when the credits never roll

Last night my wife and I repeated a frequent ritual we call “dinner and a movie”. The bookends of our night out were spent with my parents’ as we dropped off our son for some time with Nana and Papa (read: for free babysitting). The movie was an intense suspense-thriller, that kept us guessing the whole way through, but was neatly resolved by the time the credits rolled. Then it was back to my parents for us. Back to reality.

We talked with them about some of the happenings in my side of the family; things that, like the movie, we didn’t know how they would turn out in the end. The difference (besides the lack of accompaniment music, explosions, guns, and sexy Hollywood actors and actresses) was that there never seemed to be an ending. In our story there was no tidy resolution; no neat wrap-up, tying up all the story’s loose ends just before the credits rolled.

My parents have been parents for over 32 years, and while the story changes tension and unresolved questions never go away. The questions change and the tensions shift, but the story goes on. Perhaps that’s part of the magic of the movie-watching experience: the story ends, the credits roll, and you feel a happy closure to the whole thing. So…here’s to us, for whom the story rolls on. Here’s to non-resolution and tension. Here’s to conflict and transition and questions and the unknown. I am thankful for all of these for when they end, that means my credits have rolled. Although I believe that is but another scene change and not an ending either.

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