If you’re a bird …

Movies have a way of helping mold the way we think and feel about relationships and love.

Two lines that come to mind are, “I’ll never let go,” and “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird,” from the 1997 movie Titanic and The Notebook in 2004, respectively.

There have been mixed reviews from those two movies, but I bring them up because in today’s age thoughts and feelings those two quotes suggest seem to be lost in relationships.

If you notice, both of those movies were set in much earlier periods of the last century.

Although I don’t date myself back to the time of either of those movies, my parents were brought up in at least one of those periods and I was influenced by those types of thoughts and feelings about relationships.

After my father died in Vietnam in 1968, I always wondered why my mother didn’t try to find another husband or entertain another relationship, not that I am complaining.

One day, I asked her why.  Her response was, “Because I know I will never find another man as good as your dad.”  I remember her saying it like it was yesterday.

Like Rose in Titanic, she never let go … and she did go on.  And, should my father have survived, I am sure it would have been just like it was in The Notebook.

But, for whatever reason, things are not the same today as they were then.  Whether it’s economics, a change in the way we look at relationships, the days of “what’s in it for me,” the ease of getting divorced, genetics, income levels or even education levels, love and relationships have suffered — for most.

Today’s divorce rates are high and marriages last about 8.8 years on average.  In 2009 a survey was conducted to see what cities and states had the highest divorce rates.  Florida had four (per 1,000 people) of the top-10 ranking No. 1, No. 6, No. 8 and No. 9, followed by Arizona at No. 2, West Virginia No. 3, Oregon No. 4, Nevada No. 5 and Colorado at No. 7 and No. 10.

So, does any of that really matter? No.

We have just lost our way and other things have become more important than finding true love.

Love is not important to some — I don’t know how many people, men and women alike, I have heard say that — and maybe that’s fine for some.

But, who wants to be alone in their final days if you have the choice of being like the characters in The Notebook and sharing it with the one you love, the one you shared adversity with? I know I would choose the later.

Love and relationships are not business arrangements.  Both are difficult.  Both have to have constant work and nurturing.

Love and relationships are not for the weak at heart or for those that only think of themselves.

Love and relationships are about giving unselfishly, trust, sharing, respect, acceptance of differences, affection, affirmation … I could go on and on.

The point to all of this — love is not dead, we just need to find where we put it away and find it again.

Movies like the Titanic and The Notebook are modern-day movies, but their placement in time beckons from the last century.  I can’t think of 10 movies that take place in modern times that follow the theme or purposeful thought of these two movies — everlasting love.  How many can you count from today’s backdrop?

I still see that kind of love through the eyes of my mother every time my dad is mentioned.

Somewhere, true love still exists set aside in some dark corner just waiting to be rediscovered — you only need to find a way to shine — and you’ll find it.