Photo source: Wetmount, Pixabay
I continue to be amazed and draw strength from stories of individuals who are forced to start over just when they thought life is going as they had planned. Or to find meaning in their lives even during their twilight years.
So I’m coming up with this list. Some of these people are real; some are characters from books and movies. I will update this post as I “get to know” more of these individuals, and find more time to write. 🙂
Yukio Shige (Gatekeeper)
The Tojinbo cliffs in the Fukui Prefecture has been known as the site of a lot of suicides (or suicide attempts). In 2004, retired police detective Yukio Shige formed a group who would patrol the Tojinbo Cliffs in Japan and help prevent suicides in the area. Ten years later, in 2014, their group has already saved about 500 lives.
Shige and his group’s work have been covered in a 2016 documentary, Gatekeeper.
Frances (Under the Tuscan Sun)
This movie was loosely based on the memoir by Frances Mayes titled Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy. Mayes was in her mid-50s when her memoir was published in 1996, and in her 60s when the film was released in 2003.
I am yet to find a copy of the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The story revolved around Frances and how she rebuilt her life after her divorce. ther characters in the story were starting over too, such as her bestfriend and another Italian woman she met in Tuscany. Days after watching the film, several quotes are still running through my mind, especially the following:
- “Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come.”
- “Do you know the most surprising thing about divorce? It doesn’t actually kill you. Like a bullet to the heart or a head-on car wreck. It should. When someone you’ve promised to cherish till death do you part says ‘I never loved you,’ it should kill you instantly. You shouldn’t have to wake up day after day after that, trying to understand how in the world you didn’t know. The light just never went on, you know. I must have known, of course, but I was too scared to see the truth.”
- “Listen, when I was a little girl I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me.”
- “Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game. It’s such a surprise.”