afghanistan/Russia war? How many people? How many people did you kill?”

I do not believe that Osama bin Laden was born an evil person. He was once a charismatic, lovable, and smart person who in the least, had extreme Islamic views on the world. I do believe, however, that once the evil came into his heart and mind, that it multiplied to the point of him literally being happy to see destruction and death of Americans. (Omar said that when he saw his father’s reaction to the US Embassy bombings in Kenya and the bombing of the USS Cole, it was “the happiest he had ever seen his father.”) It was at that point in the book that I realized that this man had been overcome by evil from Satan, although he never saw it that way. He saw it as the right thing to do for Islam. He saw it as “good works” being done to better the world.

Evidently, toward the end of the story (so, roughly around 2000 or early 2001), bin Laden informed his sons that there was a “sign-up sheet” in a nearby mosque for boys to volunteer themselves to be suicide bombers. Osama bin Laden asked his sons to go to the mosque to add their names to the list. Omar was enraged as he watched his small brothers run toward the mosque. “How can you ask your own sons to volunteer themselves to die?”

Osama replied with something along the lines of, “I do not love my sons any more than I love other men of this country. You all are no different to me.”

I don’t understand what it is like to be a parent, as I am not yet one, nor do I know what it is like to lose a child as unfortunately some parents do have to go through for one reason or another. But I could never, ever imagine asking my own blood, my mini-me’s, the children I have created with the person I love, and have raised from birth, to become a suicide bomber, even if it was for my own religion. This was the second sign in this book that I truly saw his evil nature on a personal level. However, no matter his actions or requests toward his children, I still believe that they all loved their father, even after some of them fled from him in 2001. He was not always this way, and that is what saddens me. Just as the introduction to the book says, “People are not born terrorists. Nawja knows only the man, the West knows only the terrorist.”

Next up on my research regarding bin Laden: reading the newest book on my Nook, titled, “The Cell,” by John Miller, a former ABC News journalist who actually interviewed bin Laden face-to-face in 1998.

The Life, Beliefs, and the Thoughts of Osama Bin Laden, Part 2

It’s been nine days since the death of the world’s most wanted man, most sought-after fugitive, and arguably one of the most evil people to ever live in my lifetime. As previously mentioned, I’ve spent many hours reading, watching, and researching more about this man, now that he has died. I have started to develop my own theories through my research and have come to a few conclusions that are none other than my own opinion.

Since I am trying to look at his life with an open mind, as much as I can, despite his attempted murder of my own father with the attack on the Pentagon, I am trying to understand why he developed such a hate for America and Western civilization as a whole. I downloaded some samples of books on my Nook, particularly “The Cell” by John Miller and “Growing up bin Laden” by his first wife, Nawja and fourth son, Omar.

The first 71 pages of “Growing up bin Laden” were so intriguing that I was not satisfied with the sample ending mid-sentence, mid-chapter. (Later I was told that’s why they call it a “sample,” of course!) I decided to just lose the ten dollars and buy it. So, it came to my Nook instantly and I have been plowing through it almost non-stop since then. It is an easy read in the sense that both Nawja and Omar talk rather simplistically, but at the same time, parts are hard to read because of how they describe their lives. One thing that really struck me in the letter to the readers (written by one of the commentators, if you will, Jean Sasson) in the beginning is the following:

People are not born terrorists. Nor do they become terrorists in a single stroke. But step by step … their lives unfold in a pattern that leaves them prepared to receive the seed of terrorism. And so it was with Osama bin Laden. And the man, men, and events that planted that seed faded away. But the seed grew and the terrorist walked. And the man before become the terrorist thereafter. Najwa Ghanem bin Laden knows only the man. The West knows only the terrorist.

This statement encompasses my entire view on my research. As much as I harbor hate for him for what he did to my own life, not to mention the inhumane things he’s done to others in this country, I still hold a part of me that wants to see him as the man Nawja once knew.

Once I heard of his death, I was text messaging with a friend about it, saying our 20-something, inexperienced comments to each other such as, “Can you imagine being the person who took the shot?” After batting back and fourth with one another, I suddenly let out something that I was surprised would come out of my fingers. “I sort of feel sorry for him. He had one chance at life and this is how he chose to live it. Now, his family has to live with losing a husband, child, brother, and father.”

She didn’t respond, perhaps because she didn’t agree with me. And I’m sure that me admitting that statement publicly could irritate a lot of people, but despite what he’s done (which believe me, is inexcusable), he still has a family that loves, or loved him at one time and they have to mourn the death of him, while others are rejoicing along the streets of America.

Then I came across a verse about the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 18:23 says, “‘Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?’ says the Lord GOD, ‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?'” The Lord does not take pleasure in the death an evil-doer, in fact, He feels sad when they die, because they did not use their life as a time to repent and be forgiven for their evil actions. This is exactly how I felt in that moment I sent that message to my friend: sad. I truly do wish within my heart that he had been able to admit his wrong-doings and ask the Lord for forgiveness.

