If you read my last post, you know something about our recent family tragedy. My brother’s life fell apart a few years ago, we did everything in our power to try and help him, but instead he threatened suicide and then disappeared from our lives, perhaps forever.
The story behind the story is a great example of why I rarely pitch stories to the mainstream press any more.
Back in 2006, when I still believed in traditional publishing, I sent a draft of this Christmas story for possible publication in “Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrating Brothers…”. They were quite interested, but the ending was too dark. Apparently we cannot have fond memories if the story doesn’t have a happy ending. But what do you do when real life doesn’t match the Hallmark movie version of how life is supposed to be?
Well, you start a blog!
The mainstream media has created a world like the Hallmark Movie Channel. In these horribly predictable stories, life gets tough, but everything turns out great in the end. In real life, this simply isn’t true. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, bad things that cannot be fixed in the next hour or so. Sometimes there is no justice, and innocence is truly irretrievable.
Baby Boomers were raised in the land of make believe. Early social engineering taught us to expect a happy ending. When that happy ending fails to materialize, what then? How do we come to terms with life’s genuine tragedies?
One important way is to realize that we all have stories to share about when things didn’t go like we had hoped. It helps to acknowledge that in spite of all of our best efforts, a meaningless tragedy occurred. We feel devastated and powerless, and this is as much a part of life as all the good things that come our way.
Anything can happen to anyone at any time, and life is not a Hallmark movie.