Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fair may be for Faerie Tales but for "Zuzu," It has been an unfair yet sometimes "Wonderful Life."

We all deserve a wonderful life, n'est-ce pas? However, in the real world, life is not fair. Childhood is no fair. Bullies are not fair. Adulthood is not fair. The working world is not fair. Criticism is not fair. Failing and falling down in life is not fair. Sickness and death are not fair. Human nature is not fair. Fair may be for Faerie Tales, but how can you have a wonderful life if you have a life of many failings and days and years of nightmares? The actress who played "Zuzu" in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" has had just this type of life.
   Karolyn Grimes played the character "Zuzu" in the 1946 production of: "It's a Wonderful Life"at the age of about 6 years old. She says it was one of the best experiences of her life and shaped the way she thought about life and faith as she grew older. As it turns out, she needed that positive memory in her life as it was about to turn very hard.
   Her Mother died when she was 12. Her Father tragically died in a car crash when she was 15. She was sent to live with an Aunt and Uncle who were extremely religious and did not believe in movies, dancing, singing or laughing. Married off young, Karolyn Grimes divorced her first husband who later himself died in a hunting accident. Her second husband died from Cancer. Her Son committed suicide when he was 18 years of age. She does have 2 daughters, but they are both single Mothers.
   Karolyn Grimes could have easily fallen into a life of self pity and misery. She could have abused alcohol and drugs and blamed her condition on her life's circumstances or blamed everyone else. How does she keep her attitude positive? How does she get up every morning and why does she help others? Why indeed!
   Ms. Grimes, age 71, speaks to groups about her experience as a child in making the movie and its message. She says the movie is not about anything religious, but has an intrinsically Christian message of asking God for help in showing us the way through this life of constant change when life gets really hard. The movie also sends the most basic Christian message which tells us to treat others as we wish to be treated.
   In life, it is not that we fall down and fail because we all fail, over and over again. It is what we learn from the failing and how we rise each time that counts. If you have never failed or fallen, you are not trying hard enough.
   Our faith in our God and in ourselves every day is also what does get us through this life. Every day is not fair. Life is not supposed to be a Faerie Tale, but we would not appreciate every good day if we did not ever have a bad day. Through true hard work and giving of ourselves even on bad days we will eventually succeed.  
   By rising every morning to speak and by doing good works for people, Karolyn Grimes has exhibited true charity and grace in the face of so much sadness. She has had a hard  life but has 2 wonderful daughters and grandchildren. Friends and family are what matter in this sometimes unfair but sometimes wonderful life.

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