And that’s the thing about forgiveness from God. Whether a four-year-old me asks for forgiveness for lying to my parents about dumping baby powder on my white dog (true story) or whether Osama bin Laden asks for forgiveness for his bombings, high-jacking, and thousands of deaths, God always answers, “yes.” It hurts me to think that he could have been forgiven, but more than likely didn’t use his chance while on earth to ask for that forgiveness.

As I’m reading “Growing up bin Laden,” I can feel the hate that literally was festering within him. What drove him to his actions, I believe, is his extreme views on Islamic rules and culture. He did not believe in hardly anything that the western part of the world had as a part of everyday life. Things in our lives that we don’t even think twice about, such as electricity, television, doctors, or toys for our children–Osama wanted none of that in his life or the life his own children. If that is the way he wants to live, I see it as fine, because God gave us a free will. The problem with how he wants to live is that he did the exact same thing that he accused Americans of doing–pressing our ways onto others. His goal through al-Qaeda, as described in the book by his wife and son, was to try to get rid of Westernization as a whole and through that, the entire world would become an Islamic culture. They also state, at the same time, that he hated how Americans were always trying to put their Western ways into other countries. What was going on inside that man’s mind was a never-ending battle, that grew to so much hate that he took serious revenge by the actions he displayed ten years ago.

The Life, the Beliefs, and the Thoughts of Osama Bin Laden: What Was Going On?

Having no formal responsibilities (such as, a job) equals having a lot of free time during the day. Having a lot of free time, unfortunately for me has always equaled having a lot of thoughts. My mind is the most powerful weapon I will ever own. It analyzes, it creates, it manipulates, it twists, it turns, and it exaggerates. When I have time, I tend to over-think a lot of things. I tend to read, to investigate, and to dig deeper. I do, in fact, possess that “curious about the world,” characteristic that Columbia looks for in a student. And lucky for me, I have free time now that I am unemployed, and because I have so much time, I have been reading, researching, and watching a lot of material on Osama bin Laden.

I’m not sure if it is just my curious nature, or my over-analytical brain that is thinking this way, or if anyone else is feeling this way, but now that this man is dead, I really want to know more about his life. Most of all, I want to learn why, in this world, someone could hate Americans so much that they are willing to try to kill as many of them as they can, including some of their own. That is the biggest, most unanswered question I have right now, and I’m sure (at least, I hope) there are many others feeling the same way.

The way I am trying to see it is from this seemingly (to me) neutral standpoint: perhaps he, and his followers, see us (“Americans”) as we see them. We see them as evil, as terrorists, as killers. We are a diverse nation. We are the land of the free, and most importantly, as displayed on Sunday evening, the home of the brave. We are the land of opportunity. We run on a democracy. We are a free nation. We are allowed to speak what we wish, think what we wish, and praise God, write what we wish.

We are divided, too, because we all have different political beliefs. We are Republicans. We are Democrats. We are independents. We are Jewish. We are Atheists. We are Mormon. We are Christians. We are Muslim. We are Buddhists. We are executives. We are CEOs. We are politicians. We are custodians. We are engineers. We are social workers. We are restaurant managers. We are train conductors. We are unemployed.

But we all, as Americans, all agree beyond the shadow of a doubt: terrorists are wrong. Terrorists are evil. Terrorists must be destroyed. Terrorists must pay for what they’ve done to us, for trying to take away our freedom, to shake our foundation, and to attempt to exterminate our ways of life. Even those that once served our country, put their life on the line for our freedom, who somehow turned on their country and bombed an innocent office building killing over 100 people, must die for what they’ve done. We all agree with that, no matter our religion, our political stance, or our economic “class status,” that terrorists are the face of evil and that they must pay for what they’ve done.

So maybe, in the world that Osama bin Laden grew up in, or in the Muslim community, or maybe in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, or just in his household, he was taught to view Americans as we view terrorists. More than anything else that we say, do, or believe, we are Americans and that is what he hates. More than anything else, he is a terrorist and that is what we hate. So as we are taught to hate terrorists, he is taught to hate Americans. Make sense? That’s the only way I can begin my research on this “organization” or group of followers; to view his way of life basically as the opposite of mine, and with an open mind, despite what I’ve been taught, know, or believe. Because I am curious to know, more than anything, why he hated us so much that he was willing to sit in his caves, compounds, wherever he was from time to time, and literally think of how he could shake our foundation literally to the ground. I don’t understand it, believe me. I don’t know if I ever will. That very man, his very brain, his very followers, tried to kill my own father. They wanted my father dead so badly that they were willing to volunteer themselves and their lives to kill him. Praise God that they did not succeed in killing my father, but there are 3,000 others in this country who cannot say that. His plans to end their lives because they were Americans succeeded in that sense. But I pray that those families who are left felt justice on Sunday, because finally, what we all as Americans agreed on completely, fully, with every fiber our beings, happened: he paid his price for taking so many lives.

Stay tuned. I have many more thoughts and things to share. And if you have a comment, or a conflict with what I’ve said, please feel free to voice your opinion. I am truly open to all sides and thinking regarding this topic.

“God got tired of us and He want to finish us.”

