SPOILER ALERT- If you have not watched Arrival do not proceed!
AC, AC the original, and AC the brother and I watched Arrival together last week. It is an alien movie. It was a really good and captivating alien movie, but an alien movie all the same. Alien movies typically leave a person wondering about, well, aliens. When I was done watching this movie I was left feeling … some kind of way. A feeling. It was a strange feeling. I didn’t think about whether there was life on another planet, or if I would have been able to deal with the things that the protagonist had to contend with. I found a deeper meaning: If you knew that in the future a painful event was going to happen (like have a daughter that is a heroin addict but in this case the death of a loved one, would you change your life to avoid ever having that person in your life?
I know that is a mouthful, and a mindful but it kept playing over in my head. If I knew the events of my life would I do them exactly the same way again? Where does someone start? How could I prevent JoDee not be an addict? What point in time would I go back too? If I could pin point the moment that she used drugs the very first time, I could make her not be in that exact spot. But that wouldn’t stop it forever. So I would have to go back far enough to see what drove her to that. And if I could determine a moment in time, an event that happened, changing that would change something else. I mean, to truly not have her become an addict, I think it would mean not HAVING her. Her not existing and that seems harsh.
If I go all the way back to the beginning, it would start with my senior year in high school. I graduated high school preggers which was a much bigger scandal in those days. It was downright scandalous. Let’s say I avoided Daddy-O. If I knew I would get pregnant the first time I met him that day in my senior year when he came to my house with a mutual friend, I maintained a friend-zone, never becoming more than that. That changes everything. That means that I wouldn’t have moved into that tiny apartment with him and others. Or moved in with his grandparents, or his mother, or got our own apartment- the one that got broken into and the lady upstairs got beat on the regular. We wouldn’t have been together when his father died.
Right after his father died, two friends moved to North Carolina. I visited them, and followed them for a while, and I met some of the best people I have ever known in my life down there. Although I am not in touch with the original two friends that moved there, I have stayed in touch with my friends from Nebraska. I visited and lived there for a short while which introduced me to my second husband. As a result of that we moved back to Massachusetts together. When we moved back to Massachusetts I contacted folks I had worked with in the medical field. That led me to a job in a nursing home. I worked there for a while, and Ex-Husband Numero Dos failed a drug test at work, losing his job. At that time a coworker of mine whose husband worked at an establishment that dealt with horses (just the kind of job a farm boy from NE would be good at) and was looking for a new assistant. From there I went to another place, an assisted living. There I met a woman who became my friend. Later, she left our company to go to another company, taking me with her.
While at the new company, Ex Husband Numero Dos and I split up, and I met my current husband better known as AC. Those are the very big details. I won’t get into the ways that never meeting AC would have affected his kids. But look at how it would have affected mine. Not having JoDee would mean not having Jay J or Jared.
JoDee was my first born. My learning baby. Not having her changes that which makes me what I am. If I am not a mother, I don’t know what I am, or what I would do. I feel like I carry that with me in every aspect of my life. I mother people at work, and it helps me when negotiating with employees, or dealing with a difficult situation. I feel like JoDee and I grew up together, and maybe that contributed to her being an addict. I can’t imagine all the things we did together before the boys came along. And, she was born two weeks after her cousin whom she grew up with, and was inseparable from. Had she not been born, how would her life had changed? Essentially, one decision, a choice not to do something, will change the course of many lives. And to make such a giant decision would mean taking the good and weighing it against the bad. Can I really say that the bad dealing with her addiction really out weights all the good?
No way. If the day I got pregnant I was able to see my entire future which included JoDee’s future, I would not change anything. No matter how much pain and suffering I have endured at the hand of her addiction it would never out weigh the joy I have from being her mother. No matter what. So, in summary, I am with Amy Adams. I would do it the same, knowing the outcome, knowing our fate. And I make no apologizes for that.