Earlier this week, I watched a newly added instant documentary on Netflix, “God Grew Tired of Us.” The film was recommended by an old friend of mine from high school who harped on its inspiration and eye-opening features. When we watched it, we were astounded by just how real this documentary was to us. Most importantly, how much we take for granted as Americans every single day.

The Lost Boys of Sudan, as they’re known now, were a group of boys who traveled by foot through countries of Africa in the late 1980s. I am referring to them as boys, being 11 to 15 years old, but they refer to themselves as “men,” because where they are from, a boy is a “man” at such a young age. They fled from the war in Sudan, which continued until 2005 (according to Wikipedia), and ended up in a small village in Kenya, most without their parents or siblings. The boys lived their lives in this village, without any strong structural buildings, stores, running water, or electricity. But they were happy to be there because to them, it was certainly better than Sudan.

Thanks to the help of the U.S. government in the early 2000’s, a few hundred of the Lost Boys were able to come to America to live. When the boys (now most are men, by our standards) do so much as step foot on the airplane, they are amazed by the overhead light fixtures. They are staring at the televisions installed in the headrests of the seats. The flight attendants have to explain to them how to use the bathrooms and even how to lock the door. It is incredible to see the looks on their faces during this time. They are amazed.

When they arrive at their respected locations (Pittsburgh and Syracuse, namely), the apartments that are provided to them aren’t “nice” by our standards, but they become so happy to be sleeping on a mattress (as opposed to the ground), to take a shower, and to cook food. Their reactions to light switches, a bag of chips, or even a Christmas tree can be amusing to us, but it is also unbelievable to think, as someone who was raised with all of that from the beginning, that there are so many people in this world who aren’t given as much luxury.

The boys eventually get jobs once they are issued social security numbers and obtain their legal right to work. They have jobs at places like warehouses and McDonald’s, but they are so incredibly happy to work. They work hard every single day, some even working as much as three jobs at a time. They make comments about their apparent lazy co-workers. They want to work so hard and they do not complain about anything. They work to pay their bills and one man, John, wires money every chance he gets to his family in Africa that he has not seen in 15 years. That was amazing to me. I think about all the money I was making at my job before I was laid off a few weeks ago, and how selfish I was with it. Thinking about taking vacations, saving for a pair of Louboutin’s for my wedding, or having a nicer apartment. Why does any of that matter at all to me? It shouldn’t. I really, truly feel as if I am being selfish with my money (when and if I have a job, that is) when there are so many people struggling in this world.

I could write so much more about this documentary, but I feel as if that would become a boring piece quickly. I would love to hear reactions and comments to those who have also seen this film! And I really want to help these boys in any way that I can. They deserve it so much more than I ever will.

Thoughts on ‘Blue Valentine’

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I visited the Enizan Theater to see a movie produced by a good friend of my uncle called “Blue Valentine.” After seeing status updates, links, and posts on my uncle’s Facebook all about the movie, not to mention an Oscar nomination for Michelle Williams in this role, I figured it was worth it to check out this claimed “love story.”

Blue Valentine was written and produced by Derek Cianfrance, who also wrote and produced a movie with my uncle, “Brother Tied” about 13 years ago. Evidently, the idea for this film has been in the making since Brother Tied’s debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998. We also took notice of the executive producers of this film–Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, themselves.

The movie is told in sort of a flashback sequence, beginning with Gosling and Williams’ lives now and we see frequent flashbacks of their lives when they first met, when they were dating, and when they got married at city hall. Their love and happiness is so apparent in these flashbacks, but when we are moved back to scenes of the present, the relationship is cold, painful, and almost unwilling. They have a child, Frankie, who spends the weekend at her grandparents’ house while her parents try to reconnect in a themed-room motel, theirs being “the future room.” Gosling always has a cigarette in his mouth and is drinking heavily in so many scenes. He says that he drinks at eight in the morning because “he has a job that allows him to drink at eight in the morning.” This takes a toll on his health, looks, and of course, his wife. What appears to be the breaking point for Williams is when he bursts into the hospital where she is working and fights with her behind a glass door. The ending was disappointing and not what I expected, but at the same time, I think that’s what made this movie stand out from the others.

What was the point of the movie? “A love story,” is seen on the advertising portrait and trailer. Sure, it was definitely a love story in its flashback tales of young love and a city hall wedding, but what about the fighting? What about the crumbling apart of the marriage? This is where my boyfriend hit the point dead-on: this is a modern day love story.

As we all know the alarming high statistics of divorces in this nation, this movie depicts the truth. This movie shows the reality of how people can get married young and then realize they married the wrong person. Or the reality of how people aren’t ready to get married sometimes, but do it anyway. And most of all, what stuck with me, was the reality of how many people give up on the lifetime commitment they made to one other: for better OR for worse, until DEATH do we part. Gosling quotes those vows to Williams toward the end and reminds her of that promise she made. But I guess to her and also to so many, that promise is empty and that promise doesn’t hold as much weight anymore as it used to in previous generations.

This movie was well done, powerful, and even hard to watch at some scenes. And this movie displayed the harsh reality of our society today.